How to Get the Most Out of Broken Links and 404 Pages in OpenCart

Broken links and missing pages are a common occurrence around the web today. That doesn’t mean that they are a good thing, but there are ways you can get the most of them.

In this tutorial, we will talk about 404 pages in OpenCart, how to resolve them and how to make a 404 page that won’t immediately chase people away.

What are 404 pages and why do they happen?

It’s quite annoying to stumble upon a 404 page when you’re browsing around the web. It’s even worse if you own an online store and put your customers through this.

404 pages happen when you open a broken link or when you enter a non-existing web address.

A broken link means that you have tried to open a page that no longer exist. Nothing is wrong with the website or the server - just this page is missing.

Missing pages not only hurt user experience, but also indicate low quality to search engines. And we all know what this means for your ranking and traffic. (Hint: It ain’t good!)

This is how OpenCart deals with 404 pages by default:

OpenCart 404

The page indicates that what you requested doesn’t exist and lets you go back to the home page with the Continue button.

How to find 404 errors?

Permanent redirects are a bad idea for Google, and messing with the permalinks in your site can break many more pages.

One way is to create a temporary redirect of the 404 page to a working page. Remember that the page you redirect to has to be relevant to the link.

The other way is to remove the link completely. And it’s recommended to do this instead of using redirects. Except when we’re talking about external links. Then you have no choice but to just redirect the link.

For internal links, we need to track each of them down. To do this, you can use a few tools.

Broken Link Checking Tools


Dead Link Checker

Broken Link Checker

Running your site in these tools will give you results for any broken links. From then on, you can start taking action and either remove any of the links or provide temporary redirects until you have replacements for them.

Fixing Broken Links in OpenCart

To remove broken links from your store, you will need a tool. There are a couple of OpenCart modules that do the trick. They also have an editor where you can customize your 404 page.

Smart 404 Page

This extension helps you track down the broken links in your OpenCart store. Once it acquires them, it lets you either Delete or Redirect them.

You can use the editor to input custom text and images and make your 404 page unique.

Broken Link Manager

With the Broken Link Manager, you have real-time monitoring of visitors hitting your broken links and opening your 404 page. Apart from removing the links, you can choose between Temporary and Permanent redirects.

You can also customize your 404 page with an editor where you can customize the text and insert images.

Awesome 404 Pages and How to Make One Yourself

South West Trains


Bret Victor


What do they have in common?

As you may notice from these examples, there’s either a humorous element, or something creative and twisted. That can grasp you mind for at least a second and make you think.

That’s the main purpose of the 404 page. Just enough to hold onto your focus and make you click on something else within the site instead of leaving it.

How to Improve Your 404 Page in OpenCart

There are a few important things you need to remember when editing your 404 page.

Links to your main resources:

  • Back to home. This is the most popular link that most sites emphasize on when they design their 404 pages. A quick way back home.

  • Blog. There’s a good chance that the broken link might be of a blog post, so a link back to the main blog page is nice to have.

  • Main categories. Lead visitors back to your main product categories in case they want to jump back to their search quicker.

  • About us. Give a link to the about us page where there is important info about the site they are on.

  • Contact us. Finally, an easy way to contact you when a visitor can’t find what they need on your site.

A Simple Design Example

The easy way to design your own 404 page is to use an image creation tool.

Like Canva for example.

Step 1

Choose a font and enter some introductory text.

We’ll use “Holy cow…”

It’s not the standard thing you would see on most websites, so it will stand out in the eye of a visitor.

Step 2

Choose a different font and enter the main subject of the page.

We’ll use “Sorry, we couldn’t find that page”

Now the visitor knows what’s going on.

Step 3

Show the 404 error (optional).

Choose a shape and give it a color. We’ll use a circle.

Enter the 404 error with a different font so it stands out from the rest.

This is one of the simplest designs you can give to your 404 page. It may not be much, but it’s better than nothing, and it can save you some visitors from leaving your store.

Wrapping up

It’s always recommended to make the most of your 404 page design, simply because broken links and missing pages become something hard to avoid with a growing site. That’s why it’s good to be prepared with something that will not chase visitors away and help you retain them. There are hundreds of examples of successful 404 pages that you can draw inspiration from. Get cracking!

Join 11,000+ subscribers receiving actionable E-commerce advice

* Unsubscribe any time

Trending blogs

comments powered by Disqus