Creative Custom 404 Error Pages

January 7th, 2010.

404 page errors are displayed when a web page you’re trying to view cannot be found.

There are several reasons for being shown a 404 error:

  • You may have got the address wrong
  • The page may have been deleted
  • The link you clicked was incorrect.

Its basically a dead end. They’re stuck, trapped, lost and alone!

Internet Explorer's default 404 page.

Internet Explorer's default 404 error page

Usually, its not such a nice ”web experience’, especially if you’d been merrily browsing through a website to be suddenly greeted with your browser’s “This page cannot be found” 404 error. Urgh.

These pages are neither seamless with the rest of your web site, nor appealing to your visitors. This doesn’t have to be the case.

What can be done?!

Web Designers can create their own customised 404 error pages, designed to be integrated with their website. This has a bunch of advantages, allowing your visitor to seamlessly navigate back onto your website for instance, or having the ability to search for the correct page they were looking for.

Note: There is also the possibility that someone arriving at your site from elsewhere, may see a 404 page and just assume that your entire web site is down! Not good!

Simply put, custom 404 pages are marvellous.

Get creative!

Your pages can be used to reflect the feel, or look of your web site. Or they could just be a bit humorous.

Here are few examples of some of the more interesting and witty custom 404 error pages around.

Hopefully these examples can provide some inspiration when looking to retain visitors to your website by creating your own custom 404 page!


Mark is a web designer / developer working for Internet Assets from Lancashire, England. He is a graduate of Graphic and Communication Design from the University of Leeds, and is keen on all things related to technology.


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