ErrorDocument "error" on new server

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David Gibson
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Joined: Thu 16 Mar 2006 23:45

ErrorDocument "error" on new server

Post by David Gibson » Sat 28 Feb 2009 12:16

It seems that the new server has been configured to require customers to provide their own error documents (that is, the pages that are displayed when the server encounters an error). If users do not do this then a server error will cause the server to display an error message saying that it cannot find the error message it needs to display :-)

for example: http://hidden-earth.org.uk/this-file-do ... exist.html results in the server supplying a 404 'not found' message, as it should, but it also includes the line...

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

This is because the server has been told to look for the document hidden-earth.org.uk/404.shtml which, of course, does not exist.

SOLUTIONS

1) Ignore. Who is going to notice? Apart from me. Especially since, if the error document is small, MSIE tends to ignore it anyway, substituting its own "friendly" message instead. See http://support.microsoft.com/default.as ... us;Q294807

2) Add your own error-handling pages, either "manually" or using the "wizard" you will find by clicking the icon near the bottom of your control panel.

3) Add directives in a .htaccess file to stop the server looking for these non-existent pages. You could try

ErrorDocument 401 default
ErrorDocument 403 default
ErrorDocument 404 default
ErrorDocument 500 default


which overs the most likely errors. I do not know enough about Apache to know if there's a more universal server directive that can be used

David Cooke
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Joined: Thu 29 Dec 2005 23:22
Location: Axbridge, Somerset, UK

Post by David Cooke » Sun 01 Mar 2009 10:59

Option 2 should be favourite since it allows for a consistent look and feel to your site.

I need to do this for my sites. When I do I'll post the results if it will help others.

Option 3 is very handy for a quick fix.

Note Option 1 will only help IE users, not FireFoxers etc.
Dave Cooke
BCA IT Working Party, BCA Web Services, National Cave Registry Co-ordinator, CSCC Webmaster

User avatar
David Gibson
Posts: 526
Joined: Thu 16 Mar 2006 23:45

Post by David Gibson » Sun 01 Mar 2009 12:23

David Cooke wrote:Option 2 should be favourite since it allows for a consistent look and feel to your site.

I need to do this for my sites. When I do I'll post the results if it will help others.
What would be useful (I could do it myself but Im lazy) would be a list of which errors need to be supported. There are over 50 error codes but not all (e.g. 302) result in an error document. My guess above, was the four that seemed most obviously to require an error document.
Note Option 1 will only help IE users, not FireFoxers etc.
What I was really saying was that people might not read the message closely enough anyway, to realise it was really two errors, and if they did ... does it matter.

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