I recently experienced a missing page error on my website.  It didn’t match the theme at all.  I was kind of disappointed, since the rest of theme had been done so nicely.  I figured, no problem, I’ll just install and activate one of them handy dandy Plugins to resolve the error and then it will display nicely within the the content window of my theme.

I’ll admit at the moment, I’m a newbie to the WordPress framework.  So, I have a little learning to do.  After doing a some googling on the subject, I discovered, that the missing file error is handled in the theme’s 404.php file.  Usually, the theme author modifies the page to be minimalistic, blend in with the theme and display a friendly message to the user.  Unfortunately, the error page in my theme must have slipped through the cracks.  It didn’t quite fit in, so I set out to create the error page that would fit my needs.

I found a great article Creating an Error 404 Page that gave some great suggestions.  I ended up copying the default page, then pasting into the 404.php file.  This got me part of the way to my pretty error page.  But, it wasn’t trapping the errors, like I had hoped it would.  This is where I ended up installing and activating the “Useful 404’s module” at http://skullbit.com/wordpress-plugin/useful-404s/

This module maps the different kind of error codes and information into relatively useful messages.  All you have to do, is paste in the code <?php useful404s(); ?> at the strategic point in the 404.phhp file to make it all happen.

This expereience has piqued my interest in what it takes to develop Wordpress themes, Widgets and Plugins.  I plan to increase my knowledge on customizing my WordPress environment.

Till next time, I’ll be learning more about WordPress