The Ultimate Guide to Creating Effective 404 Pages: Do’s and Don’ts

SEO, Web Design | 0 comments

What even is a 404 page?

A 404 page is an error page that appears when a user tries to access a web page that doesn’t exist on a website. It’s called a 404 error because that’s the HTTP status code that the web server sends back to your browser indicating that the requested page was not found on the server.

So, what makes a good 404 page?

A good 404 page should include a clear message that explains what happened and why the user is seeing this error message. It should also provide links to other pages on your website, so users can continue browsing your site.

Here are some things you should include on your 404 page:

  • A clear message that explains what happened and why the user is seeing this error message.
  • A search bar or a list of popular pages on your website.
  • Links to your homepage, contact page, and other important pages on your website.
  • A link to your sitemap, which can help users find what they’re looking for.

Are there things I shouldn’t include on a 404 page?

Here are some things you should avoid doing on your 404 page:

  • Don’t use technical jargon or language that users won’t understand.
  • Don’t blame the user for the error or make them feel bad about it.
  • Don’t use a generic error message like “404 Error – Page Not Found” without any explanation or guidance.

What websites can I use for inspiration when making my own 404 page?

Here are some examples of good 404 pages:

  • Disney: This 404 page is an extremely creative animated 404 page featuring Wreck-It-Ralph.
  • Imgur:With a witty little message to let you know your Princess is in another castle “We searched high and low, but we couldn’t find the page you’re looking for. It may have been moved or deleted, or may never have existed at all.” It also includes additional posts that may keep you interested in exploring.
  • Apple: Simple, clean, and has a search bar to keep looking.

Keep these examples of good 404 pages in mind. The idea is to have a helpful, informative, and engaging page to help your users surf your content. 

404 pages are important for SEO because they help search engines understand how your website is structured and which pages are important. If you have broken links or missing pages on your website, it can negatively impact your SEO rankings. 

By creating a custom 404 page, you can help users find what they’re looking for and keep them engaged with your website. Lancing Light LLC can help develop a custom 404 page that will be helpful, informative, and engaging for users.


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