3 Types of 404 Page

Which one works best?

404 error? Don’t freak out, everything is going to be ok!

Let’s have a look at the 3 most common design options and which one works best:

1) Minimalistic 404 page

This type of 404 page is with almost blank with little content on the page and maybe only one link to the home page.

This kind of 404 page is not useful to re-engage the user as it doesn’t offer a good user experience (it looks more like a server error) and for this reason you should avoid to use it in your website.


404 page Google

404 page Google

Other examples of minimalistic 404 pages:




2) Curated 404 page

The curated 404 pages are my favourite as they try to combine a good design together with useful links to other sections of the website (like top categories or top articles). They give the users a call to action and try keep them on the website. Definitely the best choice for your website!


404 page Adidas

404 page Adidas

Other examples of curated 404 pages:




3) Creative 404 page

Some websites use a creative 404 page to entertain the user with games or simply give them a positive experience by making them laugh. 


Creative 404 page

Creative 404 page

Other examples of creative 404 pages:



Email Center Uk

Why does a website need to have a custom 404 page?

The reasons why every website need a custom 404 page are essentially two:

  • alert the visitor that the content is no longer online
  • offer a way for that to re-engage the visitor

What are the key elements for a good 404 page?

Here the 3 things to focus on if you want to build a good 404 page:

  • Design: the page’s design should be nice and in line with the rest of the website
  • Message: mention clearly that the page hasn’t been found
  • Choice: guide the user giving them a variety of choices (contact details, link to the home page, to the main categories and keep header and footer links, showing the content according to the intent of the user).

In summary, if you don’t know which design works best for your website, just test the different options and pick the one that keep visitors on your website and don’t let them go. 

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