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Change the default Joomla Error template

What?
This is a quick article on what I change the error page for Joomla websites to. I like a clean error page, for a demo visit http://www.joellipman.com/elephants.
  • Applies to Joomla 1.6.x, 1.7.x, 2.5.x

How?
  1. Backup the file \templates\system\error.php
  2. Create a replacement file called error.php including the below code
  3. Change the message "The Page you are looking for..." to what you want.
  4. Change the link "www.joellipman.com" to the "www.yoursitename.com".
  5. [Optional] If you want the image that creates the shadow you can download it here. I put it in the folder \templates\system\images.

  1.  <?php 
  2.  /** 
  3.   * @package     Joomla 2.5.x - Clean Error Page 
  4.   * @copyright   Copyright (C) 2013 Joel Lipman .Com. All rights reserved. 
  5.   * @license     GNU General Public License version 2 or later; see LICENSE.txt 
  6.   */ 
  7.   
  8.  defined('_JEXEC') or die; 
  9.  if (!isset($this->error)) { 
  10.          $this->error = JError::raiseWarning(404, JText::_('JERROR_ALERTNOAUTHOR')); 
  11.          $this->debug = false; 
  12.  } 
  13.  //get language and direction 
  14.  $doc = JFactory::getDocument(); 
  15.  $this->language = $doc->language; 
  16.  $this->direction = $doc->direction; 
  17.  ?> 
  18.  <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> 
  19.  <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="<?php echo $this->language; ?>" lang="<?php echo $this->language; ?>" dir="<?php echo $this->direction; ?>"> 
  20.  <head> 
  21.          <title><?php echo $this->error->getCode(); ?> - <?php echo $this->title; ?></title> 
  22.          <style> 
  23.                  .error > span {position:relative;} 
  24.                  .error > span:before {content:"";position:absolute;top:70%;left:-30px;right:-30px;height:80px;background:url(/templates/system/images/error_shadow.png) no-repeat;background-size:100% 100%;} 
  25.                  .error {text-shadow:0 -1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.9), 0 1px 0 rgba(255,255,255,0.7);font-size:200px;font-weight:700;position:relative;top:50px;} 
  26.                  h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6 {color:#505050;font-weight:400;} 
  27.                  h1 {line-height:36px;font-size:2em;font-weight:700;} 
  28.                  .center {text-align:center;} 
  29.                  body {font:normal 14px/20px Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;color:#777;} 
  30.                  .title {margin:20px 0 0;} 
  31.                  h2 {font-size:24px;line-height:24px;} 
  32.                  .message {width:400px;margin:20px auto 0;text-align:justify;} 
  33.          </style> 
  34.  </head> 
  35.  <body> 
  36.          <div class="center"> 
  37.   
  38.                  <h1 class="error"> 
  39.                          <span> 
  40.                                  <?php echo $this->error->getCode(); ?> 
  41.                          </span> 
  42.                  </h1> 
  43.                  <h2 class="title"><?php echo $this->error->getMessage(); ?></h2> 
  44.                  <p class="message">The Page you are looking for no longer exists or another error occurred. <a href="javascript:history.go(-1)">Go back</a>, or head over to <a href="http://www.joellipman.com/">Joel Lipman .Com</a> to choose a new direction.</p> 
  45.   
  46.          </div> 
  47.  </body> 
  48.  </html> 

Additional
IMPORTANT: After each update of the Joomla CMS, check that this file has not been overwritten as the Joomla update patches often reset this file.

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