Often, on the web, links break or users type in the wrong URL. Sometimes pages go AWOL. At this point a 404 page is displayed, and I thought I’d compile a few of the more recent ones that I’ve spotted.

The thing with 404 pages is that they are often overlooked and uncared for. Ours is in need of a humour injection, though it ticks some of the more important best practice boxes by including a search tool, sitemap and link to the homepage.

Based on many of these examples, this post should be filed under inspiration, as opposed to best practice, though if you are going to revamp your own 404 page then be sure to help users dig their way out of the hole they’ve fallen into. 

Briefly, best practice consists of:

  • Speaking in the right language (avoid error messages like the plague)
  • Useful navigation (provide the user with some easy options to stay on your website)
  • A search box (prompt the user to conduct a keyword search to find replacement pages)
  • The right branding (the page should look like the rest of your website)
  • Tracking (figure out common entry routes to spot and fix broken links, etc)

If you want to dig deeper then check out this post on 404 pages and best practice (contains some other examples).

A word of warning: some of the following pages will blast techno music through your speakers. Brace yourself.

1. Blippy’s ‘It’s a 404 yo’

2. Soundserum’s bouncing elephant

3. Teeh.me’s Who’s Line Is It Anyway trance dance

4. Github’s Star Wars inspired wobbly 404

5. I Plan Websites’ scrollfest

6. Blizzard’s “You broke it.”

7.  The most insane 404 experience on the web

8. Mint’s “Justin likes reheated pizza and awkward silence…”

9. Fruit GS’ ‘Dead link’ + 8-bit death noise

10. Archit’s giftastic tilting page

 

11. Frye / Wiles’ birds on a wire

12. Abduzeedo’s ‘Houston, we have a problem.’

13. Annual Design Awards ‘Turn Around’

14. Steve Lambert’s awkwardness 

15. Blue Fountain Media’s Pac Man game 

16. The BBC’s retro test card

I’ll also put in an honourable mention for B3ta’s thoroughly NSFW 404 page. Proceed with caution if nuns are in the vicinity.

There are plenty of other great / interesting / bizarre examples out in the wild. Please point to them in the comments area below…