Even though most of us don’t ever want to see a 404 page, it’s smart to have one for your website. And if you need one, why not make the most of it? Here are some examples of our customers who have made their 404 pages work hard for their business.
Zaneta StyblovaMay 5, 2022
A 404 page is an important part of the website experience. It’s a page that the user finds when they accidentally click an old link or mistype a URL. But it doesn’t have to be just a simple error message and a link back to the homepage. Some companies have decided to be creative and turn their 404 pages into something more interesting, even a source of entertainment for their visitors.
We’ve collected some of our favorite error pages from Kontent customers and partners. If you’re looking for some 404 page inspiration—or just want to see what can be done—take a look at these examples!
Keep your 404 page branded and on-brand
According to Bruce Clay, “your 404 error page should make it clear that the visitor is still on your website.” Keeping the error page consistent with other pages on your site means every word and image you use accurately represents the personality and tone of your brand.
The point is that you should never design a generic 404 page. If you do, it will reflect poorly on your brand, making it seem as though you don’t care about detail or customer experience—both of which are important factors in establishing trust with customers. For example, if you’re selling luxury watches, then your 404 page should be sleek and elegant. Or maybe you’re running an e-commerce shop with animal products, so your 404 page shows an animation of a dog running around.
Instead of Oops, we can’t find what you’re looking for, The TSSA’s (Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association’s) error message says This page has gone off the rails, which is a nice reference to the industry they work in:
Built by The MTM Agency
Get creative with your 404 page
One example is what we like to call “the creative message.” It’s not just about design—it’s also about using language and tone of voice to get your point across and stand out from the crowd. This error page from Openmarkets is an example of how this can be done well: funny copy, entertaining visuals, and a clear call to action.
Built by Devotion
The creative message works particularly well on 404 pages because it gives you an opportunity to interact with visitors in a fun way that doesn’t feel like a chore. You’re not simply telling people they’ve reached a dead end; you’re entertaining them while at the same time directing them back to where they want to go next.
Keep your visitors entertained
Do you know Google Chrome’s hidden dinosaur game that you can play when your computer or phone is offline? The 404 error page also features a little “game”—running men with error messages such as Freaking out and a panic button that changes each time you click on it. This is probably one of the best 404 pages we’ve ever seen; what’s essential is that it also includes an easy way to go back to the website.
Built by BlueModus
Keep your 404 page simple
If you feel like including a game or animation would be too much, you can always just keep it simple. A message like We’re sorry, page not found! is more than enough. You can also try showing some of your most popular content on the 404 page and include links to other areas of your site that might be helpful, e.g., FAQs like England Hockey’s error page:
Built by The MTM Agency
Always provide a way to get back on track
If you have a documentation portal or hundreds of pages on your website, it’s good to include a search bar on your 404 error page so that visitors can quickly find the resource they need.
Remember, a 404 page should not be just a dead end but a way back into your site where there’s more content and information waiting for them. Always tell users what happened and provide a way for them to get back on track like this page here:
Built by BizStream
Show us your 404 pages
If you enjoyed these Page not found examples, check out other articles from this series:
If you are looking for a way to quickly create content and keep visitors on your website, feel free to schedule a 1-on-1 demo or start your 30-day trial to see how a headless CMS can help you deliver engaging digital experiences.