Create a Better 404 Page in WordPress – Without Plugins


Recently, one of my friends posted a list of plugins you can use to optimize your 404 page. In case you don’t know what a 404 page, its the page that shows up if the URL requested by the user don’t exist. He listed eight plugins to do this. And since I am working on the Plugin Killer series, it got me thinking – is it possible to do it without using any plugins?

Turns out, its easy. As long as you know about the Google’s 404 Widget. It adds a search box for your site with appropriate search suggestions and tries(and unfortunately, often fails) to provide alternatives to incorrect URLs.

See it in action here – The correct URL is – which the user finds and shows.

Enable Google 404 Widget in your Site

  • First, create the code by following the steps given in the 404 Widget page.
  • Then open the 404.php file of your wordpress theme and paste the code you got into it. Save and upload – you’re done.

This is the last of my plugin killer series. Just to balance things out, I’m thinking of doing a Plugin week(yes, a second plugin week) next week. Let me know if any of you are interested.


  1. This was a cool series. Now that the series here is done, its my turn to extend it a bit furthur 😉

    A second plugin week? Hope you would remember the lessons you learnt during the first one. Good luck!

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