Solved: Suggestions for content

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namenotfound

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Joined
Apr 30, 2005
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3,012
I'm creating custom error pages for my site and I'd like some suggestions as to what to say for each of the following:

400 - Bad request
401 - Authorization Required
403 - Forbidden
404 - Wrong Page
500 - Internal Server Error

Any suggestions?

So far I have things like this:
"you're forbidden"
"there is an error on the server"
"you misspelled the page"
etc.
but I'd like a more professional way to writing these.

I have the pages already done, layout wise. To fit with the rest of the website. I just need the actual text to go in the body.
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2006
Messages
38
Hi,

All you need to do is just write a little about what each error means for the user. Then, write what can be done about it. For example:

"404 - Page Not Found

We're sorry! It looks like we've some how sent you to a page that does not exist on our website! Here are some possible reasons why you are seeing this page:
1. The link that you were given was incorrect.
2. If you typed the link yourself, you may have made a spelling error or forgot to capitalize a letter.
3. We have moved the page to another part of the site.
4. The page never existed and was incorrectly linked to.

Here are some suggestions on how to get back to where you are trying to go:
1. If you clicked on a link, go back to that page and try again.
2. If you typed the link directly, make sure you typed everything exactly as it should be.
3. If you still get to this page and you think it is wrong, please contact us!
4. If all else fails, try using our site search or our site map to guide you to where you need to go.

We're sorry that this error occurred and hope that you we will be able to get you where you need to be."

That's what I did for my sites for the errors you have listed. The most common will be 401, 403, 404 and 500. Just try to make it sound like it was not their fault that the error occurred. With forbidden, you may want to replace it with "This Page Blocked" or something less "in your face." I had one teacher I work with flip on one of my students because she thought he was trying to access porn or something due to a forbidden page.

I hope that helps. I think you should be able to write up the content on your own. I gave one example for you.
 

namenotfound

Thread Starter
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
3,012
Thanks, I used what you wrote for 404.

For 403 I put
The page or directory you are trying to view had been blocked from public view.
and for 500 I put
There is an error on the server that is preventing the page you're trying to view from loading.
Please try again later to see if the problem has been fixed.
But I'm still stuck as what to write for 401 and 400
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2006
Messages
38
401 should be an easy one. Using the "template" for 404, you could easily just change it around saying that the user is not authorized to view the page, why they are not and what they can do about it.

For the 400 error, you'll just have to explain to the user that their request was bad and that should reload or try again. If they keep getting the message, they should try back in a few minutes, restart their browser, etc.

Remember, keep the computer user in mind! I cannot tell you what happened when I got an "Illegal Error" the first time I ever saw Windows 95, scared me like nothing else. If Windows had just said, "An illegal error is one in which the program you are running tried to divide by zero (or something)" I would have been fine. So, make you explanations simple, provide possible solutions and contact information.

Also, I hope you do have a site map/site search. Those are very handy for people who don't know where to go on your site! By the way, if you want, PM me the link to your site, I'd like to check it out!
 

namenotfound

Thread Starter
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
3,012
Thanks, yeah I have a sitemap and a google search box on my site.
I'll PM you a link to it, maybe you can also review my error pages.
 
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