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Error Pages

Whenever there is a problem accessing your website, your visitors will receive an error message. Each message has its own page and code specific to the problem encountered. Although the web server automatically provides basic error pages, with the Error Pages tool in the cPanel, you can create custom error pages to display when a user enters a wrong URL, an outdated URL, or the user is not authorized to access a specific directory of your webspace.



Note: If you already have error pages created, it is not necessary to follow this tutorial. You may instead add the following to your .htaccess file:

ErrorDocument error-number /Your-Error-file.html

Where error-number is the error code used by apache, for example, to use the file "notfound.html" as a 404 error page:

ErrorDocument 404 /notfound.html

Customizing Your Error Pages

  1. Log in to your Bluehost control panel.
  2. Click the Advanced tab from the side navigation menu to the left.
    rock-bh-advanced-tab
  3. Click the Error pages icon located in the Advanced section. This will take you to the Error pages menu.
    rock-bh-advanced-error-pages
  4. Below "Step 1," click the ▼ button, and then select a domain for the customize error pages.
    step-1-select-domain-to-manage-error
  5. Below "Step 2," click on the Show All HTTP Error Status Codes tab to view all error pages.)
    All the error page numbers and names will appear such as (400, 401, 403, 404, 500) and (Bad request, Authorization required, etc.).
    rock-bh-step-2-edit-error-pages
  6. When the selected Error Page loads, the following six tags are available:
     
    TagsFunctions
    Referring URLDisplays the URL of the website the visitor was previously viewing.
    Visitor's IP AddressDisplays the IP address of the visitor viewing the error page.
    Requested URLDisplays the intended URL the visitor is trying to view.
    Server nameDisplays the website's server name.
    Visitor's browserDisplays the visitor's browser type such as IE, Firefox, etc.
    Redirect Status CodeDisplays the type of code in the 300-307 range.

    Note: You do not have to use any of the above tags. They are available to you based on your own preferences and needs specific to your website.

    You can place any HTML code or text in the error page specific to your own preferences and needs specific to your website.

When you save your page, the file name will default to the error number you selected with the addition of a .shtml extension. For example, if you chose 400, your file would appear as "400.shtml." You can modify this name to the code you want. Only modify this to an error that you know will be shown on your website.

After you save your error page:

  • Click the Go Back button to return to the Error pages menu to edit a different Error Page or
  • Click the Home icon in the upper left-hand corner to return to the cPanel main menu.

    Tip: You can find what error codes are being shown to your visitors by viewing any of the available website statistical analysis programs built into cPanel, such as Awstats, Webalizer, etc.

Common Problems

  • If you still see the Bluehost default error pages, try refreshing your browser (ctrl + F5).
  • If you still see the Bluehost default pages, add the following code to your .htaccess file in the public_html directory:
    ErrorDocument 403 /403.shtml
    ErrorDocument 404 /404.shtml
    ErrorDocument 500 /500.shtml
  • You can even use existing pages as the resulting page. For instance, if you don't want any visitors seeing 404 errors on your site, you can make your home page the result like:
    ErrorDocument 404 /index.html
  • If Internet Explorer is not displaying the custom error page, it is likely because the error page must be larger than 1 kilobyte.