The Best 404 Pages We’ve Ever Seen
The dreaded 404 error page can be an annoying thing when you’re browsing the web.
You’ve spent the last 10 minutes Googling your keyword and just as the find the page you’ve been looking for… BAM 404! Or maybe you bookmarked a website months ago, telling yourself you’d come back and read it. 3 months later you go back to your bookmarks and… BAM 404!
Frustrating as it may be getting a 404-error page, some websites have creatively tuned their 404 pages into funny pictures, useful resources and even games to play!
But before we explore these amazingly creative and fun 404 pages, what exactly is one and what does it do?
What is a 404 Page?
A 404 page is simply an error message generated by a web server when a given file or link can’t be found. If a website is continually updated, then there’s a high chance that old content and web pages will be renamed or deleted at some point.
Say there is a web page with the address www.website.co.uk/about that lists everything about who your company is and what you do. After having the same web page for several years, you decide to get a new one made. On this new website, the developers decided to name the about page “about us” instead. This means the about page has a new address of www.website.co.uk/aboutus and everyone who types in the old address will find themselves getting a 404 error!
But this isn’t the only way a 404 error can occur.
If you’re not to blame and haven’t been changing any of your website, then another way an error can occur is from user error. Typos or spelling mistakes can also generate 404 pages. “aboutuss” is completely different than “aboutus” and the user will also receive a 404 error message.
Why are 404 Pages Useful?
These 404 pages might be really frustrating, but they do actually have a purpose. Their purpose is to firstly tell you the webpage cannot be found in a nice way. The default 404 error from a web server is very plain and not particularly informative. If you’re not very tech savvy, then you might have trouble understanding what it means.
A 404 page’s second purpose is to help the user try and find the page they were looking for. If that’s not possible then the page should be able to redirect you back to the homepage at least.
What Makes a Good 404 Page?
An excellent 404 page will keep you on the website as long as possible and help you find the web page you were initially looking for. A good 404 page is also unique and stands out from other website making it memorable.
With that in mind, here are the best 404 pages for your viewing pleasure.
Bluegg is an online digital agency that creates websites and graphics as well as managing content for client’s websites.
This 404 page is definitely unique and stands out from the rest of the other websites 404 pages online. Featuring a crazy screaming goat, the page offers to redirect you back to their homepage, or you can choose to listen to the goat screaming for as long as you want. This fun and wacky error page is great because not only does it grab your attention with the goat screaming, but it also gives a call to action for the user to return to their homepage.
If you didn’t know already, Airbnb is a peer to peer online marketplace that allows people to list or rent short term residential properties.
Featuring a little girl and her ice cream, this 404 page nails the main components of a good 404 page. The page also lists some useful links that visitors might find relevant to what they were originally trying to find. What makes this a great 404 page is the original animation as well as the list of links to try and keep the visitor on the website. If the 404 page was just the animation of the girl, then there would definitely be a higher bounce rate.
Magnt is an online website builder that allows users to use their tools to create beautiful, functional websites.
Their creative 404 page features a Venn diagram to help explain what exactly went wrong. It shows that the error is most likely a mixture of them breaking something or the user mistyping something. At the top of the page is a big button that directs the user back to their homepage, this is an excellent way to keep people on their website.
Below their 404 page they also list all the websites they have been mentioned on regarding their error page. We have to give it to them, it’s definitely creative and deserves a place on our list.
Blue Fountain Media is an online brand consulting agency that works with clients to help establish and grow their brands.
Some 404 pages are a lot more fun that others and this is most certainly the case with Blue Found Media’s. The 404 page features a built-in game of Pacman that users can play as soon as the website load. Go ahead, give it a try!
Below the game the page also includes several links which the user might be looking for. These include links to different sections of their website as well as their main homepage. Not only does the game keep the user on their website for a while, but it also provides helpful links that the user can use to find the web page they were looking for.
Orange Coat is an online agency that work with clients to create website prototypes, logos, and artwork.
This 404 page provides the user with a flow diagram which suggests the next best step in order to solve their problem. By following the diagram it gives the user plenty of tips and advice on how they can try and find the page they are looking for. This amount of information and help is bound to keep anyone on their website and shows that they really value visitors to their website.
If your website needs spicing up a bit with a new, creative, 404 page then we’re here to help. With years of experience working with clients from all over the world, Purplebox Digital has all the skills and knowledge to bring your website to life. Contact us for a consultation on how we can transform your existing website.