Error Handling

Campus Suite is engineered to go through a process of elimination before throwing the standard 404 (file not found) error. Specifically, if a file is not found, the Campus Suite will first look to see if there have been any 301 redirects specified in the redirect manager. If no 301 redirects are found, then a custom 404 error template is shown. This template retains your logo and top navigation links so that people do not have to hit their back button, but simply continue navigating the site.

301 Redirects

301 Redirects are little pieces of magic! To the user, it simply redirects them to the new page and prevents an error from being thrown. Example, say a user bookmarked a page on your web site, but you've since needed to change the URL of that page, or perhaps you needed to rename the page itself. By adding a 301 redirect saying that this OLD page has moved, and here is the link to the NEW page, you keep an error from being shown. To an internet search bot, whose job is to index pages on the internet and report them back to the search engine for indexing, it formally tells the bot that the page or URL has moved and it provides the new URL. By having this set up, over time, the search engines are cleansed, removing the old URL/page, and adding the new one. This is how you get those pesky broken links removed from the search engines.

The 404 File not found template

When ultimately, a page cannot be found, and there is no redirect set up, instead of a useless message telling the user the page was not found, the 404 error page in Campus Suite provides a number of things to the user. It suggests likely reasons the error occurred and provides a list of things to check. It also provides them the ability to report the bad link by just clicking a button, automatically sending the system administrator an email that provides enough information to find and remedy that broken link on the site.

In the screenshot below, we show a typical Campus Suite 404 "page not found" screen. Notice the "Report Broken Link" button a visitor can press.

Broken Link Email

If a broken link is reported, then the admin of the site will receive an email that looks like the following:

View a video on 404 Error Reports

This email simply tries to keep the administrator of the website apprised on any broken links on the site. In the particular error email above, there is no "Referrer Document" shown... this is typically because a user typed in a bad URL, or had an old bookmark (i.e. there is no referring page on the internet that linked to it). However, in many cases, thee is a "Referrer Document" and that is an actual webpage that had the link on it. This page may be on your website, or on another outside website beyond your control. The administrator should first attempt go back to that web page and fix, or remove the link. If that is not possible, then use the Campus Suite redirect manager to add a redirect, making it so that if this URL is used again, it will be redirected to the correct resource.