Bluehost Web Hosting Help

Error Pages

Summary

Whenever there is a problem accessing your website, your visitors will receive an error message. Each message has its own page and code specific to the problem encountered. Although the web server automatically provides basic error pages, with the Error Pages tool in the cPanel, you can create custom error pages to display when a user enters a wrong URL, an outdated URL or when the user is not authorized to access a specific directory of your web space.



Note: If you already have error pages created, it is not necessary to follow this tutorial. You may instead add the following to your .htaccess file:
        ErrorDocument error-number /Your-Error-file.html
        
where error-number is the error code used by apache. For example, to use the file "notfound.html" as a 404 error page:
        ErrorDocument 404 /notfound.html
        

Customizing Your Error Pages

  1. Log in to your Bluehost cPanel account.
  2. In the cPanel scroll to the Advanced menu, click on the Error pages icon; this will take you to the Error pages menu.
  3. Below "Step 1," select the domain for the customize error pages.
  4. Below "Step 2," click on the error page number (400, 401, 403, 404, 500) or the error page name (Bad request, Authorization required, etc.) you would like to customize. (There are many error pages which may be defined. Click on the "Show All HTTP Error Status Codes" tab to view all error pages.)
  5. When the selected Error Page loads, the following six tags are available:
  • Referring URL - Displays the URL of the website the visitor was previously viewing.
  • Visitor's IP Address - Displays the IP address of the visitor viewing the error page.

  • Requested URL - Displays the intended URL the visitor is trying to view.

  • Server name - Displays the website's server name.

  • Visitor's browser - Displays the visitor's browser type such as IE, FireFox, etc.

  • Redirect Status Code - Displays the type of code in the 300-307 range.

Note: You do not have to use any of the above tags. They are available to you based on your own personal preferences and needs specific to your web site.

You can place any html code or text in the error page specific to your own personal preferences and needs specific to your web site.

When you save your page, the file name will default to the error number you selected with the addition of a .shtml extension. For example, if you chose 400, your file would appear as "400.shtml." You can modify this name to the code you want. Only modify this to an error that you know will be shown on your web site.

  • After you save your error page:
    • Click the Go Back button to return to the Error pages menu to edit a different Error Page or
    • Click the Home icon in the upper left hand corner to return to the cPanel main menu.

Tip: You can find what error codes are being shown to your visitors by viewing any of the available website statistical analysis programs built in to cPanel such as Awstats, Webalizer, etc.

Common Problems

  • If you are still seeing the Bluehost default error pages, try refreshing your browser (ctrl + F5).
  • If you still see the Bluehost default pages, add the following code to your .htaccess file in the public_html directory:
ErrorDocument 403 /403.shtml
ErrorDocument 404 /404.shtml
ErrorDocument 500 /500.shtml
  • You can even use existing pages as the resulting page. For instance, if you don't want any visitors seeing 404 errors on your site, you can make your home page the result like so:
ErrorDocument 404 /index.html
  • If Internet Explorer is not displaying the custom error page, it is likely because the error page must be larger than 1 kilobyte.
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