Custom Error Pages in .NET MVC: Handling Errors with Style

Custom error pages are a simple yet effective way to improve the user experience of your .NET MVC application. By providing meaningful error messages, suggesting alternative actions, and maintaining a consistent brand experience, you can turn a potentially frustrating situation into a positive one.

In this blog post, we covered the steps to implement custom error pages in .NET MVC:

  1. Create the Error View.
  2. Configure the HandleErrorAttribute.
  3. Configure the Web.config file.
  4. Create Action Methods for Custom Error Pages.
  5. Customize the Error View.

By following these steps and customizing your error pages, you'll be well on your way to providing a more user-friendly and visually appealing error handling experience for your application's users.

Implementing Custom Error Pages in .NET MVC

In .NET MVC, you can customize error pages by leveraging the built-in HandleErrorAttribute class and the Web.config file. Let's take a look at the steps to implement custom error pages:

Step 1: Create the Error View

First, we need to create a view that will be displayed when an error occurs. You can create a new view called "Error.cshtml" under the "Views/Shared" folder. This view will serve as the template for all error pages.

Step 2: Configure the HandleErrorAttribute

Open the "FilterConfig.cs" file located in the "App_Start" folder of your project. Inside the RegisterGlobalFilters method, you'll find a line of code that registers the HandleErrorAttribute:

filters.Add(new HandleErrorAttribute());

To enable custom error pages, you can modify this line of code as follows:

filters.Add(new HandleErrorAttribute { View = "Error" });

This tells MVC to use the "Error" view we created earlier whenever an unhandled exception occurs.

Step 3: Configure the Web.config File

To ensure that custom error pages are displayed in production, we need to update the Web.config file. Locate the <system.web> section and add the following code:

<customErrors mode="On" defaultRedirect="~/Error">
  <error statusCode="404" redirect="~/Error/NotFound" />
  <error statusCode="500" redirect="~/Error/InternalServer" />

In this example, we've specified two custom error pages for HTTP status codes 404 (Not Found) and 500 (Internal Server Error). You can add more error pages as needed, depending on the types of errors you want to handle.

Step 4: Create Action Methods for Custom Error Pages

Next, let's create action methods in a controller to handle the custom error pages. For example, you can create an "ErrorController.cs" file and define the following action methods:

public class ErrorController : Controller
    public ActionResult NotFound()
        Response.StatusCode = 404;
        return View("Error");

    public ActionResult InternalServer()
        Response.StatusCode = 500;
        return View("Error");

Here, we set the appropriate status code for each error page and return the "Error" view.

Step 5: Customize the Error View

Finally, you can customize the "Error.cshtml" view to display helpful information to your users. You can include the error message, stack trace, and any additional details you think would be relevant. Additionally, you can style the view to match the overall design of your application.

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