Importance of a well-designed Error 404 Page

Jul 03, 2017
by Rakesh Tulsiani

If you have a website, a visitor is going to stumble onto a 404 error page at least at some point, maybe because the visitor added a strange extension or went to an old bookmarked version of your site. Whatever the reason, no one likes to see a 404 error page and there is danger that they won’t be hanging around long to see what else your site offers. Building an inviting, helpful and creative custom 404 page will encourage your visitors to look further into your site instead of drifting off elsewhere. Let us go through some things one should keep in mind while customizing a 404 error page

Design Consistency: Don’t make your 404 page looks like an alien in your website and design it to stay true to the rest of your site, including your logo, navigation, color scheme etc. A 404 page that stands out like a sore thumb and is completely unrelated to the rest of your site may cause your visitor to panic and feel as though they’ve been set adrift. Seeing your brand designs will reassure them that all is ok and it is just a minor glitch.

Useful: A 404 page needs to be extremely useful for the user and not just be a dead end which leads nowhere. Including a search form, a link to the homepage or the popular pages of the site is necessary to be included in the design for guiding the user back to the safe sanctuary that they recognize.

Be Friendly and Understandable: It is unfair to assume that your users know what a ‘404 Error’ is, so explaining in a simple, friendly and understandable manner will help the user understand the without feeling confused by your jargon. It gets the message across while maintaining a relatable language.

Have fun: While maintaining your brand’s image for the rest of the website, the 404 Error page provides you room for a lot of creativity. A good 404 page can be casual, and even funny, as the humor will lighten the air, especially if the user is panicking to get to the page they are looking for. Also, creating a 404 page that is funny and memorable can have a huge impact on keeping your visitors on the site and it will in people’s minds and lead them them to return to the site in the future.

Integrate animation or a game: Although they require more effort than a regular 404 page, Using animation, GIFs or interactive games on the 404 pages provides the most entertainment and captures the visitor’s attention. This also makes the page more memorable than any other 404 page.

Any digital marketing agency in India will be able to help a brand build a decent 404 page. It is no surprise that the lack of a decent 404 page weakens the user experience.If the users can’t find what they were looking for, they may end up getting frustrated and leaving your site. A 404 page addresses the problem and gives the site the opportunity to apologize and help users find what they were looking for. A contented user is more likely to return in the future and not inflate the user experience to an irreparable extend. If done properly, a error 404 page will keep visitors on the site and ultimately reduce bounce rates.

Author Bio: Rakesh Tulsiani is the Director of Digitalabs, an esteemed digital marketing agency in NCR. He has gained invaluable insights and proficiency in the field of marketing and technology over the years and continues to motivate his team with his commendable leadership skills. Contact him at


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