It’s a fact that error 404 cannot be avoided altogether; there are many directions it may creep in from. For example, a user desperately looking for something specific on your site may try typing in the topic directly into the URL in the hope of finding the page, and may instead be welcomed with the ‘not found’ error. Some webmasters prefer redirecting to homepage instead of throwing up a 404, but that is likely to confuse the visitor.
The sole intention of creating a 404 error page is to tell the visitor that the page he is looking for is not found and to suggest him with some useful tips like to press the back button, to go back to the homepage, etc. Now how well you do it is a matter of creativity. Some of the 404 pages out there are so well crafted that you in fact feel nice to have stumbled upon them. Here are some of the most beautiful and well designed 404 error pages on the internet:
Oops! What are you doing here? This is probably what you will ask yourself when you reach this page. Animals are having a great time, playing cards here, and are giving a weird look to the unexpected visitor. The page humorously makes its point asking whether you took a left turn instead of right at the previous URL. It’s not just beautiful and non-boring, but it also contains almost all the elements of a good 404 page. It makes a subtle suggestion to check the spelling if you happened to reach there by typing on your own. In case you followed the site’s link and reached there, it encourages you to report the error through the contact form. And last but not the least, it gives you the option to go to the homepage and begin navigating afresh.
2. Jumping Jack Rabbit
This beautiful page has a lively rabbit that is baking some carrots in an open fire. There is also a ‘danger’ signboard that reads Monsters in Area. If you are really afraid or feel lost and don’t know where to run, the page tells you which side your home is. The page animates when you hover over. And if you like the image, it also gives you an option to download it as wallpaper for your screen. What a lovely idea to promote your brand even through a 404 page!
This site is about golf and the error page is designed accordingly. You will see people searching for a golf ball in the grass, and the seriousness with which they are doing it gives you the feel as though they have really lost the ball and are leaving no stone unturned to find it. The message is loud and clear: Sorry, we can’t seem to find the page you are looking for. To make your work easy, almost all menu items are present on the error page itself – Whether you are looking for golf balls, golf clubs, players, or the support team, you can browse it all right from there. Footer too is kept intact, thus giving you further navigation options.
4. Colour MD
Heard of sharks with laser beams attached to their head? The page you are looking for has been hit by them; it has been deleted or it just doesn’t exist – this is the theme this interesting error page is designed with. Apart from guiding you to the site’s homepage, it also links to other sister sites in order to save you from a ‘shark attack’.
5. Annual Design Awards
A clean shaved head is waiting to greet you with the 404 error message and asking you to turn around. This page too has the navigation menu and the footer intact like on any other page of the site. Additionally, it also has a subscription box to make the most out of the outgoing visitors.
When you don’t find the page you are looking for, this site throws up the usual household junk from under your couch cushions – shoes, cookies, coins, and what not. And if this is not what you’d been looking for, you can select from the menu thereunder to go to the homepage, apps page or the blog, as you wish to.
7. Blue Fountain Media
Playing Pacman game on a 404 error page is definitely something you could not have imagined even in your wildest dreams. Yes, this site really treats you with a game to kill your time, in case you reached there just wandering around without looking for anything specific. If you don’t know how to use the ‘go back’ option in your browser, you have this option readily available on the page too. Almost everything else, like some of the main menu items, email subscription box, social media profile links, Request a Quote button, etc. too are available on this page.
8. South Park Studios
A sad little kid who says he hates this 404 thing and requests to leave him alone… Yet another creative theme for a 404 error page! And if you haven’t noticed it yet, the image is clickable that will take you straight to the homepage of the site. Search box and the navigation menu are present too.
9. Jamie Huskisson
Sometimes when you are desperately looking for something and are unable to find it, you get so frustrated that you feel like banging your head off. This page lightens your heart by sharing a common feeling with you. And for the paranoids who think the page is still there but is deliberately hidden from them, there is a search box to help them out. You also have the link to the full archives page where all the blog posts are listed.
10. Visit Steve
This one is epic! Not a text message or an image but a whole video wherein the webmaster himself appears to tell you that the page is gone and you can use the search box to find it. The way the video is presented is quite funny and entertaining; you’ll love it for sure.