[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]When a person comes across a page on your site that’s broken or doesn’t exist, the website hosting server will typically generate a “404 Not Found” page.

The problem is what happens next. Most people will leave your page for another website so they can find what they need.

A 404 page is not a good sign for the customer or for search engines that browse your site. Yet, some of the most powerful companies online have 404 error pages and they don’t seem to be affected too badly, even sites like Amazon that have a profound number of these pages.

Why is that?

You can actually design the layout of your 404 page to bring weary travelers back from the brink of leaving your page to the security of your home or category pages.

A lot of the top dogs have neat and engaging layouts in addition to their links as well.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”4783″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Let’s take a closer look at what’s going on the image above. This is Airbnb’s 404 page. It’s extremely clever and they use it to redirect people who stumble on to their missing or broken links.

This page accomplishes two major things that you definitely want for your site. The first is its fun and engaging. You get a funny video of a little girl dropping her ice cream, allowing the company to connect with their users who can’t find what they need.

The second thing it accomplishes is the links that go back to the site.

They’ve gone ahead and provided people with links back to their main category pages.

Instead of people failing to find what they want, they’ve brought them back to your site, potentially saving you a new client.

Another thing that you can do is take a page from MailChimp’s book.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”4784″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]They provide a simple layout with a great background image of their mascot, Freddie. They cover branding and give you the best method for finding what you need.

In most cases, people will use different terminology to find what they were looking for in the search bar if it’s provided for them on the 404 page.

So the next time you see a 404 page, ask what it accomplishes, other than telling people they can’t find what they want.

Bad 404 Pages

Now that you’ve seen some cool and interesting ways that you can make a 404 page and redirect people back to your website, let’s see some examples of bad 404 pages.

These are the things you really want to avoid as you go about making your own. You may not have a graphic designer or maybe you’re a little constricted by the theme of your website but if you just steer clear of these mistakes, then you should do fine.

Let’s start with the worst-case-scenario. If you don’t have a redirect page, your customers will get a 500 error, which typically prompts them to leave the page and never come back. Take a look at this standard 500 page below.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”4785″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Let’s assume that you have a 404 page though. eToys’ 404 page has a few things you should definitely avoid when making your own.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”4786″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The first thing you should take away is that the message is far too long. All the examples above have 1-2 sentences and are much more visual. They made the effort of adding a fun and loveable Disney character but the rest of the page is bulky and annoying.

If you choose to include a search bar, note that you don’t need to give directions for everything. If you have a search bar prominently displayed, it speaks for itself.

Finally, the examples above were playful. They could have a little fun even though their customers couldn’t find what they were looking for. There is no indication of that on this 404 page at all. It may sound a little picky but humor is something that people connect to and might bring them back to your site.

If you want 404 Page Design done by professionals to bring your guests back then contact the experts at WebCroppers today.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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