When you run a website, it is a good practice to redirect 404 to specific URL, for a good user experience. You can also redirect 404 to homepage of your website/application. Here’s how to redirect 404 to homepage using .htaccess in Apache web server.
How to Redirect 404 to Homepage using .htaccess
Here are the steps to redirect 404 to Homepage using .htaccess. Please ensure that you have enabled mod_rewrite in your Apache web server configuration. Only then your .htaccess configuration will be applied by Apache server.
After you redirect 404 in Apache, you may want to use a reporting software to monitor the key metrics about your website/application such as signups, traffic, sales, revenue, etc. using dashboards & charts, to ensure everything is working well.
1. Open .htaccess file
You will typically find .htaccess file in your site’s root folder (e.g /var/www/html/). You can open it using vi editor
$ sudo vim /var/www/html/.htaccess
Bonus read: How to Configure Apache Cache in Ubuntu
2. Redirect 404 to Homepage using .htaccess
Apache provides ErrorDocument directive to help you catch all types of error responses. So if you want to redirect all 404 errors to a specific web page (e.g http://www.example.com/error.html) just add the following line to your .htaccess file.
ErrorDocument 404 http://www.example.com/error.html
If you want to redirect 404 to URL (e.g /error) instead of a specific web page, then add the following line
ErrorDocument 404 /error
The above line will rewrite 404 error to URL you have mentioned.
Bonus Read : How To Disable Apache Cache
If you want to redirect 404 to homepage, add the following line
ErrorDocument 404 /
Similarly, if you want to catch all 500 error responses, add the following line
ErrorDocument 500 http://www.example.com/error.html
Bonus Read: How To Enable mod_ssl in Apache
3. Restart Apache Server
Restart Apache Server to apply changes
$ sudo service apache2 restart
That’s it! Now apache web server will automatically redirect all 404 error response code to homepage.
By the way, if you want to create charts & dashboards to monitor your business or website, you can try Ubiq. We offer a 14-day free trial.