It’s 404 Day, Y’all! Let’s Celebrate By Exploring Everyone’s Favorite Error Message
We’ve said it in our emails. We’ve said it on social media. Heck, we’ve even said it in the Pyxl blog—there is nothing more frustrating than a broken website experience. On this day, April 4 (otherwise known as 404 Day), we are reminded of an important step you should be taking to keep your site visitors from throwing up their hands in frustration—the 404 error page.
In nerd speak, the 404 error message is a Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) standard response code that indicates the client was able to communicate with a given server, but the server could not find what was requested.
In more relatable terms, these pages act as a safeguard to catch site visitors who mistype a URL or click on a broken link/old bookmark. The natural instinct of most people (74% according to SpringTrax.com) is to close the browser tab and find the information they’re looking for elsewhere. But if done properly, 404 error pages can retain site visitors through helpful, guiding information, search features and even navigational options.
Other suggestions for making the most of your 404 page:
- Explain how / why visitors got to your 404 page
- Suggest how visitors can correct the problem (e.g., check their spelling, etc.)
- Provide contact information
- Link to your home page
- Integrate the design into the design of your site
An error page is also a great opportunity to showcase your brand’s personality. Creativity and humor can go a long way to keep frustrated customers happy.
To continue the celebration of 404 day, we compiled a list of our favorite creative 404 error pages. See below!
The best way to prevent visitors from landing on a 404 page in the first place is to constantly check for broken links. Ideally, this would happen once a month—looking for missing blogs, videos, photos and more. There are tools and agencies (wink, wink) that can do this for you. Additionally, if you launched a website without a 404 page by mistake, it’s not too late! There are also agencies (wink, wink, wink) that can help you get these set up and train you on how to track and correct 404 errors. After you review our list below, let’s chat about how we can help.
8 Favorite 404 Error Pages
Note to our readers: we encourage you to experience these 404 pages in person, some of the animations and functionality can’t be captured in a simple screen shot.
This page adheres to the clean, simplistic design of the Dropbox platform. Maintaining design aspects is essential to avoiding a jarring disruption in the user experience. If visitors are dumped into a page that looks nothing like your site, the chance of them leaving straight away drastically increases. Remember, we’re already working with 74%…
This company sells a software development platform “built for developers,” and boy do they know their target market with this 404 page. We also really dig the simple search bar and links.
This London-based digital agency is after our hearts with this animated 404 page featuring Vincent Vega. While there is no direct call-to-action, the website’s footer pushes users toward the agency’s social sites.
We love the playfulness of Lego’s 404 error page. It is simple, yet provides an easy-to-follow CTA for users to navigate to the homepage.
You can’t mistake that illuminated pink mustache for any other brand. The funky, animated question mark that becomes unhinged, a simple way to catch the user’s eye without being over-the-top. We also love the anchor link that sends users to the site’s footer navigation.
This page provides a lot of information, which might be off-putting to some users, but we think it works here. Their directional call-to-action is clear and their humor jabs a bit at visitors, but also at themselves. There’s also educational information for visitors who aren’t in a hurry.
The friendly, but elusive jungle monster won us over, but so did the search feature. Instead of assuming where visitors want to go, a search provides them with options.
7 Pyxl-Made 404 Error Pages
Updated: Apr 13, 2022