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A custom 404 page

Written by Hamish Braddick on July 14th, 2010.      0 comments

Your website users will occasionally land on a page on your website that doesn't exist. This could happen due a number of reasons - they may have typed the wrong URL or there is a broken link on your website or the link has been moved. When this happens, your website will direct them to a standard 404 page which is basically informs them that the link is broken.

A typical 404 error page is generally uninviting and unfriendly. It's very unlikely that people that arrive at this page usually explore any further - they are pretty much lost visitors.

A custom, unique error page will keep them on your website

Having a custom 404 page that is unique and guides your visitor back to a working page on your site can greatly improve your user's experience. People often make a mistake when they type in URLs and end up landing on your error page. If this page is vague and also unintuitive, you will find that your user will leave your site and never come back. This is the reason why some of the best sites in the world come up with a creative and informative designs for their 404 pages.

Therefore, we highly recommend that you take some time out to customise your error page and make it your own. You can do this by going into the back end of your website under the 'standard pages' section and edit the page called 'Page not found'.

A few tips to consider when designing your 404 page

  • Help your visitor find information. A 404 error page should do its best to help your visitors find what they are searching for. Therefore, include details of where they can go to find more information or how they can inform you about this error.

  • Avoid being vague. Providing a vague message like "Not found", "404" or just not having a 404 page at all can and will lose you valuable website visitors.

  • Use a design that is consistent with the rest of your site. Remember that this page is part of your website so keep your personality and design consistent.

  • Configure web server to give 404 HTTP status code. You want to make sure that Google spiders know that this page doesn't exist so Google will remove the page from cache so people won't come to this page through search engines. If you have a Zeald website, we will take care of this automatically for you.

A few examples of 404 error pages to inspire you

1. Zeald

Custom 404 Page


Custom 404 Web Page


Frye/ Wiles Custom 404 Web Page


Customise your  Error Page


Customise your Error Page

Topics: Web Design Tips


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Zeald was formed in 2001 by three young guys from the small New Zealand town of Mangawhai Heads. Now, Zeald is the largest website design and digital marketing agency in New Zealand and has recently made moves into Australia. This is the Zeald story …

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