Importance of 404 Error Pages | Top 404 Designed Pages

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Everyone believes that mistakes can happen, particularly when dealing with technology. When pages get relocated or eradicated, users are confronted with a 404 error page. These three words can make any internet explorer unhappy.

It is very important engage the visitor when they land on a 404 error page. Make them want to try again to obtain information from your site. I am going to share with you some tips on how to make your error page more interactive.

Have an understanding of the importance of the page

It is important to figure out why you need this page to be customized in order to make it highly effective. The 404 error page should be capable of convincing the user to keep on browsing your website and not leave. Users are bound to leave and find what they are trying to find elsewhere when they’ve identified a 404 page and read the phrase ‘file not found’.

Consequently, your page has to keep their attention and at least provide them with a hyperlink back to your website or a navigation which allows them to browse the menu from the 404 page.

Accept that there has been an error

The reality that the web page is no longer there is not the user’s mistake and it may be yours. It is crucial you acknowledge this and describe why they have arrived at this web page. Many site owners even use this space to apologize, as there is absolutely nothing wrong with confessing your mistake!

Always keep the page layout related to your website

Although this is just one page it is still related to your website and the layout of the page needs to reflect that. Make sure that your logo exists and the color scheme is the same so it can be identified with your website.

Supply them with sufficient detail

By including a navigation menu, links to your site as well as a search box, you are providing the user with a solution to the problem, which is what they need to be able to move ahead.

The examples below gives users having access to the navigation as well as links to Header, suggested pages and footer links. This gives them a choice and they may not need to go anywhere else to get what they were trying to find. This example gives you the option to “Punch a moose”. Don’t do it by the way 🙂

sorry folks the park's closed

Add some emotion or feeling

Yes there has been an error, but you’ll want to include some emotion or feeling to make them chuckle!

By including something interesting you will grab their attention and they will see you have thought about the 404 error page. This will also make you seem more personable, which is always good for a user if they are contacting a company for their services. A good designed 404 error page also helps to increase your conversion rate. You can easily achieve your goal if a user lands on 404 error page.

Some of the top 404 pages examples

I am going to share with some of top 404 error pages. These pages are designed with very good user experience. I love them!


Qype came up with one pretty effective 404 page by enabling you to return home or search all the categories the site has. Additionally, they provide answers to questions you may have as well. Besides the practical use, they actually added a bit of flair by creating a very gorgeous, high quality illustration that represents their brand’s use.

qype 404 page


Here is another wonderful 404 page. The illustration is especially consistent with the visual image throughout the website. This 404 page allows you to know you’ve landed on the wrong page, but you’re still on the right site, which is very important.

bellstrike 404 page

Focus Lab:

Focus Lab’s design of the 404 page is pretty straightforward. I like this one because, again, you get to observe the 404 copy in the brand’s voice. However, this time, in place of directing the viewer to the homepage, Focus Lab guides the viewer to some of the most important pages in the web site.

focus lab 404 page


Kiss usually takes a completely different approach to the content on the 404 page. In place of pointing people to the homepage or other pages, they’re doing something different here. They ask you to submit a support ticket so they can resolve the problem. Pretty neat!

kiss 404 page


Giraffe, a restaurant chain that has an amazingly good website, has contextually customized its 404 page.

giraffe 404 page

Mic Check:

While this is simply a concept, this is indeed a very smart concept. I mean, what else do you do when you’re trying to make sure something’s right? You test it!

mic check 404page

Grain and Mortar

This is one of my favorite 404 pages. I love the feeling they create in the user’s mind that the user has done something wrong. G&M provides you with navigation to help you get to the right pages.

grain and mortar 404 page


First of all, I like Caslay slogan. Their 404 page is out of the world as they describe in page below. Caslay knows the right way how to navigate user from 404 page to other page. They do this by giving you the ‘Back at earth’ option and navigation links.

caslay 404 page

Call of Duty:

They point users to the areas of the site that they believe they belong too. Additionally, they provide the support ticket option.

call of duty 404 page

The Many of Faces

Ideas in your web design is a superb way to make it be noticeable. The Many of Faces does this perfectly well and takes it one step farther by attaching animation which makes their Leonardo DiCaprio illustration gasp in fear. They instruct to stay relaxed and not freak out.

the many of faces 404 page


Make sure you have a 404 page created just in case something goes wrong. Don’t ignore site errors. Hopefully these examples will help you create interesting 404 pages that keep your site functioning smoothly.

Which 404 page example was your favorite? What do you think makes a great 404 page?

Harris Arshad

Harris Arshad

Digital Marketing Specialist at Awkward Media
Harris works with Awkward Media, an Internet Marketing and Branding agency, based out of Toronto, Canada. He is a Digital Marketing Strategist who helps clients... Read Full Bio
Harris Arshad
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  • Travis B.

    I must say, some of those 404 pages are pretty funny, they made me laugh when I was reading this. Thanks for putting all those together! I believe it is about time to spruce up my 404 page a little.

    Thanks Harris!

    • Sahil

      Permanently redirecting the 404 pages to the most relevant page on the site is important. The user must usually land on a 404 page only when there has been a mistake from his end with the URL, otherwise in the case when a already removed previously existing page which had lot of backlinks pointing to it and the one which used to get considerable amount of referral traffic needs to be redirected to a relevant page rather than letting it result in a 404 and losing all the link equity the page had. Having well designed 404 pages will help the visitors click through to other relevant page or any other page on the site rather than bouncing out of the site.

  • Arun Singh

    Thanks Travis. Are you telling that a message followed by a passive redirect to the home page is wrong? Do you recommend an active move back to the home page clicked by the visitor himself?

    • Travis B.

      I think that giving the reader options is a good idea, that way they are in control of what they read. Sometimes sending them straight back to the home page makes it feel like they have to start over.

      • Arun Singh

        I guess now we must hear the correct answer from Harris! I was thinking that an explanation and an auto-redirect would do the trick but i admit that seeing the example with a little menu on the 404 is a superb idea!

  • Charles Crawford

    Hi Harris,

    Thank you for sharing this very interesting post. Yes, we need to make sure we have a 404 page created just in case something goes wrong. We must really not ignore site errors.


  • Fritz h.

    Very nice!! I think this is a great idea to reduce my bounce rate cause of 404 error and keep my visitors browsing my page.
    I should need to start thinking a good design for my 404 page 🙂

    Thanks Harris!


  • Shania Brendon

    I dont have a 404 error page, my industry is travel. You post made me thinking of an innovative way of having the 404 error page. Any ideas Harris or any one can give me an idea?

  • Harris Arhshad

    Thanks Shania! Yes I have seen few of travel site which have very attractive 404 page. There was a trip site when I checked 404 page for that site “A man was standing with funny smile” and text was written there.

    “That page just went on vacation”
    “Do you want to go”

    Then a search bar and few important pages links was there.. I think you can work with such kind of stuff which make people laugh..

    Thank you

    • Arun Singh

      What about a guy with 2 suitcases looking a flight board all writing Destination”404 error” ? LOL

      • Harris Arshad

        Yes.. Great Idea Arun :). I replied answer for your queston above but I don’t know why It doesn’t appear yet?