Essential elements of a successful 404 error page
You may have come across an error 404 quite a few times while browsing. Broken links are common, it happens to all of us.
It’s an error page, but it’s still a page on your website, so it needs to look like it belongs there.
In this blog, we will talk about what a 404 error page is, why it is important and what components make up a great error page. So make sure you hang on till the very end to have it all clear for yourself :)
Let’s start with WHAT an error page is.
The error page is the page the visitor gets directed to when the link to the page they initially wanted to open is broken.
So when they’re trying to open a webpage that cannot be found, 404 is what they see instead. The page may or may not clearly say “error 404”. Error codes like “errr, this page unavailable”, “this page does not exist”, “page cannot be found”. These indicate you’re on an error page.
404 pages are very IMPORTANT.
They contribute to a good user experience. This is because whenever your website link is broken, they’re redirected to a custom 404 page.
No matter how foolproof your website is, there’s always a possibility for it to crash because of poor internet connection, broken URLs, incorrect URLs and many more.
Some business owners prefer redirecting visitors to their homepage, instead of the error page displaying- there is no hard and fast rule. But, I always feel that a custom 404 page does a better job. It doesn’t have the visitors confused and annoyed.
Error pages can be customized. This way they have an option to return to whichever page they like using the navigation bar.
Now let me take you through the elements that sit well on an error page.
1)Error Message with a nice graphic: I like to personalise this 404 page with a nice graphic.
I have added this graphic to my Absolute Website Template's 404 pages.
It is fun and adds personality to your page.
The Error Message- This should be the front and centre of your error page. This is their clue that what they’re looking for isn’t available. Craft your error message in a way that not only tells them about the page being unavailable but also gives them a tip on what to do instead.
You can add a button to take them back to the home page.
2) Link to other pieces of content You can also optimize this page by adding images or buttons that link to your blog posts, one of your most popular freebies or your best selling offers.
So make use of this opportunity and display things that are most popular in your business.
Treat this 404 page as the last chance at anchoring your “almost lost” website visitor.
With these elements kept in mind, you can a good-looking customized Error 404 Page.
Because c’mon what’s the fun in having just a regular, boring Error Page. Never underestimate it thinking of it as merely an “error page”. It is much more than that, and that is what this blog was all about.
Make sure you use your brand colours and format for the error page as well. So that it actually belongs to your website and stands apart.
Just go for it and create an amazing 404 page that answers all the doubts your visitors may have! ☺