SEO

404 pages: Best practices and examples from 50+ brands

404 page errors can frustrate users and cause them to leave your site. 

However, with some foresight, these errors can become an opportunity to provide help and encourage users to explore more of your website. 

This article covers best practices for crafting 404 pages, with real examples from over 50 brands. You’ll also find answers to frequently asked questions about 404 error pages.

What is a 404 page?

A 404 page, also known as an error page, is a webpage displayed when a user tries to access a URL that no longer exists. 

Status code 404 error meaning

The 404 status code error is an HTTP response signaling the webpage cannot be found on the web server. It tells the browser that the requested webpage is “not found.”

404 page best practices

Creating a useful 404 error page is vital for providing a good user experience when visitors visit your website. 

Here are some best design practices for crafting a user-friendly and engaging 404 page. 

  • Clear error message: Ensure the 404 error message is displayed and clearly states that the requested page cannot be found. Use friendly and simple language to explain the error.
  • Engaging visuals: Incorporate visually appealing graphics or illustrations that align with your website’s design and brand. These visuals can help soften the frustration of encountering an error.
  • Navigation options: Provide easy-to-find navigation elements that guide users back to your website’s homepage, main content, or relevant sections. Include links or buttons that make it simple for users to continue their journey.
  • Search functionality: Include a search bar allowing users to look for the content they originally sought. 
  • Contact information: Include contact information or a link to your support/help center for users needing assistance with their specific issue.

Following these design practices can turn a frustrating error into a positive user experience and keep visitors engaged with your website, even when they encounter 404 pages.

51 examples of 404 pages

Funny 404 page examples

Here are examples of lighthearted, humorous, quirky 404 pages that use witty and clever language to draw users in and keep them on the page. 

1. Marvel 

Marvel 404 page

2. PitVipers

PitVipers 404 page

3. Southwest

Southwest 404 page

4. Chubbies

Chubbies 404 page

5. Taco Bell

Taco Bell 404 page

6. Progressive Insurance

Progressive Insurance 404 page

7. RyanAir

RyanAir 404 page

8. Lego

Lego 404 page

9. Wendy’s

Wendys 404 page

10. Moosejaw

Moosejaw

11. M&M’s

M&Ms 404 page

12. Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club 404 page

13. Blizzard

Blizzard 404 page

Formal 404 page examples

Here are examples of formal 404 pages designed to look more professional and take a respectful tone in the copy. 

14. Medium 

Medium 404 page

15. Delta

Delta 404 page

16. The New York Times

New York Times 404 page

17. Ford

Ford 404 page

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SaaS 404 page examples

Here are examples of SaaS 404 pages that align with users’ specific needs and expectations when visiting a SaaS platform. You’ll notice a clean, minimalistic design with a user-centric focus. 

18. Sprout Social 

Sprout Social 404 page

19. Mural

Mural 404 page

20. Intercom

Intercom 404 page

21. Help Scout

Help Scout

22. Mailchimp

Mailchimp

23. Asana

Asana 404 page

24. Uber

Uber 404 page

25. Packlane

Packlane 404 page

26. Drift

Drift 404 page

27. Spotify

Spotify 404 page

28. Flywheel

Flywheel 404 page

29. ClickUp

ClickUp

30. PayPal

PayPal 404 page

31. Headspace

Headspace 404 page

32. Zoom

Zoom 404 page

33. Salesforce

Salesforce 404 page

34. Smashing Magazine

Smashing Magazine 404 page

Ecommerce 404 page examples

Here are examples of ecommerce 404 pages that offer search functionality, category navigation, cart preservation, and even customer reviews. 

35. Crocs

Crocs 404 pages

36. Ugg

Ugg 404 page

37. Mrs. Meyers

Mrs. Meyers 404 page

38. Garmin

Garmin 404 page

39. Charmin

Charmin 404 page

40. Patagonia

Patagonia 404 page

41. Yeti

Yeti 404 page

42. Barstool Sports

Barstool Sports 404 page

43. Method

Method 404 page

44. Xbox

Xbox 404 page

45. Cards Against Humanity

Cards Against Humanity 404 page

Bad 404 page examples 

Here are examples of bad 404 pages that result in a lack of clarity, no guidance, and a generic error message. 

46. Wired

Wired 404 page

47. Nordstrom

Nordstrom 404 page

48. Reliaquest

Reliaquest 404 page

49. QuickBooks

QuickBooks 404 page

50. Today

Today 404 page

51. Target

Target 404 page

FAQs about 404 pages 

How do I find a 404 page on my website?

There are a few different ways to find a 404 page on your website: 

  • Type in a non-existent URL. For example, www.yourwebsite.com/taco 
  • Click on a broken link
  • Search for non-existent content in your website’s search functionality 

How do I edit a 404 page in WordPress?

Editing your 404 page in WordPress can vary depending on how your WordPress is set up. 

You can do this in your page builder or a plugin. 

My personal preference is to make changes in the theme customizer under “Appearance.” Then, click on “customize.” You should find your 404 page. 

Does Google remove 404 pages?

Google does not remove 404 pages. I actually see quite a lot of 404 pages indexed. 

Over time, if Google stumbles across the 404 page repeatedly, it will eventually remove those pages from the index. 

If the 404 page is restored, Google will reindex the page. 

Building better 404 pages

Well-designed error pages promote a smooth user experience, even when someone lands on a missing page. 

By following the tips outlined here, you can create 404 pages that transform confusing dead-ends into convenient gateways for navigation, search functionality, contact information, and more. 

Dig deeper: Pro Tip: How to find and fix 404 errors that really matter to win your traffic back

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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About the author

Anna Crowe

Contributor

Anna Crowe is a Frank’s Hot Buffalo sauce advocate (leading with obvious priorities), writer, marketer and SEO nerd. Over the last 12+ years, Anna has successfully run SEO and content programs for brands like Dollar Thrifty Rental, Marriott, Hilton, Hearst Magazine, Mailboat Records, Philip Morris International, Bloomin’ Brands and Brother USA and many more. She enjoys burritos and puppies (in that order) when she’s not moonlighting as a soccer coach. https://annaleacrowe.com/

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