Why 404 Error Pages Can Make Or Break A Website Impression


Remember the last time you were awed by a website that had one of the most unique 404 error page alerts? Every once in a time we come across these 404 error pages while browsing the website. These errors are caused due to various reasons and most of them are out of the developer’s control. 404 Error can be precisely said as a digital version of return-to-sender.

404 Error pages are of two types: Generic 404 and Custom 404. The generic 404 error pages do not direct the web surfer on what to do next. Fundamentally, 404 error pages pop up when the web surfer enters an invalid address for an active page. Leaving your website visitors clueless in the midway isn’t a good option when you are building a strong customer base through the website. Hence, the company must consider using custom 404 pages.

404 Error Pages: Setting up

For a hand-coded site, you would need the help of your website designer or website developer to set up a custom 404 error page. As one of the leading web development companies, we emphasize on leveraging the opportunity to showcase your brand’s personality through 404 error pages.

404 Error Pages: Tips

404 Error Pages: Tips | Iqonic Design

Smart business houses and agencies customize their 404 pages such that the user on the end has a variety of choices to return to a particular page on the website, for example, return to the search bar or a footer link to familiar pages of the site, or on a navigation bar that is similar to the site or simply on the homepage. Some companies convert this error page to a sales opportunity by adding a subscription link or asking to download a free ebook or tutorial. You can choose to follow either the simple ‘guiding strategy’ where you will help your website visitor to guide you to another page or make a twist by using a sales strategy on your custom 404 error pages.

404 Error Pages: Best Practices in 404 pages

1. Make it funny

Humor is relatively universal when dealing with an awkward situation. Turning an awkward situation of not directing your website visitor to the desired page can sometimes be frustrating too. Humor is a useful bridge to overcome any negative feelings by making light of the entire situation.

2. Link to famous pages of your website

404 Error Pages could still provide value to the user with navigation options and information. Say, for example, a link to download their app, which is the entire focus of the website so most likely that is exactly what a website visitor would want to do.

3. Return to search bar

Provide a prominent search bar and describe what can be found in it. This way you can optimize your website through 404 error pages.

4. Give contact information

Link the 404 error pages to support, this way you are encouraging website visitors to highlight issues when a page was expected.

5. Header or footer links from the homepage

Header or footer links to the main pages of a website or the homepage will draw the website visitor to the main objective. This serves as an opportunity to sneak some more time to convert the visitor to a potential lead.

6. Add CTA buttons to encourage sales

A call-to-action on the 404 error page is one of the most sought-after features. While the website visitor feels lost, he needs help to proceed and a CTA button is a smart option to put up.

7. Use of gif

An amusing gif adds a curiosity factor to your website. A gif on the 404 error page makes it lighthearted and memorable, eventually enhancing the user experience.


Ultimately, 404 Error Pages are a part of a website whether the business wishes them to be or not so the best approach is to maximize that page during the design and development process to create a positive user experience for a visitor that they tell other people about rather than creating a negative experience. With an appealing design and optimization, a lost visitor can be turned into a lead.

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Jasmin M
Jasmin M

Believer and follower of 'running the show', Jasmin Majmudar is a freelance marketing content writer, blogger, and branding consultant based in London. With a master's degree in business management, content is her forte. Extensively working with startups, artists, brands, and companies from more than 7 years, Jasmin's work has successfully made to great brand stories. A millennial soul with an introverted mind and extroverted heart, Jasmin is always with her bag, blazer, and a book (half-read).
She has nourished her passion of writing and creating successful client experiences and will continue to do so. Drop her a line here whether it's about a feedback or your craziest business idea, we will pull things together. Cheers!

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