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Maintaining a Joomla! site means that so now and then URLs are changed. Old URLs become obsolete and are replaced with new URLs. Within the Joomla! backend you can use the Redirect Manager to redirect those old URLs, but what happens with the URLs you forget about: For every one of those obsolete URLs, sooner or later a visitor will face an ugly red error-box.

The message of an ugly red error-box

It is important to realize the meaning of the default red error-box. The message is definitely not friendly - it yells out to the visitor and even gives some technical details like View not found. More importantly, it doesn't help the visitor find the right page: The menus are gone. The only option the visitor is to go back to the previous page.

Help your visitors instead

A better approach would be to aid your visitors into finding the right page. Our Dynamic404 extension can help you with that. Its first feature is that it is able to replace the red box with a red box that includes page-suggestions: Under water Dynamic404 tries to crossmatch the current URL (that generates the notfound-error) with a page that is available.

The same error-box can also be displayed within your normal Joomla! template, with all the various modules loaded and in place. By improving the error-page with that, you give the visitor all options to find the right page.

New plugin for EasyBlog component

Dynamic404 version 1.0.18 which has been released half May, gives many additions to this. First of all, there is a new plugin for the EasyBlog component of StackIdeas. This excellent blog-component can now be integrated with Dynamic404 in two ways: First of all, when a blog is not found, a 404-error is displayed and our Dynamic404 extension can be used to find a proper match. Second, when searching for a proper match, the new Dynamic404 plugin can now be used to suggest EasyBlog posts as well.

Dynamic404 1.0.18 also has various other extras: For instance, it changes the logic to match a string (the URL causing the error) with another string. For instance, the alias men-in-black will be matched with black-men. Dynamic404 gives any match also a matching rate, so that a match like black-men gets a lower ranking then men-black.

Written on 12 June 2013 by Jisse Reitsma

About the author

Jisse Reitsma is the founder of Yireo, extension developer, developer trainer and two times Magento Master. His passion is for technology and open source. And he loves talking as well.

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