This is an old topic that I knew I commented on a long time ago so I searched for it to reread. The comments in this post wander to many different topics.
Our website has a 404 that when someone requests a page not there, will redirect to the homepage. Although this works, I don't want duplicate content. I thought a better way would be to make 301 Moved permanently redirects for any old pages no longer there go to the homepage. On any random request for a page not there, make a custom 404 error page.
On the post from Paulhiles
Would Smart404 or a custom 404 be a better option for random requests for pages? How would the custom error page not also be duplicate content? Could you put all the buttons with links to your other pages and text as the error page? I don't want to lose visitors when they see an error page. I'd like it to blend into the site.To perform any of the functions you've quoted above, you'll need to use server side programming.
On a Windows server the most likely choice is ASP.
I posted a link to a nifty custom404 handler in the "Programming Resources" section in Web Programming.
Here's the link below: