We’ve all stumbled upon it at least a few times – the 404 error page, the bane of our digital existence. Basically, this HTTP response code tells the user that the link is broken and there’s no content available on the page. Luckily, some creative people out there realized the amount of 404-induced frustration and channeled it to create some of the industry’s funniest error pages.
Before we head on to our selection of the best 404 pages on the web, let’s have a look at what the page should actually be about. It’s standard practice to include several elements on a 404 error page. First of all, the user should be informed that something went wrong and the link is broken. It’s a good idea to guide the user and provide links to the homepage, as well as category pages for easier navigation. The most informative 404 pages would also include a short instruction on how to find what you were looking for – sometimes complemented by a search bar.
Shortly, the 404 error page should be functional in helping the user to get where he wanted to finish in the first place. This doesn’t mean that the process can’t be amusing. Here are the best 18 error pages we’ve ever seen – trust us, being lost in the digital maze can actually be pretty funny.
No one can get too annoyed at the 404 error, when greeted with a floral, superhero Homer Simpson. Notice the trick here – the page is funny, but also functional. It features a Home button that takes the lost user directly to the main page, as well as Contact button to help him inquire about the lost content.
Mattel takes the 404 page fun to the next level, while staying completely functional. Not only does it provide a practical magic ball to guide lost users, but also features buttons linking to the homepage, the searching module and the online store.
Great graphic design and helpful menu on the left – that’s all we need to find our way again!
Apparently, ninjas can steal pages sometimes. At least they replace them with cute graphic featuring an embedded link to the homepage.
This snarky 404 error page is not even trying to make us feel better.
Never before could we ever actually own a 404 error page and here is a free cut-out. We feel blessed.
The “You broke the Internet” kind of message might induce a bit of a fit, but we appreciate the humor.
Github did a great job providing a search bar to help find what we’re looking for. The cute graphic doesn’t hurt either.
Linking to homepage through a rotating, pixel orange head makes being lost much less painful to bear.
Mobify keeps the tone sad, but offers an easy way out in a homepage button.
Counting on basic math skills, Wpbeginner.com helps to find what we’re looking for by presenting us with several options for browsing the page. Complicated, but works.
Inbound knows the power of the web lies in cats and who could get angry at this little fluffy fellow? The Back button helps a lot too.
Cuoma makes us feel better and offers a mini site map to guide us back to the light.
A great animated subway station, featuring movie posters and empty trains passing. Desolate, but still cool.
Find Bacon (http://findbacon.com/404)
A thorough portal for web developer and design jobs, Find Bacon knows the value of good humor in web design. Who could get angry at a cute pig who ate the page?
Butter Label (http://butterlabel.com/404)
This is a really cool 404 error page – click on Whatevs and it will take you to their homepage. The company has no search filter to offer – they simply prefer to be mysterious.
Witty and practical – in case you don’t appreciate the gift, you can always resort to the search bar and find what you were looking for in one click.
This is a special one – the @404 Twitter user. It makes anyone who lands here crack a smile. Interesting fact? Over 2000 followers.
About the author: Monique Rivers is an Australian tech blogger who also loves good food and fashion. She works at ninefold.com. Ninefold is a powerful Ruby on Rails platform, that allows you to deploy Rails apps quickly and easily.