We explain what a 404 page is and why you need a page on your website to cater for errors.
A 404 page is the page that appears when someone tries to access a website page that doesn't exist. Normally the reasons the page doesn't exist are because the page has been removed or the URL they are using is wrong, but either way there is a specific page displayed, known as a 404 page when this happens.
Unstyled, it could look like this or something similar with techy info and nothing really to explain what has happened or what to do next;
Presented with this, a visitor to a website is highly likely to give up and go elsewhere.
Customising a 404 page gives you the opportunity to continue to engage with your visitor, even if something has gone a little wrong.
Our custom error page is one of my favourite pages on our website (yes, because it has the dogs on) - it's entertaining and a little funny whilst also giving people links back to the actual content they may want.
Hopefully, you won't see it, so here it is:
Instead of a frustrated visitor, clicking away to a competitor, our visitor remains engaged with us and is signposted elsewhere.
A customised 404 isn't just to engage with visitors, it's also important for SEO. When search engines are crawling your website to log and index the content, if they reach a 404 page with no links, they stop. They have nowhere to go. It means, potentially, parts of your website could be missed by the crawler.
On the recently redesigned Email Hippo website, we also included an entertaining error page:
Creative Bloq in this article has collated a load more error pages that really work to keep the visitor engaged even when things do go wrong.
If you would like to know more about ensuring your website has a custom error page, please do not hesitate to get in touch on 01752 651414 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.