How to Fix 404 Page Not Found on Shopify - eCommerce Thesis

How to Fix 404 Page Not Found on Shopify

If you own a Shopify store, encountering the dreaded “404 Page Not Found” error can be frustrating. This error indicates that the page your customer is trying to access doesn’t exist. But fear not! In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to fix this issue and ensure a seamless browsing experience for your customers.

Understanding the 404 Page not Found

Before we dive into solutions, let’s understand what the 404 error means. When a user tries to visit a webpage that doesn’t exist or has been removed, the server responds with a 404 error. This can happen due to various reasons, such as broken links, deleted products, or mistyped URLs.

Identifying the Cause

The first step in fixing the 404 error is identifying its cause. Here are some common reasons:

  • Broken Links: Links leading to non-existent pages.
  • Deleted Products or Pages: Pages or products that have been removed from your store.
  • Typos in URLs: Users enter incorrect URLs in the address bar.

Redirect Errors: Incorrectly configured redirects.

Steps to fix the 404 error on Shopify:

1. Check for broken links

  • Utilize Shopify apps like “Broken Link 404 Checker” to identify broken links.
  • Update or remove broken links to valid pages.

2. Review deleted products or pages

  • Access your Shopify admin dashboard.
  • Navigate to “Online Store” > “Navigation” to update your site’s navigation menus.
  • Remove links to deleted products or pages.

3. Redirect URLs

  • Set up 301 redirects for old URLs to relevant new pages.
  • Use Shopify’s built-in URL redirects feature to manage redirects efficiently.

4. Customize the 404 page

  • Create a custom 404 page to guide users back to your site.
  • Include a search bar and links to popular pages to help users navigate.

5. Monitor and test regularly.

  • Regularly check for broken links using tools like Google Search Console.
  • Test redirects to ensure they’re functioning correctly.

6. Utilize Shopify Apps

  • Explore Shopify apps like “SEO Manager” or “Easy Redirects” to automate and streamline the process.

7. Implement Proper URL Structure

  • Ensure your URLs are descriptive and easy to remember.
  • Avoid changing URLs frequently to maintain consistency.

8. Use Canonical Tags

  • Implement canonical tags to indicate the preferred version of a URL.
  • This helps search engines understand which version of a page to index, reducing the risk of duplicate content issues.

9. Educate Users

  • Provide clear instructions on how to navigate your website.
  • Include a “Contact Us” page or support email for users to report any issues they encounter.

10. Regularly Update Content

  • Keep your website content up-to-date to prevent outdated links.
  • Remove or update content that is no longer relevant.

11. Utilize the Google Search Console

  • Monitor crawl errors and 404 pages using the Google Search Console.
  • Address any issues reported by Google to improve your site’s performance.

Additional Considerations for Fixing 404 Errors on Shopify

Utilize Shopify Apps

Consider using Shopify apps designed to help identify and fix 404 errors more efficiently. There are several apps available in the Shopify App Store that can automate the process of monitoring and resolving broken links, saving you time and effort in managing your website’s health.

Perform Regular Website Audits

Conduct regular audits of your Shopify store to identify and address any potential issues, including 404 errors. Schedule periodic checks to ensure that your website’s navigation, links, and content remain accurate and up-to-date.

Monitor External Links

Keep an eye on external websites, social media platforms, and marketing campaigns that link to your Shopify store. If you discover any broken or outdated links, reach out to the website owners or update the links yourself to prevent 404 errors from occurring.

Educate Your Team

If you have multiple contributors or administrators managing your Shopify store, ensure they understand the importance of maintaining proper link structure and avoiding actions that could lead to 404 errors, such as deleting pages without implementing redirects.

Common Questions About Fixing 404 Page Not Found Errors on Shopify:

1. Will fixing 404 errors improve my website’s SEO? 

Ans: Yes, resolving 404 errors can have a positive impact on your website’s SEO. Broken links and missing pages can negatively affect the user experience and search engine rankings. By fixing these errors and ensuring a smooth browsing experience, you can help improve your site’s visibility and ranking in search engine results.

2. How do I know if a page is generating 404 errors? 

Ans: You can use various tools and methods to identify pages that are generating 404 errors. Shopify’s built-in analytics may provide insights into pages with high bounce rates or error rates. Additionally, you can use Google Search Console or third-party website auditing tools to identify specific URLs returning 404 errors.

3. What should I do if I encounter a 404 error on someone else’s Shopify store?

Ans: If you encounter a 404 error while browsing someone else’s Shopify store, it’s best to notify the store owner or webmaster so they can address the issue. You can usually find contact information or a support email address on the store’s website.

4. How long does it take for search engines to recognize and remove 404 pages from their index?

Ans: The time it takes for search engines to recognize and remove 404 pages from their index can vary depending on various factors, including the frequency of crawls and the authority of your website. Generally, it may take several days to several weeks for search engines to process URL removal requests and update their index accordingly.
By implementing these additional tips, you can further reduce the occurrence of 404 errors on your Shopify store and provide a better browsing experience for your customers. Remember that maintaining an error-free website is an ongoing process that requires regular monitoring and updates. With attention to detail and proactive measures, you can minimize disruptions and keep your Shopify store running smoothly.