404 Error Pages – 30+ Examples
When you have been trawling around the internet for hours researching or searching, it is quite likely you will make a mistake inputting a website address, or somehow get lost on a site. How lovely, under those circumstances, to be directed to a custom 404 error page that makes you smile or think ‘that’s a bit different’.
I was very surprised to discover, from compiling this list, that so many graphic design websites and trendsetting companies don’t have an inspiring 404 error page.
It is considered politically correct to never blame your visitor for straying off course, although, of course, the fault could lie with them, or could be due to a broken link. However, these days some sites lay the blame entirely at the feet of the visitor, flying in the face of convention – and those are usually the funniest 404 error pages.
This list is made up of more than 30 individually designed 404 error pages, some are clever, some are funny and some are just better than a blank white page declaring 404 Error page not found!
Due to the width restrictions here, some images are not great – so please click on any image to view the page in all its glory.
These guys have incorporated the concepts of an informative 404 error page with a little joke.
I Love Typography
Unsurprisingly a good use of typography. Apologetic with clear instructions for redirection.
Ronald Bein seems to have the Midas touch! He is good at everything he does, and his 404 error page is just another example of his good work!
The big green monster got hold of the page you were looking for! Another example of good design with clear redirection back to the site – and you’d want to go back… how could you refuse that cute monster?!
This 404 error page with variations can be seen on a few websites, and it’s still cute each time you see it!
This design makes me wonder if the author was born under the sign of Capricorn?
There are many 404 error pages that are torn holes in paper, but this one is a little different.
A handwritten-effect note to the visitor, with clear redirections back to the site
This chalkboard theme runs throughout the Product Planner website
Well, how could I not include this excellent page? Chelmsford, Essex is the area I originally hail from! Just a shame that Graphics Tutorials is missing from their shelves!
Hmmm the Grim Reaper up to tricks again?
Surfing on Static
The best play on words I came across – save our souls or Surfing on Static – take your choice!
These two little tweeters are the logo for the Twitter app Twurn (as in ‘whose twurn is it to…..’)
This is the website to go to if you want to play Warhammer online – a battle game set in some far distant mythical era, hence the 404 error page is totally apt.
You may expect amazing things from such a global company…. Well don’t! This is different and functional, but not overly exciting!
This was a decent idea, and I’m not sure if the squirrel has appeared in an Irn Bru ad (maybe someone could let me know?), but a dreadful example of Photoshop work particularly on the squirrel’s arm – unless that is by design, and I wouldn’t put that past Irn Bru!
Just another custom 404 error page really – but I haven’t seen this one used by anyone else, so suggest it may be unique?
Hands up who remembers the Magic 8 Ball toy! They are still available, but are now themed, ie: Toy Story and Spongebob Squarepants. When you click on the 8 ball, it turns and you get one of about 15 different answers such as: ‘My sources say no’, ‘Ask again later’, ‘It is decidedly so’.
The Dribbble website uses basketball terms throughout. After research, I discovered that an ‘air ball’ is a shot that completely misses the net, rim and backboard – so if you know the first thing about basketball this 404 error page will all make sense!
There are a few nasty ninjas lurking on 404 error pages around the web, but this one must be the cutest?
The server must have been looking for a long time don’t you think?
This is quite a strange page in my opinion – it did not make me want to go and see what Tympanus do…. I felt the need to find out what the Higgs Particle is – so I left the site – which I wouldn’t think should be the aim at all!
Anyway, according to the Britannica Online Encyclopedia , this is what it is:
I didn’t read further, but I understood the idea from this explanation, and it is very clever – however, I still felt no compulsion to revisit the site!
Big Stock Photo
An unexpected design for this site ‘Big Stock Photo’ sounds almost as if it should be a ‘Wild West’ theme – not an oversized hamster – but how cute!
Yes, they’re searching for that page for you! A helpful abridged menu to take you back to the site is on the right-hand side of this image
A very amusing message – and the blame is not directed at either the visitor or the site.
Pet Shop Box Studio
Another cute monster!
This page gives clear redirection back to the site, along with a few reasons for why you may have lost your way – with the help of Officer Hackie
A nice design – you can’t miss the fact that you have reached a 404 page! I like the reserved tag on the 4.
Have you been unfortunate enough to receive a beach towel, a mug or some such gift item from some holidaying friends or family declaring ‘Someone went to Benidorm and all I got was this lousy mug/towel’? This scrawled note is derived from those awful, tatty gifts!
The missing butterfly – number 404, a lovely design. If you hover your mouse anywhere on the design, a label reading ‘Take me home’ pops up.
Stuff and Nonsense
This is a very plain page, but the dialogue is quite amusing.
Another good use of words on this page – I love the line ‘We don’t get too many visitors in these parts. Perhaps you should go home.’
I hope you have enjoyed this list and maybe even been inspired by it. I would love to see more custom 404 error pages, especially on the sites of designers. They are a very important part of the site and could mean the difference between your visitors staying on your site or wandering off in the belief that what they are looking for is not available from you: tired, bored, frustrated visitors often won’t bother staying to look further if there is not something to hold them there, and when they are tired, bored and/or frustrated is the most likely time they will end up on your 404 error page!
Further reading and Resources:
Templates from Theme Forest (Search term: 404)
Please don’t bother trying to look at my 404 Error Page – as this is a WordPress hosted blog there isn’t a custom page attached to this site. However, that will all soon be changing, so please watch this space!