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404 error means that the file/page a user want to view cannot be found. This error is one of the most, if not the most, common errors we run into browsing the internet. Hate is or love it, this gives webmasters the opportunity to show their creative side. We all have to have a little fun sometimes right? On of the most important factors to keep in mind when designing a 404 page is to get the users attention, and help them navigate back to your website.
Many bloggers overlook their 404 page, leaving them looking unappealing and plain(we are guilty of that, working on it as you read). When this happens you should be prepared, because this might be the last time that visitor views your website. Do not let him/her leave the website without even showing them what you have to offer. The least you could do is provide a back to home button somewhere on the page. Here are some handy tips to keep at mind while designing your very own 404 page.
- Keep it simple: Don’t bombard the visitor with crazy info or anything that will scare them away. Minimalism usually works well!
- Use graphics, images, and illustrations: Be creative, funny, and friendly. Many websites take the funny approach and make their page hilarious to look at.
- Provide a search bar, and other links: Lead the user away from the page and show them your content. Be the guide, because they are lost.
- Say Sorry: It might not be your fault something went wrong, nobody is perfect. Just remember to be apologetic to show the user that you care.
- Explain why they are there: Believe it or not my mom has no ideas what a 404 page is. As shocking as that sounds you have to keep at mind that everybody on the web does not know everything you do.
We hope that the tips above will help you navigate in the right direction with your design. To help you out before you start, we collected some of the best 404 pages we could find. Let’s hope these inspire you! Oh and don’t forget to tell us in the comment section which one you like the most. I think my favorite out of all of these was the Dropbox 404 page.