For crying out loud, make your 404 error page interesting!

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For crying out loud, make your 404 error page interesting!Eagerly clicking on a link only to see the dreaded “Error 404 – Not Found” is incredibly frustrating. Talk about anticlimactic! So why not seize the opportunity to delight your readers with some interesting content?

Some companies have transformed 404 error message into a delightful display of creative nonsense. They use this typically frustrating experience to keep readers interested and in some cases, move them quickly back into the main content of the site. Below are some examples of successful 404 error pages.

 

1. Web design and development firm Astueto made this great play on a classic line that has defined SpaghettiOs for decades.

spaghettiOs 404 error message

 

2. Though Blippy is no longer operating, it’s hard to ignore a skater bro in a unicorn suit.

skater kid in a unicorn suit 404 message

 

3. No error page post would be complete without Twitter’s “over capacity” error message.

twitter over capacity error message

 

4. TapTapTap always has a different picture. Something about a kid with a suction dart on his forehead pulls at my heart strings.

404 message of kid with dart stuck to forehead

 

5. Mashable did a post on this topic themselves, but were apparently too modest to include their own wonderful 404 error page.

mashable big toe sticking out of sock 404 error message

 

6. Clearly Fast Company doesn’t want to interrupt their readers’ exploration too much, so they provide a message at the top and a selection of interesting articles in the body.

fast company keep it moving 404 error page

 

7. Last but not least 501st Legion, a company dedicated to promoting interest in Star Wars and “facilitating the use of Star Wars costumes”, uses one of their own to inform people of their intergalactic plight.

star wars 404 error page

 

I hope you see how a 404 error page can be transformed from an annoyance to sheer delight for your readers. Start thinking about how you can create a 404 error page that keeps them engaged and moves them back into the main content of your site. This bit of research inspired me to create a page of my own. You can check it out here: www.mkent52.com/whencatsfly

Do you have an interesting 404 error page? Share a url below where we can find it.

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