Error Pages

Because Lektor renders out static pages the question comes up what happens if a page cannot be found. This is typically achieved by a special page that a server will then use as a stand-in for a page that otherwise cannot be found.

In Lektor as a convention this page should be called 404.html. While in reality the name of this page largely depends on how you deploy your pages we are sticking with the generally accepted location of calling it 404.html. This will work on GitHub Pages and some other environments where this cannot be otherwise configured and most web servers can be configured to use this file for URLs that are not found.

In versions of Lektor before 2.0 custom 404 pages will not be honored by the development server. To test those you will need to explicitly navigate to /404.html.

URLs on 404 Pages

If you are using 404 pages then these pages can appear at any URL. This means that relative URLs will not work. If you want to use custom error pages you will have to set the url_style to absolute as otherwise URLs on an error page will not work. Just add this to your project file:

url_style = absolute

For more information about this you can read the Project File Documentation.

Creating an Error Page

You can easily add a 404 page by creating a 404.html/ file. If you do not care much about the contents and structure of the file you can just point it to an empty model (none) and manually select a 404.html template like this:

_model: none
_template: 404.html

Then just create a 404.html template with the intended contents.

Server Configuration

If you are deploying such pages to your own servers you will need to ensure that the error pages are activated. Depending on the server used this will work slightly differently.


Making custom error pages work is easiest with Apache. If .htaccess files are enabled you can just put a file with that name into your assets folder and add the following line to it:

ErrorDocument 404 /404.html

Alternatively you can add the above line into a VirtualHost or Directory section in your main config file.


For nginx you need to enable the error document in your main config file. Just add it to your server section:

error_page 404 /404.html;


If you are using lighttpd you can configure an error page for 404 this way:

server.error-handler-404 = "/404.html"