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How to Redirect Your 404 Page to the Home Page in WordPress

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Do you want to redirect your 404 page to your home page in WordPress?

Redirecting the 404 ‘Not Found’ page to your website’s home page can help reduce your bounce rate and allow your users to discover other useful content on your website.

In this article, we will show you how to redirect your 404 page to your home page in WordPress.

How to Redirect Your 404 Page to the Home Page in WordPress

Why Redirect Your 404 Page to Your WordPress Home Page?

When a user tries to visit a page that doesn’t exist on your WordPress website, WordPress will show them a 404 error page instead.

The wording and appearance of this page can vary depending on the theme you are using.

Default WordPress 404 page

Most users who land on the default 404 page will leave your site quickly. This can increase your overall bounce rate and negatively impact your search engine rankings.

That’s why you should take the time to create a custom 404 page. However, until you do that, you can take the shortcut in this tutorial and redirect users to the homepage.

In a perfect world, you would also redirect specific 404 error requests to the most relevant pages.

That being said, let’s look at how to redirect all 404 errors to your home page. We will cover two methods and also show you how to create custom redirects for individual pages:

Method 1: Redirect All 404 Errors to the Home Page in WordPress

For this method, we will be using All in One SEO for WordPress (AIOSEO). It is the best WordPress SEO plugin that allows you to set up redirects, optimize your content for search engines, and more.

The first thing you need to do is install and activate All in One SEO (AIOSEO). For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Note: There is a free version of All in One SEO, but we will be using the Pro version since Redirect is a Pro addon.

Once the plugin is activated, you need to go to All in One SEO » Redirects.

If you haven’t set up redirects yet, then you must click the ‘Activate Redirects’ button.

Activating Redirects in All in One SEO

This will install All in One SEO’s Redirects module.

Next, you will need to click on the ‘Settings’ tab at the top of the page. This page allows you to configure redirects in AIOSEO.

The AIOSEO Redirects Settings Page

You need to scroll down the page until you find the ‘Advanced 404 Settings’ section. Enable this section by simply clicking the toggle button so that it turns blue.

Now you will be able to see some more settings. You should toggle the ‘Enable default 404 redirect’ button to the on position. After that, make sure that the ‘Home Page’ option is selected.

Enabling Default 404 Redirect in AIOSEO

Notice that there’s also a ‘Custom URL’ option. This allows you to redirect 404 errors to any post or page. Don’t forget to click the ‘Save Changes’ button at the top or bottom of the page to store your settings.

Now when your visitors try to visit a URL on your website that doesn’t exist, they will be taken to the home page instead of seeing the default 404 page.

Method 2: Redirect All 404 Errors to the Home Page Using Code

If you prefer not to use a plugin, then you can use a simple code snippet to redirect all 404 pages to the homepage.

In this method, you need to add code to your WordPress files. If you haven’t done this before, then see our beginner’s guide on pasting snippets from the web into WordPress. You may also like to see our guide to the WordPress theme template hierarchy.

First, you will need to create a new file in your WordPress theme folder and name it 404.php. If your theme already has a 404.php file, then you must edit that file instead.

To edit this file, you need to connect to your WordPress hosting account with an FTP client or their file manager tool.

FTP 404 php file

Once you are connected to your website, you will be able to see the 404.php file in your WordPress themes folder.

You need to add the following code as the first line in your 404.php file:

header("HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently");
header("Location: ".get_bloginfo('url'));

Next, save the 404.php file and reupload it to your theme directory using FTP or your hosting control panel.

Now, when a page is not found, instead of seeing a 404 page, visitors will be redirected to your WordPress home page.

Bonus: Set Up Custom 404 Page Redirects With AIOSEO

The best and most SEO-friendly way of handling 404 errors is to redirect visitors to the most relevant page, not just your homepage.

The All in One SEO plugin’s Redirects feature can also track all 404-page errors and let you set up smart 404-page redirects in WordPress.

If you installed and activated AIOSEO when you followed Method 1, then all you need to do is navigate back to the All in One SEO » Redirects page and click on the ‘Settings’ tab.

Next, scroll down until you see the ‘Logs’ section. Your 404 logs are a record of URLs that your visitors have tried to use to visit pages that no longer exist on your site.

Make sure the ‘404 Logs’ is toggled on so that it looks blue. You can also choose how long you want the plugin to record your logs by selecting the time period from the dropdown menu.

Enable 404 logs

Don’t forget to click ‘Save Changes’ before moving on.

After that, you can click the ‘404 Logs’ menu option to see the last accessed 404 page.

Remember, since you just enabled logging, it may not display anything right away. You might need to wait up to 24 hours before you see any useful insights there.

Click 404 logs menu option

The ‘URL’ column will show you the pages users tried to visit but don’t exist.

You can redirect any of these URLs to an existing page by clicking the ‘Add Redirect’ link in the ‘Redirect’ column. This will open a dropdown where you can enter your redirect information.

For best results, you need to enter the most relevant page for the original query in the ‘Target URL’ box and then click ‘Add Redirect’.

Add home page redirect

For example, if you deleted a tutorial on how to start a WordPress blog and then wrote a new one, then it’s best to redirect that old URL to the new blog post rather than your homepage.

To add multiple 404-page redirects, simply follow the same steps as above.

Remember, generally, you don’t want to redirect your 404 page to your home page forever. It’s a great temporary solution until you create a custom 404 page design that will convert better or set up individual redirects that take users to a relevant page that does exist.

Expert Guides on 404 Errors in WordPress

Now that you know how to redirect your 404 page to your home page in WordPress, you may like to see some other guides related to how to handle 404 errors.

We hope this article helped you learn how to redirect your 404 page in WordPress. You may also want to see our ultimate WordPress SEO guide and the best drag-and-drop WordPress page builders to create custom 404 pages.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

66 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. Ralph says

    I have 2 or 3 blog posts that had to be deleted, but the urls are still present on Pinterest, forums, etc., so I redirected 404 to my homepage in hosting settings to not lose traffic. However, for any other non deleted 404 I have my own “sorry” info and search bar.
    I really appreciate good 404s on people’s websites, as this often indicates that they really care. Redirecting to the homepage has its uses, but not every time I think.

  3. Jiří Vaněk says

    I think, but it’s just my personal opinion, that redirecting people to the homepage isn’t good. Instead, it’s better to create a humorous 404 with an apology that reduces visitor frustration and offers interesting content in the form of a 404 page where the latest content of the website or blog can be automatically inserted. This way, the visitor realizes the page no longer exists but also gets the opportunity to laugh at a well-crafted 404 page and receives alternative content as an option for what to do next.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      That is another option, it depends on the site and what type of content but both are valid options :)


  4. Mbah Chinedu says

    Hello, the 301 redirect you do at php file in ftp, can’t I use a text to inform user that the page is going to redirect in some seconds and then allow it redirect. At least bounce rate still reduces, because google has no issue with soft 404 or 404 pages

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You can create a page like that if you wanted but we do not have a beginner-friendly method for creating that with PHP.


  5. Mark Cavallo says

    very quick and easy trick – saved me a heap of time manualy redirecting with new website. thank you.

  6. Dave says

    Please what if I don’t want it to go to the homepage, how do I set it to another custom page please?

  7. Mudassir says

    Hello WPbeginner team,

    I am using Astra Pro and have already some code in my 404.php. Now my question is, where do I add the above code exactly? Should I remove all that existing code and add yours or how?

    Please help!

  8. Noble A. Ozogbuda says

    Hello please how can i modify this code to redirect all my 404s pages to a specific page, not homepage?

  9. Mohan says

    I have just installed it and did some redirection. I hope it works the way I expect. Anyway, its a nice plugin. Thanks for the helpful post about it.

  10. Jitendra Mahato says

    hi… i want to know that how to redirect the 404 page to a custom page.I want to do that in my blog. Thank you. Hoping your answer. I used this code and doing well.

  11. Drake Bliss says

    If you only want to redirect a specific url path, try this code below. First create a child theme if you do not have one and move 404.php to the the child theme.

    Edit the 404.php page in the child theme and paste this code into the very top of the 404.php page. You can insert more check for other paths you want to redirect,.

  12. yudi cahyadi says

    hi there…i’m using chid theme but it doesn’t exist 404 file,, how to creat 404.php file using child theme not in main theme to insert code ..

    thank you..

  13. Liem Hoang says

    Work perfectly! Thank admin so much, you have been saved my life. My website will no longer get error win WMT.

  14. Malindo My Id says

    wow thankyou so much,, did you know thats my site have been redirect from spammer, makes my eror page 404 found until 1240 not found url. and now I was redirect to my home age.. you are good boys.. thankyou.. I like this page,, so useful for many blogger ..

    Malindo My Id from Indonesia

  15. Shoaib says

    i read anywhere on web that 404s should not be redirected globally to the home page.

    whats your view ???

  16. Sid says

    Is there any way that I can redirect specific 404 pages. Like I created a custom post type and I just want to redirect 404 pages on that post type. Will that be possible?

  17. Kumar says

    This code is causing problem, when i post something new permalink gets shorten and does not contain complete post title.

    What shld i do?

  18. Miguel Guzman says

    I have 1,500 404’s that is because i started using dates on the url at the beginning when i started using WordPress. I changed the permalinks and that’s when the 404 started. is really hard when you have so many redirect to map them individually. its easier to re direct then all to home page.

  19. Riccardo says

    How can you redirect depending on the language the site is displaying?
    My website is in french and english, but when I use your code it goes only to one page for both languages.

    Thank you for your help!


  20. slango20 says

    this is bad practice, very bad. If you have time to set up a wordpress site, you have time to put 404 Not Found into a 404.php at *least* instead of redirecting to the homepage with no explanation whatsoever

  21. P.D. says

    Does anyone know if the code works as well for multisite installations?

    If so, does the 404 page bounce to the subdomain / subfolder / subsite or the main or root domain / folder / site?

    • slango20 says

      those crawl “errors” are perfectly normal and don’t affect your site’s ranking, just like it’s not a good idea to reply to all sms with the same response just because you received a few spam sms

  22. Filip Hajek says

    There is a cool WP plugin “404 Redirected”, whoch captures 404s for you and let’s you redirect them easily.

    • Eric says

      Thanks for the comment! That helped me out a lot! The article’s has a good solution too but I don’t like messing with my code. Thanks again for the suggestion Flip!

      -Eric Out-

  23. Rakesh says

    It rocks!!! I used the code ( previously my theme given me a custom 404 page template, but I replaced with your few lines). Thank you.

  24. Julien says

    I am really not convinced by the relevance of this. 404 means the page doesn’t exist anymore, 301 is a permanent redirect. Those 2 errors do not mean the same for search engines.

    • Rootpak says

      I agree. I would not recommend redirecting all 404 pages to the home page. From SEO point of view it is not accepyable. It means that every not existing page was moved to home page. It can simply lead to problems how google sees your site.

  25. Andy Feliciotti says

    I use smart 404 extension and I must say it’s amazing, it’ll find a post with a similar URL and redirect to it

  26. Clark Wimberly says

    I should know better, but one time I created an infinite loop using something close to this. It was a site with few pages for mostly logged-in users, so I made my 404 template redirect to the user page. What I had forgotten is that I made my user page redirect to the 404 if you weren’t signed in. Totally my fault, and barely relevant, but there you go.

    • Editorial Staff says

      Hah that’s funny. The only reason why we wrote this code was for a small one-page site which where we didn’t want users to peek around too much. Some folks are just curious and they start running search or checking out feeds etc. So we disabled search, feeds, and redirected 404 to the homepage.


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