Custom 404 Page using .htaccess

Mike posted a good question on my earlier post on how to Disable Indexes using .htaccess.

Is there a way to specify what page to redirect to if there is a 404? Currently it’s displaying one created by my web hosting company, which I would prefer to get rid of.

If you want to display your own 404 error page with something other than the standard 404 Not Found Page that is returned by your hosting company all you need to do is add one line to the .htccess file in the root of your web server.

ErrorDocument 404 /404.html

Now when someone types the wrong filename or is trying to browse a folder and you have turned off indexes to the page that will be returned will be your custom 404.html page. It does not have to be just an html page either. You could make it return a php page that has code to email you when someone has triggered a 404 error telling you what page they were looking for, other interesting information to help them find what they might be looking for or maybe something that is just fun. You can do any number of things with your own 404 page.

If you are a blogger and are using WordPress you should take look at this great page ”Creating an Error 404 Page” on

There are other options as well. The one I have on this blog right now is not very exciting, since the home page is simply returned as the 404 page.

Categories: web-programming