Smart 404 Handler

Description

This custom 404 error script is designed to replace the default 404 error page which ships with IIS and is used whenever a page cannot be found on the website. Aside from providing the user with a page which looks and feels like an integrated part of the site when a page cannot be found, it also allows you to transparently move the user to a more appropriate page if one exists.

Why bother with a custom 404 error page? Well for one it looks more professional when you get taken to a non-standard error page, secondly since it is non-standard it will offer a user real advice beyond "sorry, page not found", but most of all it means that the user stands a better chance of finding what they want which in turn means that they are more likely to stay on your site.

Features

Online Editor - Main Screen Supports permanent redirects (301), permanent redirects (302), gone responses (410) and access denied responses (403), all fully configurable by an administrator. Also supports basic script aliasing, allowing you to deliver shorter, more memorable URLs for special pages.

Can be used as a standalone/self-contained script or with a database-driven back-end - provides modular support for Microsoft Access, SQL Server or mySQL databases (providing your host supports the database type).

Database-driven installations support our new online editor which allows on-the-fly management of all your redirects and rules from your desktop.

Includes support for script-level URL rewrites allowing you to achieve effects similar to .htaccess or ISAPI_rewrite without switching servers or requiring your host to install extra software / DLLs. For more information see our URL rewriting guide.

Requirements

Single Compressed Download

Installation & Setup

As the new system is modular there are now a variety of ways to install & setup your script so to keep it as simple as possible we've created a streamlined install document for each flavour of the script;

User Guide

Because the new system offers a variety of interfaces and methods to control your rules and redirects we've created several documents which deal with how to get the most out of your custom 404 error handling script;

Additional Notes

If you are being redirected to the custom 404 error handler and the URL looks similar to "/my404script.asp?404;http://www.example.com/foo.asp") this isn't a fault with our script, it relates to the way IIS handles certain extensions.

Aside from looking a little messy at times it isn't really a major problem as it wont impact either your users or the search engines. But if you feel you want to fix it then it's relatively simple and involves a single IIS configuration change which corrects the problem - although once again I should point out the intermediate redirect doesn't seems to cause any problems that I'm aware of with either users or search engines.
  1. Open the IIS Manager console.
  2. Access the properties for your website.
  3. Click the "Home Directory" tab.
  4. Click the "Configration..." button.
  5. Select ".asp" and click the "edit" button.
  6. Ensure the "Check file exists" checkbox is enabled.
  7. "Ok" the dialogs you've just opened.

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