How to Redirect 404 to the Homepage using .htaccess?

creating the .htaccess file

Your website might have many pages showing 404 errors. In that case, it’s a wise decision to redirect 404 to the home page. Before the Google bot deindexes your webpage, you must redirect 404 to the homepage or any substantial URL.

If you redirect 404 to the homepage, you can give a valid answer to why the error occurred. Doing this will balance the user experience. You will need the .htaccess file for the job. First, you need to create the .htaccess file on your desktop. You have to edit it if you already have the file on your desktop. It is located at the Root Directory of the windows. The .htaccess file is hidden and without any extension. Once you figure out how to edit or create the .htaccess file, the rest of the work becomes easier. In this article, you will learn how you will edit or create the .htaccess file. Then you will learn how to redirect 404 to the homepage using .htaccess.

Follow these steps to edit or create the .htaccess file-

  1. .Since the .htaccess file is hidden and without extension. Heres how you will edit the .htaccess file using hPanel and cPanel to enable the file-

Using hPanel-

  • First enter the File menu in the dashboard. Then access the File Manager.
  • Since .htaccess file is not hidden in the hPanel, you will find a file named .htaccess after entering public_html directory.
  • Now you can access the file clicking Edit or Open or simply by right clicking.

Using cPanel

Viewing and editing the .htaccess file using cPanel is almost similar to the process followed by the hPanel users. Here you just need to enable Show Hidden Files option for viewing the file. Otherwise, you will not see it.

  • Sign in to your cPanel account first. Click the File Manager from the Files section.
  • Here after entering the public_html directory, you will see a file labelled as wp. It your wordpress folder. At first, click wp and then look for the .htaccess file there.
    • You might not find the .htaccess file instantly. If you dont, look for the Settings option on the upper right menu. Then hit the Show Hidden Files option for viewing the file.
    • Now the .htaccess file will appear on the list. You can click on the file and start editing using the Edit option.
    • When you are done editting click Save Changes and you are done.

    What will you do to create the .htaccess file?

    • If you use hPanel, you will see the New File button on the upper right on the File Manager page and for cPanel users, the New File option will be on the upper right of the screen.
    • Then enter .htaccess as the file name after entering the New File option. Then you will need to enter the following code-

    Hit the Create option to save all the changes. You can also use text editor as an alternative and upload it to the webserver using FTP client.

    Follow this step to redirect 404 to the homepage using .htaccess-

    • If you want to redirect 404 to the homepage, add the following line to your .htaccess file
    ErrorDocument 404 http://www.example.com/error.html
    • After entering the code you need to replace the www.example.com with the URL where you want to redirect the 404 page.
    • Simply click on save and you’re finished.

    I think its quite an easy process. What do you think? All you need to do is understand. I tried to explain everything starting from how to create the .htaccess file to how you will use it to redirect 404 to the homepage. I hope you understood everything. I also hope you will try it. Do let know if it worked.