Disclosure: Please note that links to merchants mentioned within this post might be using an affiliate link which means that - at zero cost to you - I might earn a commission if you buy something through that affiliate link. That said, I never recommend anything I don’t personally use and find to be a valuable asset to my business.

Creating a Custom 404 Page with Genesis – Tutorial


  1. Any other reason to change the genesis 404 page other than for design purposes?

    • Rae Hoffman says:

      Nope, not for me. The 404 isn’t indexed or anything… it’s purely for design, customization and usability purposes for me.

  2. Damian Tysdal says:

    Hi Rae,

    There is also a cool plugin that makes it easy to create a simple 404 page on Genesis sites:

    It was developed for Genesis and works very well.


  3. Any idea on a Genesis site you stop the widget area from showing up? Got everything how I want it but cannot stop an empty, widget area showing down the right hand side.

  4. Here’s another way that doesn’t require duplicating the core 404 page:

    Also, with editing the files, the _e(‘Text’, genesis) code is used for translations, so you don’t need to keep that if you’re doing some custom stuff not for distribution. (e.g. could simply be We Can’t Find That Page.

    Welcome to the Genesis family!

    • Alright, well, the HTML I included got stripped out of that last one. In the “Also, with editing” paragraph, I was just saying that in the above example re the h1 class=”entry-title”, you could just put the text in, replacing the entire block.

  5. Thanks for that, Rae. Remarkably simple once you know how. Now I can indulge my penchant for awful Led Zeppelin puns (Page not found, arf arf arf) all I like.

  6. Brad Dalton says:
  7. Marcus Tibesar says:

    I would like to use my Genesis theme’s Landing Page for my custom 404 page. Does anyone know how I would do that please?

    • Rae Hoffman says:

      Marcus – not sure what you mean by “Genesis theme’s landing page” – can you clarify?

      • I would like to know too how to use the Genesis “Landing Page” as the page template for a 404 page. Rae – I think what Marcus is saying is when you create a new page, on the right side of the page there is a drop down under Page Attributes called Template. If you drop that down you’ll see Landing Page. This is blank page with all page elements (header, sidebars, footer etc) removed.

        I’d like to use this as the basis of my 404 page and just add a header and image…

        Can you help?


  8. Your tutorial is great – very easy to follow and understand. But the page I created is not displaying a custom sidebar menu. It is showing the “Primary Sidebar Widget Area.”

    How do I make the 404 page display a custom sidebar menu?

  9. Hi there, thanks for that, what do you recommend as the best ad management plug in? Currently migrating my site from .com to .org via genesis and wordpress, the child theme we bought suggests not using an ad management plug in but I think it would be very useful,

    Thanks and kindest regards from Dubai,


  10. James Salmons says:

    Thanks so much for the tutorial. You did a great job of presenting the kind of detailed, step by step instructions that people look for. I sorted through a lot of material that I found useless before finding this (most of what I found offered help help setting design elements but never helped with changing the content on the page!) so I am really grateful for it.

  11. Joe "The Connector" Kennedy says:

    Very good instructions on how to customize the 404 page in Genesis – thank you!

  12. Sonya Lynn says:

    I’m looking to change the sidebar on the 404.php page in my Studiopress child theme. Any clue on how to do this?

  13. Sean Vandenberg says:

    Yeah, the default 404 page is kinda… not too pretty ;). Dig the pink image on your site header and buttons btw.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *