A nice and commonly used feature in SXA is the "not found" functionality. Sadly here is no from A-Z documentation and SXA defaults collide a bit with Sitecore defaults. So let's walk through setting up a Not Found Page as intended by general requirements.
1. Create a Page Template (otpional but better authoring UX)
2. Create a page
3. Configure page to be the not found page
4. Configure sitecore to use server side redirects
You have sitecore installed with SXA Module
You have a tenant and a site created
Make sure that you have installed the out of the box "Error Handling" Module to your tenant. This one makes sure to see Error Handling fields on your settings item. In Appendix at the bottom you can find a detailed description how to check it.
Actually you can make any page your Error Page but it could be benefitial to create your own page template for Error pages:
1. Navigate to: /sitecore/templates/Project/[YourTenantFolder]/[YourTenant]
2. Duplicate Page Template and call it "Error Pages"
3. Set Icon of the template
4. In Standard Values set "Change frequency" of Sitemap Settings to "do not include" to have error pages removed from sitemap.xml
5. As Error pages are not supposed to be in any of your Navigations you can check Navigation filters on standard values.
Create a page using either the general page template or the "error page" template created in step 1
Add the content that you require to tell your visitors that the page they have searched for is not existend (anymore).
Navigate to: sitecore/content/[your_tenant]/[your_site]/Settings
Find the field "Page Not Found Link"
Note: Make sure that you have installed the out of the box "Error Handling" Module to your tenant. This one makes sure to see Error Handling fields on your settings item. In Appendix at the bottom you can find a detailed description how to check it.
Select the page created in step 2
Now when you leave it until here, the configured page is shown in case the url cannot be resolved to an actual page. But when you take a closer look to the network activities you can see that there is a 302 redirect to the 404 page. And the Not Found page is returned with a http statuts code 200. This can lead to SEO penalties.
Sadly a configuration in sitecore.config is not set fitting to that purpose as default.
You need to set the RequestErrors.UseServerSideRedirect to true (sitecore default is false)
1. ideally you create a patch file e.g. here: C:\inetpub\wwwroot\[your_instance]\App_Config\Include\z.Feature.Overrides
2. name the file e.g.: z.Sandbox.NotFound.config
3. Put in the following content:
<configuration xmlns:patch="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/" xmlns:set="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/set/">
<setting name="RequestErrors.UseServerSideRedirect" set:value="true"/>
4. When saving the file, your application will restart.
5. To test if config has been overwritten correctly call showconfig.aspx on your sitecore instance https://your-sitecore-instance/sitecore/admin/showconfig.aspx
Search for the config name "RequestErrors.UseServerSideRedirect"
1. Open Browser and it's developer Tools
2. Select the Network Tab of Developer Tools
3. Request a path under your Hostname that does not belong to a page e.g. https://yoursite.local/abc
You should see your 404 Page and in Network Tab of Developer Tools you'll see that it's deliverd with http response code 404
To check if the Error Handling Module that is shipped with SXA is installed to your tenant you can check it in 2 ways:
1. Go to Settings Item of your site
2. Scroll down to "Error Handling" Section
3. If section is there, everything is good. If not, read further ;-)
1. Navigate to your tenant
2. Check the "Modules" field and see if Module "Error Handling Tenant Setup" is in the List. if not continue reading ;-)
1. Navigate to your tenant item
2. do a right Mouseclick
3. Select "Scripts --> Add Tenant Module" from context menu
4. Select "Error Handling" Module from checklist and Click OK button. Module will get installed.
To test if installation was successful check the Settings item again for the "Error Handling" section
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