From time to time I like to compile some of the the more recent examples of 404 pages that I’ve seen, which stand out for their creativity. Here’s my latest semi-regular round-up of the web’s more entertaining error pages.

It’s worth pointing out in advance that not all of the following comply with best practice. If a user can’t find a page (typically the result of a broken link, which isn’t their fault, or a mis-typed URL, which is) then it is your job to guide them out of a hole.

In practice, this means a link back to your homepage at the very least, and preferably a search box, links to popular areas of your site, and some kind of messaging that tells the user what’s going on.

On top of that I think it is a good idea to throw in a little humour, context, and / or entertainment that makes light of a lame situation. To that end, these 12 examples should provide some inspiration for you to overhaul an often overlooked page on your site.

Your users may thank you for it. And hey, you might generate a few new inbound links from websites that like to compile these things!

Romain Brasier

Everybody of a certain age loved to play Lemmings, which is the interactive backdrop to this 404 page. You can ‘save’ the falling lemmings by hovering your mouse over them, to provide them with a parachute.

Allgamers

Romain links to another 404 page with vintage gameplay… this time, a playable Space Invaders from Allgamers.

Heyzap

Another game to play when you get lost.

Spalding

The sports brand hits one out of the park… 

Titleist

Basically this is me, playing golf.

DC Comics

The Joker makes an appearance…

The Rolling Stones

When things go awry the world’s greatest rock ‘n roll band proudly displays a video of one of it’s classic songs.

Nouveller

Some Jurassic Park-themed functionality pops up for you to play with, along with a picture of a saucy pin up…

University Of Dallas

A 404 poses a philosophical question…

SEOCOM

This search agency no doubt understands that a creative 404 page can attract inbound links. No need for a face palm…

Screaming Frog

Aha, another SEO agency has cottoned onto this cunning tactic! Let the frogs play you a frog chorus…

Giraffe

The restaurant chain with the surprisingly good website has also contextually customised its 404 page…

Do let me know if you spot any new 404 pages along similar lines, or happen to change yours…