[wp-hackers] Should Monthly Archive Pages ever return 404?

Mike Schinkel mikeschinkel at newclarity.net
Mon Mar 9 18:38:19 GMT 2009

The problem with a "helpful 404 page" is that such a 404 page must know about all potential error states in a system to be helpful vs. allowing the pages that already know about "the error states" to take action.  It would seem to me a lot more appropriate for a page to be able to "punt" and say "Ya know, I consider this a 404" if it wants to trigger such a use case rather than having to modify the 404 for every potential error situation.  This is like having a function called "display page" with a case statement that hard-codes (i.e. doesn't delegate to any other code) what to display for each URL; it's crazy architecture.

-Mike Schinkel

----- Original Message -----
From: "Eric Marden" <wp at xentek.net>
To: wp-hackers at lists.automattic.com
Sent: Monday, March 9, 2009 2:04:22 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: Re: [wp-hackers] Should Monthly Archive Pages ever return 404?

> I've just noticed something that surprised me, that if I go to an  
> archive page for which there are no posts for a given month that I  
> get a 404 error which doesn't exactly provide a great user  
> experience for people hacking URLs.

I agree with Casey. 404 is the most semantic response. And if they are  
hacking URLs then what user experience are they expecting? Just design  
a helpful 404 and you'll go a long way to getting them where they want  
to go.

- Eric Marden

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