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From Aaron Markham <>
Subject Re: custom 404 and other error landing pages and server logs
Date Thu, 02 Aug 2018 23:44:18 GMT
Pedro, that would be cool.

On a related note, I've reviewed the results from the broken link checker
job and submitted a PR for 3 links out of >50 reports.
35 of these are in a "regression" category. The others are mostly
redirects, and the tool will get updated to deal with those (not report
temp moves, warn about perm moves).

Regarding the regression category, I propose that we remove this check in
favor of getting the server logs and analyzing issues from that end.

The 35 "broken links" are pages that existed at one time, but do not now.
There's no data if any site visitor even tried to hit these old pages. Yet,
this regression info comes in a report mixed with actual broken links and
make it seem like there's a problem when, well, maybe there's not. If we
had data to say, 500 users a week go to this link and we give them a 404.
Ok, that's a problem. But this regression check doesn't do that. It just
says "a link existed one day, and it isn't there now, and I (the link
checker) might be the only one in the world that cares." Also, this
regression check has no idea if users are going to a page that doesn't
exist due to a bad link in a blog or other outside resource. If we get the
server logs, we'll know what pages users are going to that aren't there. We
can make an informed decision for fixing it by redirecting it or by putting
something there and how to prioritize. Also, these 35 links just say
they're missing. Someone would have to investigate or just guess where to
redirect them, and maybe all that work doesn't even yield any benefit.

To summarize (remove the regression check, and...):
* check server logs on what pages users are getting errors on, and make
plans to fix those
* show users better error pages
* report broken links only when there's a live link on the site that yields
a true 404 (not a 301 or 303 or anything else)


On Thu, Aug 2, 2018 at 3:17 PM, Pedro Larroy <>

> Yes, we can do something fun for these errors, something maybe with a cat
> an a DL theme, or some funny style transfer stuff.
> Pedro
> On Thu, Aug 2, 2018 at 11:54 PM Aaron Markham <>
> wrote:
> > Hi everyone,
> > I would like to suggest that we adopt a custom landing page for missing
> > pages, rather than the dead-end error the website has now. Typically you
> > set this up by modifying the server config and pointing it to a custom
> > page.
> >
> > I'd like to know how we go about requesting that kind of change on the
> > Apache infra.
> >
> > Also, so that we know if people are getting 404s on certain pages, or if
> > pages are breaking and throwing 500 errors, we could look at the server
> > logs for the domain. A cron job that pushes them to s3 would work if we
> > can't get direct access.
> >
> > How do we get regular access to or a feed of these logs that are residing
> > on the web server?
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Aaron
> >

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