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  Net Worth

Posted 5/15/2012
By Angie Kilbourne, AAM

ASA Web Ways

TakingTheHill.comBecome an ASA PAC Member

Help ASA ensure a strong, independent repair industry for the future. ASA’s Political Action Committee (PAC) was formed to pool resources for political purposes that benefit the association and the industry. The ASA PAC can accept donations from ASA members only on a voluntary basis and contributions must come from personal funds. To learn more, visit www.TakingTheHill.com/PAC.htm.

Web Wise: Donít Let Your 404 Page Be a Dead End

404 page
404 page
404 page
404 page

At some point in your website’s lifespan, a visitor is going to find himself or herself lost and end up with the dreaded “404: Page Not Found” message. It’s a fact of our online lives.
            But there are ways to make your 404 Web page just as useful and enjoyable as the rest of your site. We’ve provided a few examples of outstanding 404 error pages to inspire you to create your own.
            There’s plenty of advice on setting up a good 404 error page, but experts agree on these major points:
•             Customize your 404 page. Be sure to include the term “404 Page” in the content and the header to ensure anyone reaching this page registers a 404 error on your analytics report. You may also want to work with your webmaster to ensure your server is properly configured to return the appropriate 404 status code.
•             Keep the message upbeat and light. Start with a simple and somewhat apologetic tone that informs the visitor the page requested cannot be located on your site: “We’re sorry. The page you are looking for appears to be missing.”
•             Provide solutions. Include a link to important pages on your site and your contact information. In addition, set up an automatic notification of the 404 error report to be emailed to you or your webmaster weekly so you are notified of problems promptly.
•             Extend your site’s design. Ensure the page’s design reflects the overall look of your site; this reinforces the point that visitors haven’t left your site. But keep the content simple, allowing the user to easily navigate back to a standard page within your site.

Once those items are in place, watch your website analytics reports for 404 page errors and investigate the broken links and where they come from. Check for missing articles, videos or other pieces of content regularly on your site. Not only will visitors have a better experience on your site, you will also help boost your site’s search engine ranking when you eliminate broken links.

Tech Tools: Color Your Online World

Colors on the WebDesigners will tell you that color theory is somewhat of an art – one that is not easily mastered. But ColorsOnTheWeb.com helps designers and novices alike find inspiring color combinations for any number of projects and products, including your website and marketing materials. Check out the Color Wizard page, which generates matching and complementary color schemes.

Feeling brave? Then spin the Color Wheel to view some random color combinations. There’s even a Contrast Analyzer to ensure your type color doesn’t get lost into the tinted background.


 

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