Jonathan Saipe

The 40 Best Error 404 Pages

1 June 2011, Jonathan Saipe

Error 404 pages – otherwise known as page missing or page not found – are an inevitable part of web design and search engine optimisation.

Savvy marketers and designers know that investing a little extra time in designing and writing content for error 404 pages can pay dividends in terms of engaging users and showing off a bit of brand personality.

We’ve looked at lots of error 404’s and here’s our list of the best 40 we could find, scored in no particular order on the basis of either good design, good copy, humour, originality, customer engagement or a combination of all of these.

1
i-am associates

It’s not hard to work out why we thought this error 404 page was worthy of a mention. The question is, which came first, this page or Lady Gaga’s notorious meat dress?

Error404 page from i-am associates

2
The Sun

Classy copy from The Sun Online, as you’d expect from the UK’s favourite tabloid!

Error404 page from The Sun Online

3
Scottish National Party

We looked at the error 404 pages from all of the major UK political parties, and the SNP won hand’s down for being completely random!

Error404 page from The Scottish National Party

4
The Onion

We loved the copy on The Onion’s error 404 page not to mention the accompanying photo.

Error 404 page from The Onion

5
useit.com

This page isn’t funky, but it’s exactly what you’d expect from Jakob Nielsen. Simple. Clear. Concise. And of course usable.

6
Pattern Tap

We liked Pattern Tap’s silly error 404 page. Who is that man?

7
Zivity

Zivity, the network of photographers providing a striking error 404 page.

8
iContact

Original topsy-turvy error 404 page from iContact. Let’s hope their emails don’t come out that way!

Error 404 page from iContact

9
Wonga.com

The rather off-brand error 404 page from Wonga.com gets our vote for originality.

Error 404 page from Wonga

10
WhipCar

We chose WhipCar’s error 404 page because it was very on-brand, helpful and cute.

Error 404 page from WhipCar

11
Hilton

Round of applause to the Hilton. After much searching around hotel websites, at last we found an original error 404 page.

Error 404 page from The Hilton

12
Eurostar

Eurostar doesn’t win awards for design, but the copy made us chuckle – a bit.

Error 404 page from Eurostar

13
Apartment Home Living

We didn’t like this website – sorry! But the error 404 page caught our attention. Nice.

Error 404 page from Apartment Home Living

14
Heinz

Use of the iconic Heinz tomato ketchup bottle. Love it!

Error 404 page for Heinz

15
CSS Tricks

Clever error 404 page design from CSS Tricks. No headline or links, but given their target audience, that really doesn’t matter.

Error404 page from CSS Tricks

16
B&Q

No awards for originality here, but we liked this for an honest error 404 page.

Error 404 page from B&Q

17
Nexus

OK, so we liked this error 404 page from Nexus. That royalty free goldfish looks familiar!

Error 404 page from Nexus

18
Hummingbird Bakery

Sweets! Did someone say sweets? This error 404 page from the yummy Hummingbird Bakery whet our appetites.

Error 404 page from Hummingbird Bakery

19
Bitly

This is just odd which is why the error 404 page from bitly gets our thumbs up.

Error 404 page from bitly

20
Limpfish

Lovely copy and design from Limpfish. And it certainly does have a GSOH.

Error404 page from Limpfish

21
Underscore

It was the “go back, friend, go back!” that did it for us. Well done Underscore.

Error 404 page from Underscore

22
iStockphoto

iStockphoto was the fifth image library we tested (yes we’re that exciting) and came up with the most original error 404 page from its competitors.

Error 404 page from iStockphoto

23
Google

Google. Plain and simple. Spot the URL we typed in.

Error 404 page from Google

24
Delete

We’re still trying to work out why there’s the silhouette of a sheep in this error 404 page.

Error 404 page from Delete

25
Playstation Games

Original concept from Playstation Games. We like.

Error 404 page from Playstation Games

26
Craigslist

A very craiglist error 404. Good use of old school ASCII art.

Error 404 page from Craigslist

27
Newspond

One of the more original designs we found. Hat’s off to Newspond.

Error 404 page from Newspond

28
NextWave Performance

Very clever error 404 page from business process experts NextWave Performance.

Error 404 page from Next Wave Performance

29
Pedigree

Great error 404 page from Pedigree. Do you think they used a real dog?

Error 404 page from Pedigree

30
Network Solutions

This is by no means the most creative design, but if you read the copy in red you’ll know why we voted for this error 404 page.

Error 404 page from Network Solutions

31
Copy Blogger

We can’t get enough of the film Cool Hand Luke, so this error 404 page is definitely in our top 40.

Error 404 page from Copy Blogger

32
Distilled

A very Distilled affair. Definitely gets our vote.

Error 404 page from Distilled

33
The Telegraph

As you’d expect, The Telegraph’s error 404 page is very sensible. The cartoon is awesome.

Error 404 page from The Telegraph

34
Marvel

This error 404 crept into our top 40 list at the last minute. Well done Marvel.

Error 404 page from Marvel

35
iFolderLinks

Original – yes. But is it plain wrong?

Error 404 from iFolderLinks

36
Groupon

Groupon never misses a trick to capture yet another subscriber’s email address. Cheeky.

Error 404 page from Groupon

37
Cuban Council

Great error 404 page from Cuban Council, design and branding agency from the US.

Error 404 page from Cuban Council

38
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

We liked MoMA’s error 404 page as they actually used a real work of art. We wondered how the artist must have felt?

Error 404 page from MoMA

39
Dilbert

A very Dilbert error 404 page. Good design, great copy.

Error 404 page from Dilbert

40
Hootsuite

Last but not least, Hootsuite’s error 404 page. We do love Owly. Although Tweetdeck is better :)

Error 404 page from Hootsuite

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