14. February 2013 08:53
Every web user is familiar with the feeling of landing on a 404 page and getting that meaningless message of what could possibly have happened to the page they are looking for. As we all know, that feeling is far from pleasing, which explains why it makes sense to work on making your website’s 404 page attractive and useful. When a user trying to land on your homepage gets a 404 page instead, you want to ensure that they do not leave the page disappointed, but instead are guided to something relevant to your services.
The tips listed below show you some ways to make that happen-
- Customize your 404 page so with attractive colorful images or a witty tagline to bring a smile on the face of whoever lands there. This lets users know that the website is owned by someone creative and inspires them to try again instead of just walking away.
- At the same time, be sure that you are conveying the message of them having landed on an incorrect page clearly and precisely, to avoid any misunderstanding.
- It is a good idea to make the look and color scheme of your 404 page similar to that of the rest of your website.
- Your 404 page should contain the basics of every such page, which are usually a link to your homepage, as well as a link to the previous page.
- Apart from this, you can be creative and add a little more information, such as a link to your customer support, links to your articles or blog posts, or an attractive offer that users can avail.
- A link to a support page on the 404 page is a great idea because along with letting users know that you are willing to address their problem, it also serves as a useful form of feedback, giving you a chance to enhance user experience on your website.
- Finally, while customizing your 404 page an important point to consider is that you do not want it to be indexed by Google and other search engines. To ensure this does not happen, you need to make sure that a request for a missing page generates an actual 404 HTTP status code.