what is a 404 page?
A 404 page is an error page that is displayed when a user attempts to access a page that doesn’t exist on a website. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as when the URL is typed incorrectly or when the page has been removed from the website.
404 pages present a unique opportunity to show some personality while still being functional. The goal is to guide the user without losing the atmosphere that your website creates.
what to include on a 404 page
There are a number of things that you may want to consider including on your 404 page. Some of the most common items include a search box, links to popular pages on your website, and contact information.
You may also want to consider adding a bit of humor to your 404 page, as a way of lightening the mood after a user has experienced an error. This can be anything from a funny message or image to a list of amusing 404s. Whatever you choose, make sure that it is in line with the tone and branding of your website.
It’s important to remember that 404 pages are not just for fun. They also serve an important purpose in helping users find what they’re looking for and ensuring that your website remains user-friendly.
If you don’t have the exact content they were looking for, maybe it’s a specific topic, think about providing similar posts, related topics, or even a more general page about the topic. This can help guide users in the right direction and keep them engaged with your website.
404 page animations
One of my favorite ways to showcase some creativity and brand personality is to add some animation to your 404 page. Animations can be fun and entertaining, but also informative.
You can use animations to explain what went wrong, show off a unique feature product, or even provide some helpful tips. This can help users understand the issue more clearly and make the experience less frustrating. Remember, your visitors found this 404 page in error, so providing helpful information can go a long way in making their experience more positive.
(shown below is a 404 page lottie animation – aliens!)
how to design a 404 page
One of the keys to designing an effective 404 page is minimalism. Just because the site visitors wasn’t able to find what they were looking for doesn’t mean you should overwhelm with options. Typically 2-3 options at the most is best.
Your site visitors won’t spend much time on this page so make sure that the text and visuals are clear, concise and easy to understand.
custom 404 page for wordpress
Depending on your WordPress theme, setup and plugins, you may be able to create your own custom 404 page. This can be done by creating a new page using the WordPress editor and assigning it as your 404 page. I use the WordPress plugin Elementor which makes adding and setting a 404 page quite easy but there are plenty of other options out there.
You might also be able to find templates on something like ThemeForest that will help the overall design process of your 404 page.
custom 404 page designs
Creating an effective 404 page doesn’t have to be complicated but it can be a powerful tool for improving the user experience on your website. With some creativity and thought, you can make sure that your site visitors are guided in the right direction and still maintain the atmosphere and branding of your website.
If you need any help creating an animation or overall design of your 404 page, feel free to get in touch and I’d be glad to chat.