All hope is not lost - 404 Errors
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In a previous article, I discussed the advantages of using a
tag. After everything is
safely in place, simply save the file, but instead of ending it
with the usual ".htm" or ".html", use ".shtml". Do not forget to
do this, as the SSI tag might not work if you fail to use the
Finally, you will have to edit the .htaccess file you created
when you built your custom 404 page. If you only have
" ErrorDocument 404 http://www.yourdomain.com/404page.html "
in it, modify the file so that it will contain the following:
Options Includes ExecCGI
AddType application/x-httpd-cgi .cgi .pl
AddType text/html .shtml
AddHandler server-parsed .shtml
ErrorDocument 404 http://www.yourdomain.com/404page.shtml
The new lines will enable Server Side Includes and CGI so that
your script will work. Do not forget to change the ErrorDocument
404 line to point to the new .shtml page instead of your old
.html version. After you are done, save your .htaccess file.
Upload, set permissions and launch!
Connect to your host with an FTP program and upload the .shtml
version of your 404 page and your new .htaccess file into your
root directory. Then go to the directory you've reserved for CGI
programs and send the 404helper.cgi file there. Make sure that
you upload in ASCII, not in Binary mode! I nearly drove myself
crazy by accidentally using Binary mode and then trying to figure
out why the script refused to work.
Everything is now uploaded and all that remains is to set
permissions so that the CGI program can be executed. You'll need
to CHMOD 755 both the CGI file and the directory where it is in.
The steps you need to take in order to accomplish this depend on
what software you are using, but here are the instructions on
how to do so with WS_FTP, a popular Windows FTP program which can
be downloaded from Tucows.com.
First, navigate to the directory where you've uploaded the CGI
program. Left-click it once to highlight the file, then right-
click it. Select "chmod (Unix)" from the menu that appears. Give
Read, Write and Execute permissions to the Owner and Read and
Execute permissions to Group and Other. Then go into the root
directory and repeat the same process with the folder of the
directory where you placed the CGI program.
That's it. The work is finally done and you can now enjoy the
luxury of receiving an E-mail report on all 404 errors, allowing
you to quickly stomp out any broken links and improve the
quality of your site. Congratulations!
Article Tags: Error Page
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