404 handling, forum url rewrite

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12/15/2008 7:19:50 AM
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Re: 404 handling, forum url rewrite

The 2.2.8.0 release is now available.

Best,

Joe

7/10/2009 2:00:18 PM
Nux
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Re: 404 handling, forum url rewrite

Hi Joe,

long time we spoke about this item, but I have a new question: is there a reason why the user gets the site in "non logged in" mode, and not in the mode the user is in on the pagenotfound.aspx? This is confusing for the user I guess. One time you are logged in, suddenly, you are not (while the user is still logged in) and you see a lot less because of the not logged in mode if you have pages for certain members.

I guess there is a reason, but I would like to hear it .

Stef

7/11/2009 8:35:11 AM
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Re: 404 handling, forum url rewrite

Hi Stef,

I see what you mean, I had not noticed it. So basically what happens is to have a friendly 404 we can't redirect to a a page, because we still want the response code to be 404 and we don't want a different url. So what we do is make a server side web request to get the contents of the PageNotFound.aspx page and we render it into the reponse and set the 404 status code. So this server side request is not made by the user so its not an authenticated request.

I think the best solution I can come up with is for me to add some code into the PageNotFound.aspx that will hide the login and register links completely on that page.

Best,

Joe

7/13/2009 5:55:29 AM
Nux
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Re: 404 handling, forum url rewrite

Hey Joe,

that server request, is it a server.transfer? Or something else? Cause, I can not find it now, but I thought you could do a request on the server with the correct user. I have to search for it. It is also strange that when you go to the pagenotfound.aspx, you get the correct menu/layout. It is just when this page is rendered when you have the wrong page, that it's not correct.

Never heard of what I'm talking about, authenticated server side request?
Cause if you can avoid hiding links, I would do that. I hate it when suddenly things are hidden. But that is just me .

Stef

7/13/2009 7:50:07 AM
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Re: 404 handling, forum url rewrite

Hi Stef,

Its a server side web request to retrieve the content of the custom 404, there is no server.transfer nor response.redirect involved. I certainly am not aware of an easy way to impersonate the user because its based on cookies so the server side request we make is not going to have the user's authentication cookies.

Generally I think the perception problems you are talking about are because our custom 404 looks too much like a normal page, many sites solve this by having minimal content and links on the page to make it more clear that its an error page (albeit a friendly one) and I think this would clear up any ambiguity of perception probably better than trying to adapt it so it keeps the user context. Whereas right now the page looks so normal that it is perceived like any normal page rather than as an error page.

When I look at these examples of custom 404 pages I only see a few where they show a menu at all, most of them go for a very clean friendly error page without menus or other things that make it seem like a normal page in the site

I generally prefer simple solutions to complex ones. I can easily make the error page not select/highlight a page in the menu and I can easily remove things that lead to confusion but I do not want to add a lot of complexity to make it seem like no error has happened. A 404 is an error and perhaps the issue is that we've gone too far in making it look like a normal page, but since its not quite all the way normal its more confusing.

Its currently possible to use a custom 404 other than the one we include. The config setting <add key="Custom404Page" value="/PageNotFound.aspx" /> allows you to define your own custom 404 page.

Best,

Joe

7/13/2009 1:37:10 PM
Nux
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Re: 404 handling, forum url rewrite

Generally I think the perception problems you are talking about are because our custom 404 looks too much like a normal page...

Well, I do like that, but indeed, it must be very clear to the visitor that this is a 404 error page. And to me (and to others, cause I saw some one going to my site and linking to a wrong page and it was clear to him) this is a good solution, specially with the option to use the google tool. And you still have the opportunity to create your own custom 404 page.

I generally prefer simple solutions to complex ones. I can easily make the error page not select/highlight a page in the menu and I can easily remove things that lead to confusion but I do not want to add a lot of complexity to make it seem like no error has happened.

Joe, what I suggest:

  • hide the menu
  • create a link on the word "Site map" in the text that becomes visible (We're sorry but we could not find the page you are looking for. Please try the Site Map)
  • and optional: hide the link(s) you were talking about (sign in, ...)

I guess that is visually better and not that much work, not?
Again, that is my suggestion and I guess this situation (authenticated vs non authenticated menu) is more an exception than the rule.

So it's up to you .

Stef

 

7/13/2009 2:11:01 PM
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Re: 404 handling, forum url rewrite

Yes, these suggestions are exactly the happy medium easy to implement kind of solution I was thinking of, I will do these things.

Best,

Joe 

7/13/2009 2:23:11 PM
Nux
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Re: 404 handling, forum url rewrite

Thanks Joe

11/19/2009 12:01:19 PM
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Re: 404 handling, forum url rewrite

Hate to bring up an old post, but my question is pretty relevant to this thread:

I have a different opinion on this along with some clients who would like it if the main navigation does appear on the 404 page. The thinking is that if a user is on a 404 page they can easily choose from the main nav to go somewhere else. I think the red message is clear enough (for me anyway).

Is there a setting somewhere that can be changed to show the main nav on the 404 error page? Personally I'd like the masterpage to display the same on a regular page as it does on the 404 page. The logged in issue isn't that important, I'm mostly considering usibility for the end user when they land on that 404 page. I want them to choose elsewhere to go in my site and not hit the back button to go back to a Google search result list for example.

Thanks!!

11/19/2009 12:11:47 PM
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Re: 404 handling, forum url rewrite

Hi Eric,

You can disable the google help and it is possible to use a custom 404 other than the one we include so you can do whatever you like with it. 

 

<add key="Custom404Page" value="/PageNotFound.aspx" />
    <add key="EnableGoogle404Enhancement" value="true" />

<add key="Custom404Page" value="/PageNotFound.aspx" />    
<add key="EnableGoogle404Enhancement" value="true" />

I will add an additional setting for the next release:

<add key="SuppressMenuOnBuiltIn404Page" value="true" />

Off course if you use a custom 404 page then the other settings don't apply because I have no control over a custom page.

Best,

Joe

 

 

11/19/2009 12:43:17 PM
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Re: 404 handling, forum url rewrite

Perfect, this would be excellent!
<add key="SuppressMenuOnBuiltIn404Page" value="true" />

This CMS is awesome, I tell everyone about it and how fluid and on top of things the developer of it is!

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