A 404 page is an error page that displays when someone tries to access a page on your Web site that doesn't exist. This is typically either through a broken link or a mistyped url. Many websites leave the default error page provided by the server. These pages are typically not branded, offer little information to your visitor as to how/why they got there, and can be intimidating to a visitor.
This is an excellent time to turn a negative into a positive. Take the time or have your developer set up a custom 404 error page. This page should:
- Tell the visitor where they are
- Ask the visitor to let you know of the problem
- Support the visitor is continuing to surf your website
If you would like to check how your 404 page looks, simply type in your url, a forward slash, and a few random letters into your browser address bar. For example, to force an error page to my site I would type www.visualcontentsolutions.com/dffd.
Recently, there has been a number of websites that have made their 404 page humorous. Plinko.net has created a site dedicated to unusual 404 pages. One of my personal favorite posed this question, “Do aliens abduct web pages?”