Occasionally, visitors may try to access a part of your website that, perhaps due to internal changes or a typo, is not reachable.
This will generate an error 404 message, frustrating the visitor and leading them elsewhere.
404 not found errors are an area of the customer website experience to which businesses should give more consideration.
Many businesses do not give the 404 not found error page display much thought. Instead, they tend to rely on the default provided by their web developer. However, increasingly businesses are using a custom HTTP 404 not found error message as part of their online experience.
Instead of a frustrating and negative experience you can turn an error into an opportunity using custom error messages.
What Is A HTTP 404 Not Found Error?
A HTTP 404 not found error message is displayed when a user tries to access a web page using an incorrect URL, or one that has been removed or moved.
If a visitor attempts to access your site and gets a HTTP 404 not found error, they are likely to be frustrated that they cannot access what they were looking for straight away. This could lead to them leaving your website without actually visiting your site, in turn generating a negative opinion of your site.
Why Use A Custom HTTP 404 Not Found Error
Fortunately, a default HTTP 404 not found error message can be replaced by a custom error message that can be incorporated into your overall website design.
This allows business websites to turn a negative customer experience into an engaging and brand appropriate error message. This will foster goodwill and can be tailored to allow the user to find the content they are looking for simply.
At Jigowatt, our 404 error message is designed with a nod to a scene from our favourite movie Back To The Future but cleverly links to a search box to keep visitors on our site.
If you would like some inspiration for your HTTP 404 error message, you can find 30 here or see 3 of our favourites below.