Even More Memorable Maintenance & 404 Error Pages

May
23

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Way back in 2008, I wrote an article with tips on creating memorable maintenance/error pages and examples of some awesome pages from other websites. The importance of the maintenance/error page is just as important today.

Even more important than a proper maintenance page is a proper 404 error page for visitors that land on pages of your site that have moved, don’t exist or are typoed.

Informative 404 Error Pages

What ia a “proper” 404 Error Page you may be wondering? Well, quite simply it is an error page that describes what type of error the user is experiencing (404 = Page Not Found), gives the user an option to alternate pages (usually popular content or recent posts) or a search of the site.

Here are a few awesome examples of creativity and helping users reach their destinations:

Abduzeedo 404 Error Page

Abduzeedo 404 Error Page - Humor, illustration and redirection to other pages.

A List Apart 404 Error Page

A List Apart 404 Error Page - Redirection to other pages, and explanation of the site.

WordPress.com 404 Error Page

WordPress.com 404 Error Page - Search bar, Recent Posts

Twitter 404 Error Page

Twitter 404 Error Page - Search Bar

Tumblr - 404 Error Page

Tumblr - 404 Error Page - Very simple and elegant with link to contact support.

Rue La La - 404 Error Page

Rue La La 404 Error Page - Very simple page with links provided to other parts of the site

Moo.com 404 Error Page

Moo.com 404 Error Page - Awesome page - explains what a 404 is, good use of humor and suggestions on what to do next.

Living Social 404 Error Page

Living Social 404 Error Page - Very simple page that will get you exactly where you need to be.

Livejournal 404 Error Page

Livejournal 404 Error Page - Illustration, helpful links and search option.

Groupon 404 Error Page

Groupon 404 Error Page - find the city you were searching for or contact option.

Forrst 404 Page

Forrst 404 Page - Very nice illustration, information and search option.

Dribbble 404 Error Page

Dribbble 404 Error Page - Humor related to content of the site and links back to homepage or contact option.

Deviant Art 404 Error Page

Deviant Art 404 Error Page - Illustration w/ brief explanation & link back to homepage.

CSS Tricks 404 Error Page

CSS Tricks 404 Error Page - Simple & creative.

Food Network 404 Error Page

Food Network 404 Error Page - Prominent search bar, explanation w/ humor and many additional options.

So, what should be kept in mind for making an awesome, memorable and helpful 404 error page?

  1. Explanation of where the user is, and how they got there.
  2. Suggestions of where to go next, or other content that may be relevant (recent posts or related articles).
  3. Illustrations, images or other visual goodies that engage user.
  4. Search options! I think this may one of the most important things you can include on your 404 Error Page.
  5. Humor – Acknowledge something happened that shouldn’t have and make light of it!

Do you have a favorite 404 Error Page you have come across? Share it in the comments below!

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One Response to Even More Memorable Maintenance & 404 Error Pages

  1. […] You may also be interested in an article published on 5/23/2011 - Even More Memorable Maintenance & 404 Error Pages. […]

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