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How I tweaked the 404 page

404errorIt may be a dead link, or a mistyped link or deleted page, image or any other media.

But it is true that web servers of Word Wide Web are busy returning “File Not Found” messages all round. It is part of the ecosystem. You can’t wish it away. After all, it is perfectly human to err, and continue to err.

So what can’t be cured may be endured in a more elegant way.

WordPress has made the process of rendering a “404 Error” page from out of the active theme itself without the need for creating one and assigning its path on the .htaccess file. You can spot a 404.php file in (almost) all themes. They are just bare-bones page merely announcing to the wanderer that he has lost his path and an error has occurred.
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Advantages of self-hosted WordPress blog

bloggerBlogger.com owned by Google, ushered in a “push-button publishing” revolution on the World Wide Web. This web-based tool enabled just anyone with a computer and internet connection, to have his words published on the internet without any knowledge of the technologies involved. Rather, just like writing something in a word processor. You type out what pops up in your mind, add pictures, press “Publish” and Bingo! Your Blog is published.

This watershed development gave a fillip to other players too to provided a similar “hosted solution” for blogging. And WordPress.com service was born. Right now it holds the second place in this arena, next only to Blogger. As of May 2009, over 6 million blogs are hosted with WordPress.com.

But both Blogger and WordPress.com fall under a “cloud” category, wherein your blog and the engine that drives it are hosted somewhere by someone and you only use that service, within the limitations of the allowed framework. That means nothing is under your control. The service provider may whimsically throw your blog out, lock, stock and barrel if he doesn’t like your face. And you can’t change any parameter. You have to live with what the landlord permits you to use!

And between these two major players, blogger.com is better since it allows you more elbow room to modify and customize. For deeper insight into this comparison, read this analysis in Pulsed’s “Blogger vs WordPress.com comparison Chart”.

But right here I am trying to bring into focus certain salient features of a self-hosted WordPress blog as against hosted solutions like WordPress.com.

WordPressAs of now there are over 9 million self-hosted WordPress blogs/sites existing in the blogosphere. That bears testimony to the popularity of a blogging software which is totally free and easy to use and more importantly you enjoy full freedom to customize, modify and enhance its features infinitely at will in a few easy steps. That makes it unique in the blogging ecosystem!

Here is a list of features of WordPress hosted by you:

  1. Complete control over look, feel, features and tools
  2. You own your content. It is in tact with you. Nobody can usurp it from under your feet
  3. You design it (or get it designed to your taste). You are not constrained by the limited offering of your service provider.
  4. There are about 7000 plugins and 650 themes – all free – which help you in customizing and enhancing the features of your blog
  5. WordPress enables you to make a regular web site sans the bloggish feel. It also functions as a CMS without being an overkill
  6. WordPress issues out a standards-compliant code and mark up
  7. It is compatible with different types of browsers and clients like handhelds, iPhone etc
  8. It is amenable to making e-commerce web sites with all requisite toolkits. Many professional sites employ WordPress for their mission critical applications and web services. You an find a snapshot of a few in the showcase.
  9. WordPress incorporates Internationalization (i18n) and Localization (l10n) techniques thus enabling fully configured non-English international websites in almost all known languages of the world.
  10. WordPress provides enormous elbow room for freelance developers to make a living out of providing support, developing themes and plugins and customized web hosting

Please come again. I’ll try to improve this list adding elements to the list as they turn up on my mind!

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