Soft 404’s in WordPress Twenty Fifteen

pillow 404

Sound’s nicer than a plain old 404 but it can cause problems

In WordPress Twenty fifteen soft 404’s occur when nothing is found as the result of a search in the internal search bar. This is different to what happens if you have a typo in a URL which returns the actual 404 (not found) page as it should.

What is a “Soft 404″?

A soft 404 is what happens when a page should be an actual 404 but instead the header gives a 200 (ok) response. This shows up in your Webmaster Tools under “Crawl -> Crawl Errors”.

How do I fix it in Twenty Fifteen (or a child theme)?

It’s actually very simple. In the file content-none.php in your theme folder you will find on line 24 the following code:


Simply add in the code:


 after the if statement as shown below:


That’s it. You’re done.

Extra tip.

If you are using Yoast’s SEO plugin then all your search result pages are no-indexed by default. This is a really good thing for your sites optimisation.

About Ian Wortley

Ian is one of Irelands leading SEO consultants with over 8 years experience in the Irish market. Ian discovered his love of all things internet related in 2005 and has been living nearly exclusively online since then, causing much worry to friends and family, but getting great results for clients. Contact Ian: Phone: 01 6854806 Mobile: 086 3817149