Clicking on a web link or entering an url manually can have two results in the web browser. A website is loaded or an error message is shown. One of the most dreaded error messages of them all is the 404 error "page not found".
Website owners can leave it at that - which means a default 404 error page of the server or script is used - or create their own custom 404 error page to provide the user with solutions or further humiliation.
Really depends on the type of site that you are visiting but it is generally recommended to provide users who encounter the error with options such as a search or related pages on that page
Long time reader Daniel collected four interesting best of 404 error lists on the Internet on his (Swedish) Bloggliv blog.
The four best of lists that he links to contain a total of 245 404 error pages. Many pretty funny, some stylish and more than a few plain evil. Want some examples? Here we go:
Webmasters should improve their 404 error pages to provide visitors with guidance , as the visitor may otherwise just leave the website if there is no option to proceed from the page. Some users may try to change the url manually, others may just leave and visit another site that may provide them with the information they are looking for.
At the very least, it is recommended to have a search form on the 404 not found error page so that visitors who stumbled upon an error page for whatever reason can use the search feature to find what they are looking for.
There are advanced solutions available, like displaying the most recent posts, or the top posts of a particular category for instance, to give visitors other options to proceed.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.