The 411 on 404 pages

The 411 on 404 pages

David Jemison

May 25, 2016
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1 min read
The 411 on 404 pages

It’s more than likely you’ve come across a 404 page before. It’s the error that springs up when a web page is unavailable – most likely for two reasons..

404-compressed
  • The page has been removed from the site and no longer exists.
  • The URL link is incorrect (e.g. www.yourwebsite.com/fghjygf)

When a page cannot be found, the site displays a 404 page instead:

apache_404_default

Image creditAs you can see from the standard 404 page, the error isn’t explained in the simplest terms, creating a confusion that will scare your visitors away. Don’t leave them feeling lost. Here’s our 4 top tips on creating a successful 404 page:

Accept and explain the error

Acknowledge the error and explain to your visitor why they’ve arrived on that page. If they know why it’s appeared, they’re less likely to disappear off your site.

Offer a next step

Give your visitor what they need to get back on track. Navigation menus, search boxes and a homepage link are key elements to helping visitors successfully navigate away from a 404 page. Also, take advantage of this situation by putting important call-to-actions on the page. Now is the perfect time to prompt visitors to do what you want them to do.

Keep the page consistent

If your visitor’s lost, don’t make them feel more so with an out-of-place webpage. Make sure it’s consistent to your branding so users know they’re still on your website.

Make it special

An interesting 404 page will grab people's attention, making them stick around for longer. You’ll seem more personal and approachable, which is great for visitors contacting you for your services.For some inspirational designs, check out our favourite 404 pages:Cooklet

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Lego

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