404 not found

Discussion in 'HTML' started by David Graham, Dec 14, 2003.

  1. David Graham

    David Graham Guest

    Hi
    I made the mistake last week of trying to impress my client (whats more - my
    only client!). I suggested that as his domain name is a bit difficult to
    type correctly, it may be a good idea to have a customised 404 page to make
    things look more professional and it could contain a link to the correct
    domain. Unfortunately, the client likes the idea and wants one. He exclaimed

    "thats bloody clever - I've no idea how they manage to do that as I don't
    own all the variations on my domain name"

    It was at that point that I started to realise, hey David, you don't
    understand this either yet your offering it as a service you can provide.
    Anyway, I'm sure a bit of googling will give me all the info I need,
    although I suspect a customised 404 will only be delivered if the user typed
    in an incorrect URL when they are already in the correct domain - don't
    know, just thinking out loud there.

    My main reason for posting was to ask for opinions on what is the best
    tactics to employ when communicating with clients. Obviously, as a web
    author you want to come over as informed and competent, but I feel I need to
    find a diplomatic way of making it clear that my present skill level does
    not do what the client would like - trouble is, if I was the client, on be
    told this I would be wondering if I should find someone else!

    David
     
    David Graham, Dec 14, 2003
    #1
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  2. David Graham wrote:
    > I made the mistake last week of trying to impress my client (whats more - my
    > only client!). I suggested that as his domain name is a bit difficult to
    > type correctly, it may be a good idea to have a customised 404 page to make
    > things look more professional and it could contain a link to the correct
    > domain. Unfortunately, the client likes the idea and wants one. He exclaimed
    >
    > "thats bloody clever - I've no idea how they manage to do that as I don't
    > own all the variations on my domain name"
    >
    > It was at that point that I started to realise, hey David, you don't
    > understand this either yet your offering it as a service you can provide.
    > Anyway, I'm sure a bit of googling will give me all the info I need,
    > although I suspect a customised 404 will only be delivered if the user typed
    > in an incorrect URL when they are already in the correct domain - don't
    > know, just thinking out loud there.


    Correct. How would DNS know what's a misspelling of what, mind reading?

    > My main reason for posting was to ask for opinions on what is the best
    > tactics to employ when communicating with clients. Obviously, as a web
    > author you want to come over as informed and competent, but I feel I need to
    > find a diplomatic way of making it clear that my present skill level does
    > not do what the client would like - trouble is, if I was the client, on be
    > told this I would be wondering if I should find someone else!


    Honesty is usually a good idea. If the client asks about something you
    don't know about, say you don't know. Maybe lie a bit, and say something
    like "I was just reading about that, but I still need to figure out a
    few more details before I'll know the answer."
     
    Leif K-Brooks, Dec 14, 2003
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. David Graham

    David Graham Guest

    "Leif K-Brooks" <> wrote in message
    news:0iWCb.899$...
    > David Graham wrote:
    > > I made the mistake last week of trying to impress my client (whats

    more - my
    > > only client!). I suggested that as his domain name is a bit difficult to
    > > type correctly, it may be a good idea to have a customised 404 page to

    make
    > > things look more professional and it could contain a link to the correct
    > > domain. Unfortunately, the client likes the idea and wants one. He

    exclaimed
    > >
    > > "thats bloody clever - I've no idea how they manage to do that as I

    don't
    > > own all the variations on my domain name"
    > >
    > > It was at that point that I started to realise, hey David, you don't
    > > understand this either yet your offering it as a service you can

    provide.
    > > Anyway, I'm sure a bit of googling will give me all the info I need,
    > > although I suspect a customised 404 will only be delivered if the user

    typed
    > > in an incorrect URL when they are already in the correct domain - don't
    > > know, just thinking out loud there.

    >
    > Correct. How would DNS know what's a misspelling of what, mind reading?
    >
    > > My main reason for posting was to ask for opinions on what is the best
    > > tactics to employ when communicating with clients. Obviously, as a web
    > > author you want to come over as informed and competent, but I feel I

    need to
    > > find a diplomatic way of making it clear that my present skill level

    does
    > > not do what the client would like - trouble is, if I was the client, on

    be
    > > told this I would be wondering if I should find someone else!

    >
    > Honesty is usually a good idea.


    Well its what we're all told as children - hope it applies in the business
    world, or is my naivety showing!

    BTW - thanks for the quick reply.
    David
     
    David Graham, Dec 14, 2003
    #3
  4. David Graham

    brucie Guest

    in post <news:EbWCb.50$>
    David Graham said:

    > My main reason for posting was to ask for opinions on what is the best
    > tactics to employ when communicating with clients.


    only promise to put your pants back on if they agree with you.

    --
    brucie
    14/December/2003 07:52:03 pm kilo
     
    brucie, Dec 14, 2003
    #4
  5. In article <EbWCb.50$>, David
    Graham says...

    > I made the mistake last week of trying to impress my client


    You only need to impress *potential* clients!

    > I suggested that as his domain name is a bit difficult to
    > type correctly, it may be a good idea to have a customised 404 page to make
    > things look more professional and it could contain a link to the correct
    > domain.


    Right, a problem there.

    A 404 error occurs if a visitor tries to access a file that isn't
    present on a particular server. For example, if you tried to access
    www.something.com/somestuff.html, and somestuff.html didn't exist, you'd
    be presented with a 404 error.

    A customised 404 page is a page specified in the .htaccess file on a
    server, to which visitors who try to access a file that doesn't exist
    are directed automatically.

    It's often considered better practice to do this than to have visitors
    presented with a standard 404 error page, giving them no indication of
    how to continue using your website.

    There is no way to have vistors who type the domain incorrectly
    redirected to your clients site, other than buying up variations of the
    domain.

    Not so long ago, Verisign provided a "service" that suggested possible
    related domains when a domain that didn't exist was entered by a user,
    but it wasn't much use and is now gone.

    Now, if a user gets your domain wrong, they'll either go to somebody
    else's website (who owns the domain they entered), be sent to the
    standard search engine used by their browser, or just receive a standard
    error message. None of this you will be in control of.

    > Unfortunately, the client likes the idea and wants one. He exclaimed
    >
    > "thats bloody clever - I've no idea how they manage to do that as I don't
    > own all the variations on my domain name"


    You've given him an idea that isn't possible, which could be tricky to
    get around.

    You could explain that he misunderstood you, and you actually meant a
    custom 404 page of the type I explained earier.

    http://www.pageresource.com/zine/custom404.htm

    > I suspect a customised 404 will only be delivered if the user typed
    > in an incorrect URL when they are already in the correct domain


    Correct. And you'll have to tell that to your client. Pretend you knew
    all along and he misunderstood.

    > My main reason for posting was to ask for opinions on what is the best
    > tactics to employ when communicating with clients.


    Talk slowly and consider using puppets.

    > Obviously, as a web author you want to come over as informed and competent,
    > but I feel I need to find a diplomatic way of making it clear that my
    > present skill level does not do what the client would like


    What the client would like isn't possible, so there's not much you can
    do. You'll need to explain what a custom 404 page really is. Apologise
    that you weren't clear before, and explain why what he wants won't work.

    Should be ok then.

    --
    Daniel Ruscoe
    http://www.dualstone.co.uk
     
    Daniel Ruscoe, Dec 14, 2003
    #5
  6. Daniel Ruscoe wrote:

    > Not so long ago, Verisign provided a "service" that suggested possible
    > related domains when a domain that didn't exist was entered by a user,
    > but it wasn't much use and is now gone.


    Not only was it "not much use", but it was considered harmful by many.

    For example, many spam filters use the DNS system to check for the
    existence of the domains specified in the envelope "From" address of any
    incoming mail. If the domain doesn't exist, they mark it as spam. Thanks
    to Verisign's little ploy, *all* domains existed, breaking the spam
    filter's functionality.

    --
    Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
    Contact Me - http://www.goddamn.co.uk/tobyink/?page=132
     
    Toby A Inkster, Dec 14, 2003
    #6
  7. David Graham

    David Graham Guest

    "Daniel Ruscoe" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In article <EbWCb.50$>, David
    > Graham says...
    >
    > > I made the mistake last week of trying to impress my client

    >
    > You only need to impress *potential* clients!
    >
    > > I suggested that as his domain name is a bit difficult to
    > > type correctly, it may be a good idea to have a customised 404 page to

    make
    > > things look more professional and it could contain a link to the correct
    > > domain.

    >
    > Right, a problem there.
    >
    > A 404 error occurs if a visitor tries to access a file that isn't
    > present on a particular server. For example, if you tried to access
    > www.something.com/somestuff.html, and somestuff.html didn't exist, you'd
    > be presented with a 404 error.
    >
    > A customised 404 page is a page specified in the .htaccess file on a
    > server, to which visitors who try to access a file that doesn't exist
    > are directed automatically.
    >
    > It's often considered better practice to do this than to have visitors
    > presented with a standard 404 error page, giving them no indication of
    > how to continue using your website.
    >
    > There is no way to have vistors who type the domain incorrectly
    > redirected to your clients site, other than buying up variations of the
    > domain.
    >
    > Not so long ago, Verisign provided a "service" that suggested possible
    > related domains when a domain that didn't exist was entered by a user,
    > but it wasn't much use and is now gone.
    >
    > Now, if a user gets your domain wrong, they'll either go to somebody
    > else's website (who owns the domain they entered), be sent to the
    > standard search engine used by their browser, or just receive a standard
    > error message. None of this you will be in control of.
    >
    > > Unfortunately, the client likes the idea and wants one. He exclaimed
    > >
    > > "thats bloody clever - I've no idea how they manage to do that as I

    don't
    > > own all the variations on my domain name"

    >
    > You've given him an idea that isn't possible, which could be tricky to
    > get around.
    >
    > You could explain that he misunderstood you, and you actually meant a
    > custom 404 page of the type I explained earier.
    >
    > http://www.pageresource.com/zine/custom404.htm
    >
    > > I suspect a customised 404 will only be delivered if the user typed
    > > in an incorrect URL when they are already in the correct domain

    >
    > Correct. And you'll have to tell that to your client. Pretend you knew
    > all along and he misunderstood.
    >
    > > My main reason for posting was to ask for opinions on what is the best
    > > tactics to employ when communicating with clients.

    >
    > Talk slowly and consider using puppets.
    >
    > > Obviously, as a web author you want to come over as informed and

    competent,
    > > but I feel I need to find a diplomatic way of making it clear that my
    > > present skill level does not do what the client would like

    >
    > What the client would like isn't possible, so there's not much you can
    > do. You'll need to explain what a custom 404 page really is. Apologise
    > that you weren't clear before, and explain why what he wants won't work.
    >
    > Should be ok then.
    >
    > --
    > Daniel Ruscoe
    > http://www.dualstone.co.uk


    I seem to have dug a hole for myself with this 404 thing. I don't think I
    can get out of this one with any grace!
    thanks for all the info
    David
     
    David Graham, Dec 14, 2003
    #7
  8. David Graham

    David Graham Guest

    "brucie" <> wrote in message
    news:brhck7$39ave$-berlin.de...
    > in post <news:EbWCb.50$>
    > David Graham said:
    >
    > > My main reason for posting was to ask for opinions on what is the best
    > > tactics to employ when communicating with clients.

    >
    > only promise to put your pants back on if they agree with you.
    >
    > --
    > brucie
    > 14/December/2003 07:52:03 pm kilo

    A useful tactic that should cover most bases - of course, I could come
    unstuck if they like me better with my pants off!!!!
    I know others have already welcomed you back from the wilderness but I would
    also like to add to the welcome backs. I have a brucie folder that was
    growing nicely and hopefully you'll continue to throw up the odd gem.

    David
     
    David Graham, Dec 14, 2003
    #8
  9. David Graham

    brucie Guest

    in post <news:tpYCb.2700$>
    David Graham said:

    > I seem to have dug a hole for myself with this 404 thing. I don't think I
    > can get out of this one with any grace!


    just point and yell "look over there" and run in the opposite direction.
    don't trip over your pants.

    --
    brucie
    14/December/2003 10:20:54 pm kilo
     
    brucie, Dec 14, 2003
    #9
  10. David Graham

    David Graham Guest

    "brucie" <> wrote in message
    news:brhkmk$3aa5b$-berlin.de...
    > in post <news:tpYCb.2700$>
    > David Graham said:
    >
    > > I seem to have dug a hole for myself with this 404 thing. I don't think

    I
    > > can get out of this one with any grace!

    >
    > just point and yell "look over there" and run in the opposite direction.
    > don't trip over your pants.
    >
    > --
    > brucie
    > 14/December/2003 10:20:54 pm kilo


    Perhaps - if the client gives me any grief over this, I could threaten to
    send this brucie guy around who never seems to have any pants on - should
    take the shine off their corporate gloss.

    David
     
    David Graham, Dec 14, 2003
    #10
  11. David Graham

    rf Guest

    "David Graham" <> wrote in message
    news:tpYCb.2700$...
    >
    > > > I made the mistake last week of trying to impress my client


    > I seem to have dug a hole for myself with this 404 thing. I don't think I
    > can get out of this one with any grace!


    Nope. You can get out of this most gracefully.

    Take the client down to the pub and over a quiet beer/chardonnay inform
    him/her quite bashfully that you were very wrong in your original statement.
    You thought you had a good idea but, after careful consideration and a vast
    amount of research (don't mention alt.html) you have seen the error of your
    ways and lets now move forward to things that we actually *can* to make this
    site wonderful.

    Up front admission of an error is acceptable and you should be rewarded with
    respect and increased trust in future dealings. You will be seen to be
    honest.

    Getting caught out in a lie will lose you that respect and word *will* get
    around. Consider, the client just may have an eidetic memory and will quote
    back to you exactly, word for word, what you said last week. I do this
    often, it's amazing how it un-nerves people.

    Cheers
    Richard.
     
    rf, Dec 14, 2003
    #11
  12. David Graham

    rf Guest

    "David Graham" <> wrote in message
    news:yTYCb.420$...
    >
    > "brucie" <> wrote in message
    > news:brhkmk$3aa5b$-berlin.de...
    > > in post <news:tpYCb.2700$>
    > > David Graham said:
    > >
    > > > I seem to have dug a hole for myself with this 404 thing. I don't

    think

    > > just point and yell "look over there" and run in the opposite direction.
    > > don't trip over your pants.


    > Perhaps - if the client gives me any grief over this, I could threaten to
    > send this brucie guy around who never seems to have any pants on - should
    > take the shine off their corporate gloss.


    Scaring your client to death is not an acceptable business practice :)

    Cheers
    Richard.
     
    rf, Dec 14, 2003
    #12
  13. David Graham

    David Graham Guest

    "rf" <> wrote in message
    news:K1ZCb.52471$...
    >
    > "David Graham" <> wrote in message
    > news:tpYCb.2700$...
    > >
    > > > > I made the mistake last week of trying to impress my client

    >
    > > I seem to have dug a hole for myself with this 404 thing. I don't think

    I
    > > can get out of this one with any grace!

    >
    > Nope. You can get out of this most gracefully.
    >
    > Take the client down to the pub and over a quiet beer/chardonnay inform
    > him/her quite bashfully that you were very wrong in your original

    statement.
    > You thought you had a good idea but, after careful consideration and a

    vast
    > amount of research (don't mention alt.html) you have seen the error of

    your
    > ways and lets now move forward to things that we actually *can* to make

    this
    > site wonderful.
    >
    > Up front admission of an error is acceptable and you should be rewarded

    with
    > respect and increased trust in future dealings. You will be seen to be
    > honest.
    >
    > Getting caught out in a lie will lose you that respect and word *will* get
    > around. Consider, the client just may have an eidetic memory and will

    quote
    > back to you exactly, word for word, what you said last week. I do this
    > often, it's amazing how it un-nerves people.
    >
    > Cheers
    > Richard.
    >

    Hi Richard
    Thanks for your thoughts on this matter. It seems to be the consensus that
    it is best to come clean over this.
    David
     
    David Graham, Dec 14, 2003
    #13
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