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What the Heck is a 404 Page?

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to go to a specific web page, only to find that it no longer exists.

Well, I guess there are more frustrating things than that in the world, but it still can be a pain.

Unfortunately, sometimes this happens for good reason. Maybe the page was for a seasonal item, the company has changed web addresses. or maybe the person searching simply typed in the wrong address (hey, it happens). Whatever the case, it can be disheartening when your search leads you to a dead end, and even more frustrating if you don’t know why.

This is where 404 pages come in.

So what is a 404 page? All 404 pages serve as an alert to the visitor that the page they are looking for no longer exists. A good 404 page can (hopefully) redirect them to another part of your website.

Chances are, you have probably stumbled across a 404 page a time or two while perusing the web. Most are pretty basic, serving as a generic “Page Not Found” warning to the user; however, having a helpful (and creative) 404 page can be used as a great customer service tool. It can offer solutions to a viewer and get them to stay on your website, rather than immediately bailing.

404 Pages we’ve made in the past:

404 Page Not Found.png

Juvo-dino.png

We realize that not finding what you are looking for can be frustrating. On this 404 page, we tried to have a little fun while giving some direction for the viewer on how to continue their search. If we were to do anything to this, however, we would provide a few links to take the user back to the main page, or provide them with a search bar to continue looking.

Here are some of our favorite 404 Pages:

Swapbox.png

This page gets a gold star for doing so many things right here: nice, simple design; helpful, eye-catching buttons. It is just an all-around great way to help steer the visitor towards what they may be looking for.

 

pacman.png

Who cares if you didn’t find what you were looking for?! You can play Pacman! While this is pretty elaborate for, say, a pest control company or a law firm, this media company plays on its strengths as a creative agency, while also providing some options below to help the site user navigate to other pages (although, it is pretty hard to leave this one).

 

Creative, fun 404 pages are great, but we also love this simple design by Starbucks that gets to the point: helping your visitor find their page. This particular 404 gives the user answers, and helps them work from there. While we wish it could be more like other fun, colorful pages, this is the most informative - and there is a lot to be said for substance over style in this particular situation.

 

Sometimes, helping yourself isn’t the answer. Adding a support request or basic contact form to your 404 page shows your visitor that you care about their experience on your site and you want to help. Accidents happen, and sometimes it takes a user to find those mistakes.

 

404 Lionel Richie.png

It’s a Lionel Richie 404 page. It’s hilarious, and that is all the reason I need to put it on here. Done. Dusted. Dismissed.

But seriously, this is a fun one. And it provides the user with some options as to where to go, rather than just say “welp, can’t find it.” And we appreciate that.

So, what’s the best 404 page you have seen? If you still have questions about these sorts of pages, or websites in general, let us know. We will be glad to help!

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