We are sure that at least once in your life, you have landed on a page with a well-known 404 error; getting to this page, you probably experienced not the most pleasant emotions. After all, a meeting with this page implies unsuccessful attempts to search for something. From here, you want to leave quickly – and it’s good if you go to the home page and not back to the search. However, we can ensure that the potential buyer returns to the site even after that.

An example of our 404-page show is in the banner.

Error 404 Page by WEB4PRO

With this article, we’d like to help you find the perfect solution for creating a 404 error page and share how to optimize it, make it work, and bring aesthetic pleasure to your customers. We have also prepared several examples with 404 error pages that many of the brand’s customers have already fallen in love with and will tell you what exactly attracts people to these pages.

What Is a Custom 404 Error Page?

404 is the HTTP (Not found) status code that the server returns if the user tries to access the URL of a page that doesn’t exist:

Simply put, a 404 page is a failed attempt to open something on a website. This automatic page opens if the requested site cannot be found.

This error usually occurs when

  • changing the structure of the site;
  • broken links;
  • changing the URL of the page;
  • the page or site no longer exists.

It would be best if you worked out these reasons and replaced all broken links. When changing the structure and URLs of the site addresses, correctly configure 301 redirects to existing pages. Sometimes 404 pages also appear in everyday situations.

For example:

– The web page has been removed (in this case, the appearance of a 404 page is inevitable and logical for search robots)

– A person enters the wrong site address or follows a non-existent link (this happens if you deleted the old link, but it remained in the search index).

In such cases, a great option would be to create a template and set up a 404 server response code for non-existent pages. The main thing to keep in mind is SEO: a 404 page should return an HTTP 404 (Not Found) code and be appropriately configured so that search engines do not index it.

Firstly, such pages will be counted as duplicates. Secondly, it can negatively affect behavioral factors. After all, if a person from the search gets to a 404 page, he will be upset because he expected to see something completely different. Therefore, it will quickly leave and return to the search again.

You shouldn’t do a 301 redirect to the home page. Thus, you mislead the user: he expected to receive one page but incomprehensibly ended up on the main one. From the 404th page, there should be a link to the main one, but not a redirect.

Do I Need to Create a Custom 404 Page?

Sometimes, 404 pages are designed in a standard way and look something like this:

Standard Error 404 Page

Agree that it’s not very loyal to the user, and we are more likely to lose it if we don’t create a unique and valuable 404 error template.

Sometimes site owners are unaware of such errors. It is difficult to monitor the correctness of links on large portals with thousands of pages. Therefore, users periodically encounter the inscription “404 Page Not Found”. Sometimes the 404 page appears due to the user’s error if he manually enters or adjusts the URL. A 404 page can occur on any site and cannot be controlled entirely.

How to Make a Custom 404 Error Page?

The page should be simple and understandable for the user. Let it be creative and harmoniously continue the concept of the entire site, but do not complicate the path to the main space, for example, to the product catalog or the main page.

Tips for Creating a 404 Page:

Be Creative

To smooth out the negative impression of the user that he did not find what he was looking for, you can try to use an original and attractive design with a bit of humor. Use images that are witty and relevant to your topic. People will remember it, and they will remember your brand.

Creative Error 404 Page

At the same time, in the page’s structure, you can leave the header with the logo and the site’s footer. The main thing is not to overdo it; design the page in the same style and tone as the rest of the site.

Be Kind

Apologize to the visitor and explain in detail why he ended up on the 404 page. Tell the visitor that the page has been deleted or an error has occurred, and help return to the site’s main pages.

Kind Error 404 Page

Invite the visitor to check the accuracy of the address or provide links to topics that have been recently moved and provide links to the product or articles relevant to the search.

Make a Helpful Page, and Suggest a Solution

Don’t limit yourself to a funny picture. Help the user solve the problem; for example, offer to go to the “Home”, use the “Search Site”, or view the “Site Map”.

Helpful Error 404 Page

You should prove to the visitor that you care about him, increasing your site’s credibility. It will be good to provide links to popular materials/categories/sections of the site, hot discounts, and promotions if you have an online store. It is necessary to transfer the user’s attention to something useful for him. Offer to visit the page with promotions and special offers.

You can also offer to subscribe to updates so that the visitor follows the new materials and news of the site.

Provide Opportunities for Feedback

State your availability. Allow users to contact you and personally report a broken link/page.

Error 404 Page Feedback

Place a search bar so the site visitor can find what they are looking for—for example, a category in an online store or an article on a news portal.

Show the Visitor a Quiz or Mini-Game.

Mini-games and quizzes are a great way to keep the negative user experience to a minimum.

Place a search bar so the site visitor can find what they are looking for—for example, a category in an online store or an article on a news portal. Show the Visitor a Quiz or Mini-Game. Mini-games and quizzes are a great way to keep the negative user experience to a minimum.

How to Find 404 Error Pages?

We have selected for you a selection of various tools that are the most effective for finding 404 errors on the site.

Google Search Console

To find a list of all 404 pages, sign in to your Google Search Console account and select Diagnostics > Crawl Errors. Once you click Not Found, a list of all URLs that result in a 404 error will appear.

Google Analytics

To find a list of all 404 pages, you need to know the standard title of the 404 page on your domain. Go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages and set the primary setting to “Page Title”. From there, you will be able to filter the results by entering the title of the 404 page in the search field.

WordPress Plugin

Broken Link Checker is a free WordPress plugin that looks for broken links throughout your site and determines their status. You can also search for all missing, redirected or broken connections from one panel.

Serpstat

The tool has a wide range of possibilities. In addition to broken links, it shows the quality of domain optimization and a graph of the check depth. Allows you to analyze competitor sites.

This task can also be solved using Site Parsers. 

A Site Parser is any program or service automatically collecting information from a given resource.

How to Prevent a 404 Error From Appearing on a Website?

  • correctly form permanent URLs for pages;
  • regularly check broken links on the site – both internal and external and eliminate them;
  • do not delete old content, and if you do, put 301 redirects to alternative pages;

Custom 404 Page Examples

A well-designed and usability 404 page will help the user understand what to do next. See how the most creative companies solved this problem.

Lego

The 404 error page by Lego is entirely consistent with the brand’s concept, and the page is also fun, engaging, and easy to understand. There is no technical language or references to a “404 error” that some people may not understand. Short but humorous text and a call to action turn a user error into an opportunity to sell products and increase revenue.

Error 404 Page by Lego

Netflix

The 404 error page by Netflix shows an image from Lost in Space. Page 404 uses the metaphor of being lost in space, giving it a movie feel. The 404 page allows you to navigate to the main page and makes it easy and natural. Such solutions always encourage users to ignore the broken link and keep browsing.

Disney

The 404 error page by Disney matches the brand perfectly. Disney’s 404 page shows an image from their famous cartoon Monsters on Vacation. A hilarious picture and a cartoon joke are a great way to bring users back to the Disney universe. In addition, they have a search navigation bar that helps the audience find the section they need.

Error 404 Page by Disney

Adobe

The 404 error page by Adobe is functional and visually pleasing. The page contains a list of popular links that the user most often needs and a perfect photo that symbolizes the metaphor of a broken or lost page. This combination helps customers quickly navigate to the desired section and continue shopping.

Error 404 Page by Adobe

Yves Saint Laurent

The 404 error page by Yves Saint Laurent is entirely consistent with the site’s design; a non-intrusive call-to-action button prompts you to go to the main page. The main categories are also presented on the page to make it easier for the user to find the right page.

Error 404 Page by Yves Saint Laurent

Under Armour

The 404 error page by Under Armour is visually pleasing and matches the site’s design. The page contains a beautiful, relevant image and text, a user-friendly interface for a feedback form, and a call-to-action button at the top. Such a page will quickly redirect your customers to the right section and remove the unpleasant impression of a 404 error. In our opinion, this is an incredible 404 error page for an eCommerce business.

Error 404 Page by Under Armour

 

We have demonstrated to you a few good examples of the design of the 404 page. Someone strictly adhered to their corporate identity and made classic error pages. Others, in turn, were not afraid to take risks, joke and experiment with design. The main thing to remember is that the right design can turn an annoyed visitor into a buyer!

Error 404 Page

If you liked our tips and want to improve your 404 pages, we have found tutorials on how to create a 404 page on Laravel, create a custom 404 page on WordPress, and create a custom 404 page on Shopify. By reading these tutorials, you can answer all your questions and learn how to create a custom page on Laravel, edit 404 pages on Shopify, what templates are available for this page on WordPress, and edit error pages on WordPress. After that, you can easily win the hearts of your customers who land on the 404 error page.

Summary

Which error page to choose is up to you. But remember that you need to do more than show off your creativity and what an excellent designer you are. It is essential to take care of the user so that he has a positive impression of interacting with the site, even if he wandered into the wrong place. Follow these recommendations; you can keep visitors even where they happen to be. It is in your power to create a 404 page that will be not just a technical constant of the site but an effective tool for attracting users’ attention. If you have any questions, you can contact us at any time and our WEB4PRO team will be able to help you with any issue in the field of eCommerce.
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