404 error pages are ok – but only with a call to action

Have you ever gone to a site, navigated to a page or link, and been confronted with a 404 error page and had no idea where to then go? There’s plenty of those unhelpful error pages out there. Riikka has some tips on what makes a good 404 error page.

No one likes to see a 404 error page, but they are, at times, necessary.

It’s inevitable that at some point that a link may break, a page may be moved or even removed completely, or a site renewal may happen and something may get forgotten. In all of these cases, if a visitor tries to access one of these pages where the link is no longer correct or valid, they’ll see a 404 error page.

When setting up or maintaining your site, ensure you spend some time thinking about your 404 error page, and if you do just one thing, make sure that it has some kind of call to action (CTA) on it. Fewer things will annoy a visitor more than finding a dead link and then being left alone with no information on where to go or what to do to try and find what they’re after.

A CTA could be something simple such as a link to a help page or a search field so the visitor can look up the thing they’re looking for. If you’re feeling creative you can also really customise your 404 error page and try to ensure it’s not actually a negative experience for the visitor. Some great examples of creative 404 error pages can be found at Creative Bloq.”

[tips guest=”riikka”]

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