Setting Up Custom Error Pages in Plesk

When it comes to managing a website, ensuring a good user experience is crucial, even when things go wrong. Custom error pages play a vital role in this, providing a user-friendly response to visitors when they encounter issues like page not found (404), forbidden access (403), or internal server errors (500). If you’re using Plesk as your web hosting control panel, setting up custom error pages can help you turn a potentially frustrating visitor experience into an opportunity for engagement and guidance. In this blog, we’ll walk through the process of setting up custom error pages in Plesk, ensuring that your website maintains professionalism and assists visitors efficiently even when things don’t go as planned.

Understanding the Importance of Custom Error Pages

Imagine this: a user clicks on a link only to be greeted by the ominous “404 Not Found” page. It’s a dead end, a digital void that leaves them disoriented and possibly drives them away from your website. Now, picture an alternative scenario: the same user encounters a custom 404 page adorned with friendly graphics and helpful navigation links, guiding them back on track. This simple tweak transforms frustration into an opportunity to engage, retaining users and fostering a positive impression of your website.

Accessing Plesk

To get started, you need to log in to your Plesk control panel. You can usually do this by typing into your browser’s address bar, where “” should be replaced with your actual domain name. Enter your username and password to access the dashboard.

Once you’re logged in, navigate to the “Websites & Domains” tab. Here, you’ll see a list of your domains. Select the domain for which you want to create custom error pages.

Setting Up Custom Error Pages

Now we’ll go over how to customize the error page.

Step 1: Find the “Custom Error Documents” Option

After selecting your domain, look for the “Hosting & DNS” link and click on it. On the following page, go to “Hosting.” Check for an option called “Custom Error Documents” or something similar. If it’s not already enabled, check the box to enable it.

Step 2: Configure Error Documents

After enabling the custom error documents, return to the “Websites & Domains” section. Click on the “Dashboard” link, and go to “Virtual Directories.” On the following page, click on the “Error Documents” link. Here, you’ll see a list of all possible HTTP error codes. You’ll want to focus on the most common ones such as:

  • 404 Not Found – Displayed when a requested page isn’t found on the server.
  • 403 Forbidden – Shown when the server refuses to fulfill a request.
  • 500 Internal Server Error – Appears when the server encounters an unexpected condition that prevents it from fulfilling a request.

Click on the error code you wish to customize. You’ll be directed to a page where you can upload your custom error page or edit the existing one.

Step 3: Create and Upload Custom Error Pages

You can create your error pages using HTML or any web technology you prefer. Make sure your error pages are helpful and guide your visitors back to a working page on your site. Include navigation links to your homepage, search feature, or popular products. Also, maintain the look and feel of your website to provide a consistent experience.

Once your pages are ready, upload them via the Plesk interface by clicking on the corresponding error code and then choosing “Browse” to select your custom error page file. Upload the file and confirm the changes.

Step 4: Test Your Error Pages

It’s essential to test your error pages to ensure they work as expected. You can do this by typing a URL that you know does not exist on your domain to check the 404 page, or by setting permissions to test the 403 page.

Conduct thorough testing across different devices and browsers. Solicit feedback from colleagues or friends to identify any potential improvements.

Why Customize Error Pages?

Custom error pages are not just about aesthetics; they are a crucial part of user experience. They can:

  • Reduce Frustration – A friendly message can help ease the frustration of hitting a dead-end.
  • Maintain Brand Presence – Keeps your branding consistent even in error scenarios.
  • Improve Navigation – Helps users find what they were looking for or discover new areas of your site.
  • SEO Benefits – Properly configured error pages can help maintain your SEO ranking by reducing bounce rates and informing search engines that the site is maintained well.


Setting up custom error pages in Plesk is a straightforward process that can significantly enhance the experience of your visitors when they encounter errors. By taking the time to create thoughtful, branded, and helpful error pages, you’re not just solving a problem — you’re extending your hospitality even in unexpected situations.

If you’re looking for a web hosting service that comes with Plesk, check here. You may also want to look at our guide to secure Plesk account if you found this post helpful.

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