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Step 48: Setting up a Thesis 2 Custom 404 Page

Thesis 2 404 Page

We’re going to create a custom 404 page using Thesis 2.  Notice in the picture above that our 404 page is blank.  This is no good.  We need to add some content to help our visitors out.  Read on to see how you can create a custom 404 page using the Thesis 2 Theme.

Before we continue, we need to create a WordPress page to use as our 404 page.  You will see why in a few moments.

From the WordPress Dashboard click on Pages, Add New.  Create a 404 page.  Be sure to give your visitors some suggestions and not just the generic “page not found”.

404 Page not Found

Scroll down and turn off indexing and comments.  No reason to let the search engines index your 404 page or allow visitors to comment.  Be sure to click “Publish” when you are done.


Turn off Comments

Next, from the Thesis 2 home page, click “Site” then click “404 Page”.

Thesis 2 Home Page

You will be presented with a drop-down where you can select the 404 Page you just created.

Thesis 2 Select 404 Page

Don’t forget to click the green Save 404 Page button.

Thesis 2 Save 404 Page

Here is what mine looks like.

Thesis 2 Custom 404 Page

You might notice in the picture above that it has a byline and number of comments.  We don’t need these items on our 404 page so let’s remove them.  Remember how to edit Thesis 2 templates?

From your Thesis 2 Skin Editor, go to the HTML page.  The “Home” template will be displayed by default.

Thesis 2 HTML Home Template

Click on the “Home” title and change the template to “404” by clicking the plus (+) sign next to the Page template then clicking on “404”.

Thesis 2 404 HTML Template

You should now be editing the 404 HTML Template.

Thesis 2 HTML 404 Page

Now shift-click and drag the byline box off the page.  You may have to open the Headline Area inside the Home Post Box by clicking the black arrow.

Thesis 2 404 Byline

Now shift-click and drag Num Comments Wrapper off of the page.  Again, it can be found inside the Home Post Box.

Thesis 2 Num Comments

You will now see your removed boxes in the column on the right side of the HTML 404 Template screen.

Thesis 2 Remove Boxes

Remember to click the green “Save Template” button.

Thesis 2 Save Template

Your 404 page is now finished and the byline and comments counter have been removed.

Thesis 2 Custom 404 Page 2

Be sure to test your custom 404 page by typing a fake URL into your browser address bar.  Example:

About the author: I’m a techie, a gadget geek, a former programmer, and all-around technology nut. Currently I’m a business analyst for a technology company. I love what technology can do for us. I love smartphones and apps for everything. Building sites with Thesis 2.0 and WordPress help me to reconnect with the feeling of building something tangible.

I’m on: Google+ and Twitter

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