What is a Shopify 404 Page and How to Fix it?

What is a Shopify 404 Page and How to Fix it?
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Just imagine a potential customer who clicks on a link to your hottest product and is excited to purchase. But instead of your beautifully crafted product page, they're met with a frustrating Shopify 404 page. In e-commerce, these 404 errors are silent conversion killers, turning shoppers away and potentially harming your store's reputation, sales, and SEO rankings.

These "page not found" messages, also known as "404 not found," "404 error," or "file not found," occur when a browser can't locate a requested URL on your site. In this guide, let's look in more detail:

  • What Shopify 404 pages are
  • Common causes
  • How to find and fix broken links
  • Prevention strategies

What is a Shopify 404 page?

A 404 error occurs when a browser requests a page from a web server, but the server can't find the requested webpage URL. In Shopify, this triggers an HTTP 404 response status code, indicating that the server cannot locate the requested resource. As a result, the storefront renders the 404 page.

Key points about Shopify 404 errors:

  • They indicate a missing or unavailable page
  • The server responds with an HTTP 404 status code
  • Shopify displays a customizable 404-page template

Impact of 404 errors:

  • Harm SEO efforts
  • Decrease store conversion rates
  • Negatively affect customer experience and retention
  • May result in higher bounce rates
  • Can lead to lower sales volume

Promptly addressing 404 errors is crucial for maintaining a smooth shopping experience and optimizing your Shopify store's performance.

Track and fix 404 pages on Shopify in real-time: immediate alerts, bulk redirects & handy redirects management.

Doc 404: Fix Shopify 404 Pages

Track and fix 404 pages on Shopify in real-time: immediate alerts, bulk redirects & handy redirects management.

What are the reasons why the Shopify 404 error page occurs?

Understanding the reasons behind 404 errors can help you prevent and resolve them quickly. Here are the most common causes in Shopify stores:

Deleted Products or Collections

When you remove products or collections from your store, they can still appear in:

  • Search engine results.
  • External links point to your store.

Always set up proper 301 redirects when deleting products or collections to avoid 404 errors.

URL Structure Changes

If the website's URL structure changes (e.g., due to reorganizing categories or collections), the old URLs might lead to 404 errors if mishandled. Which includes:

  • Changing collection, page, or product URLs.
  • Removing products.
  • Changing your blog structure.

Implement 301 redirects from old URLs to new ones to maintain user experience and SEO value.

Broken links are a frequent source of 404 errors. These can occur due to:

  • Typos in URLs.
  • Errors in internal or external links.
  • Outdated links pointing to your Shopify store.

Regularly checking and updating links can significantly reduce these errors.

You can't control how other sites link to yours, but incorrect external links can cause 404 errors when:

  • Other websites link to your store with the wrong URLs.
  • External links weren't updated after you changed your URL structure.

Monitor your backlinks and contact site owners to correct any incorrect links.

Google Search Console: This free tool helps you monitor your site's performance in Google Search results. Monitor the Indexing section of the Search Console regularly for Not Found (404) pages. To do this:

  1. Navigate to Google Search Console -> Indexing -> Choose the necessary sitemap.
  2. Look for "Not Found (404))" and "Soft 404" records.
  3. Investigate why Google bot can't serve these pages.
  4. Fix founded issues as soon as possible.

Doc 404 Shopify: This app manages Shopify 404 errors in Shopify stores.

  • Automatically identifies 404 pages when first visited.
  • Notifying you about problems via email.
  • Allows setting up Wildcard redirects for automatic redirection.
  • It helps manage and reduce 404 errors efficiently.
  • It lets you make bulk redirects.

3rd party links checker: Broken link checker service

Screaming Frog: ScreamingFrog is a great desktop app that helps you crawl your website to see the entire store structure and provides a comprehensive analysis report.

Custom 404 Page: A well-designed 404 page can improve user experience when errors occur.

  • Create a custom 404 page that helps users find what they want.
  • Include links to popular products, collections, or your site's search function.
Track and fix 404 pages on Shopify in real-time: immediate alerts, bulk redirects & handy redirects management.

Doc 404: Fix Shopify 404 Pages

Track and fix 404 pages on Shopify in real-time: immediate alerts, bulk redirects & handy redirects management.

How to fix a Shopify 404 error?

Fixing 404 errors as soon as possible is crucial for maintaining a smooth user experience and preserving your store's SEO health. While you can manually manage broken links and redirects, this approach can take time and effort, especially for larger stores.

As an efficient solution, consider using the Doc 404 Shopify app. This app automatically manages broken links and redirects 404 pages, saving you time and effort.

  1. Install the Doc 404 app from the Shopify App Store
  2. Activate the app on your store, enabling the App embed in the customizer. Doc 404 - enable app embed
  3. Each 404 error will be logged in the app dashboard from this moment. Doc 404 - broken links list
  4. Choose broken links you need to fix and press the "Fix selected" button. Doc 404 - Fix selected 404 pages
  5. Enter the new URL where you want to redirect users from 404 pages. Doc 404 - Creating redirects
  6. Save the changes, and Doc 404 will create all redirects for you.

Shopify 404 page FAQ

What does a 404 error mean?

A 404 error indicates that your web server can't find a specific page on your website. This occurs when there's a problem with a URL or the associated page no longer exists. For Shopify stores, it often means a product, collection, or page has been moved or deleted without proper redirection.

Can the 404 error page template be customized?

You can customize your Shopify 404 page template to align with your brand and improve user experience. A well-designed 404 page can reduce user frustration and guide visitors to other parts of your store. Consider including a search bar, links to popular products or categories, and a clear message explaining the error.

Can 404 errors impact my store's performance?

While 404 errors don't directly affect your store's loading speed, they can impact overall performance by:

  • Increasing bounce rates as users leave after encountering errors.
  • It could potentially reduce conversion rates if customers can't find products.

What's the difference between a 404 error and a soft 404 error?

A standard 404 error occurs when a page doesn't exist, and the server returns a 404 status code. A soft 404 error occurs when a page exists but contains little or no content, yet the server incorrectly returns a 200 (OK) status code instead of 404. Search engines may interpret these as 404 errors, potentially affecting your SEO.

How often should I check for 404 errors?

It's recommended to check 404 errors at least once a week or more frequently if you regularly update your product catalog or site structure. Set up automated monitoring tools to alert you of new 404 errors as they occur.

Dmytro Chykmarov

Written by:

Dmytro Chykmarov

Product manager at NexusMedia

As a key member of our team, Dmytro is responsible for overseeing the development and success of our product offerings. His expertise lies in bridging the gap between market needs and technical capabilities, ensuring that our products not only meet but exceed customer expectations.

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