How To Display Random Posts on Your WordPress 404 Page To Turn Lost Visitors Into Loyal Users

Depending on the size and age of your WordPress website, there’s a good chance you have 404 pages. The question is how do you turn those pages into something useful for your users? There’s no benefit to just showing the user 404 pages, telling them the page is not found.

In this article, we will show you how to improve your 404-page in WordPress, you will learn how you can create a more useful 404 page that actually helps users. The 404 page in general is often the most neglected page on most sites.

In WordPress, the render the 404-page, it is handled by a template file called 404.php. The 404 page offered by WordPress is usually part of the theme. If you are not seeing a 404-page that is provided by the theme then your access or URL configuration is messed up.

To start improving the 404 page, the first thing we need to do is start by creating a custom 404-page template. This can be done by editing the 404.php file in your WordPress theme. If you are editing your theme directly, then we strongly recommend that you to at least back up your WordPress theme or website in general.

To make your 404 page more useful, we are going to show you how to add useful elements such as popular posts, most commented posts, recent posts, date archives, list of all categories, etc. This will allow new users to have a quick glance at what you have to offer.

Display Random Posts on 404 Page

If you want to display a random list of posts in WordPress, then you can simply add this code to your 404 template where you want to display a random list of posts from your site.

$posts = get_posts('orderby=rand&numberposts=5'); 
   foreach($posts as $post) { ?>
        <li><a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>" title="<?php the_title(); ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a>
   <?php } ?>

This same query can be modified to show the most popular posts, most commented posts among others. This article describes the process of improving the 404-page on your WordPress website to make it more useful in general.