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I'm not sure if wordpress 3 upgraded itself from displaying 404 pages to having a "well, this is embarrassing" text in pages that aren't there, but I would like to know whether the tutorials that say "fix your 404 pages" would fix my "well this is embarrassing" page as well.

Thanks

EDIT: Let's say it's the latest twenty-eleven theme.

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What Theme are you using? –  Chip Bennett Apr 23 '12 at 19:21
    
Let's say it's the latest twenty-eleven –  Matt Apr 23 '12 at 19:24

2 Answers 2

This all depends on your theme. Most themes includes a 404.php template to display a "well this is embarrassing" page or an index of previous posts.

For example:

They're both running the latest version of WordPress (3.3.2 as of this answer). Both sites define their own 404 behavior through a themed 404.php template.

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Default Twenty-eleven theme. –  Matt Apr 23 '12 at 19:25

If you're using Twenty Eleven, you could open 404.php - you would see this code in there: <h1 class="entry-title"><?php _e( 'This is somewhat embarrassing, isn&rsquo;t it?', 'twentyeleven' ); ?></h1>

You can modify this 404 page to show and say whatever you want - it will be loaded every time someone tries to go to a URL that WP doesn't think exists.

The long and short is, a 404 page and a 'well, this is embarrassing' page are the exact same thing - a page being served up by the 404.php template.

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A better route would be to create a custom child theme that inherits Twenty Eleven and implement a custom 404.php template there. This protects you from potential updates to Twenty Eleven overwriting your changes ... –  EAMann Apr 23 '12 at 19:54
    
This is what happens when I make assumptions - I figured OP has either duplicated the theme and is working from that or using a child theme according to best practices. Thanks for pointing this out, though - there are going to be changes to Twenty Eleven in 3.4 very soon. –  SickHippie Apr 23 '12 at 20:08

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