Ways to solve Error 404 in your website

Updated on: 16 March 2017

To succeed in online business especially e-commerce store, visitors must be able to find you easily. Many e-commerce stores use multiple online marketing strategies including social media campaigns and blogs that link back to the e-commerce landing page to drive traffic and conversion. However, all your visitors will get disappointed and run away if the page they are directed to is not found (404 Not Found).

What is error 404?

When your page returns 404 Not Found errors, it means that visitors trying to access the page cannot reach it from the server. This error means that the page was removed, but the URL was not changed. It is one of the main components that contribute to a poor user experience for visitors to your website. The error can be manifested in the following formats:

  • 404 Error
  • 404 Not Found
  • 404 Page Not Found
  • HTTP 404 not Found

Best ways to resolve the errors

In most cases, 404 Not Found errors are related to the .htaccess file. This is the file that you include pages that you do not want search engines to access and show content to visitors. It is crucial to be careful about the content in the file because they will be disallowed.

Deleted pages:

These are pages that you no longer consider useful and do not want them on your page. For example, pages of products no longer available. Because the pages might have already been indexed by search engines and some clients might have bookmarked them, the best thing is redirecting to another related page of your e-commerce store.

Memory limit:

At times 404 Not Found errors can happen because there is a limited memory on the side of the host. Got to the page with the error, turn error reporting on, and reload the page. If the error comes again indicating Fatal Error: Out of memory, contact the host immediately to raise your memory limit.

.htaccess problems:

This is configuration file on the root folder that helps in controlling redirects, protecting files and folders, and changing aspects of different website URLs. One way of dealing with this is deleting the .htaccess file using FTP and regenerating a new one through Back-Office>Advance>Parameters>performance. Then, make sure to carefully check on all files and pages that are disallowed in the .htaccess file.

Permission issues:

When the 404 NOT Found errors are accompanied with the message “you do not have permission to access this page”, this is a permission related issue. The problem can be addressed by tweaking CHMOD permission through FTP. Besides, you can also call the host provider to address the issue. In most cases, the permission set for directories is 755 while that for files is 644.

Poorly configured SSL Certificate:

If the 404 Not Found errors started after installing SSL Certificate, there is a problem that it is not configured properly. Make sure to check with the SSL provider to ensure that the address is connecting correctly to the PrestaShop URL in the .htaccess file. If the PrestaShop you are using is 1.5.6 or newer, you can force SSL on every page.