Using WordPress’s permalink feature seems to cause some issues with password protected directories that use Apache’s .htaccess to handle authentication. I recently had to troubleshoot why after installing WordPress on the root level of the domain that a password protected directory would return a 404 page instead of the typical login box.
The problem comes from the Apache rewrite engine that WordPress uses to make search engine friendly URL’s. WordPress uses a .htaccess file in the root folder of the install to take any URL and allow WordPress to process and serve the appropriate page, or error.
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One major design element often overlooked by web developers is their 404 File Not Found error page. Most our focus gets lost on CSS and XHTML validation that we often overlook what happens when something goes wrong. Even these pages should be styled with the individual touches of the website. Effective 404 error pages communicate why a particular page couldn’t be displayed and what users can do next.
Who wants their users to see the dreaded default 404 page:
Creating your own custom 404 File Not Found Page can be done in three simple steps by creating or modifying the .htaccess file of the directory and placing a 404.html file in the same directory.
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