Thursday, 23 September 2010

404 Error Page - What is this?

While surfing the web, many times we have come across a page which does not exist any more, or it has moved and we normally see a standard 404 error in the web browser such as below:

As an online business owner you should also ensure that your 404 pages has a good visual appeal and is also optimised accordingly to direct your visitors to relevant pages. As many times you have see this 404 page while searching the web, your visitors would have also sometimes come across pages that are no longer there, no matter how many pages you have, visitors somehow always end up finding a page that does not exist, whether it's from a dead link on a directory or typing error , or any other method. The main thing is that once your visitors come to such pages, is not to lose them, and to direct them to your websites actual pages.

What is an error 404 page

An error 404 Not Found page, is the response that the server indicates that the client was able to communicate with the server, but the server did not find anything to return back, hence the browser will display an error 404 pages.

These pages are normally displayed when URLS have changed, or pages have been deleted, such as:

As business owners of a website, we have to ensure that our websites are optimised perfectly to increase conversion rates and not too lose visitors after they have seen a 404 error.  Unfortunately many web developers and business owners miss this opt unity and forget to design and develop the error 404 pages, and lose many customers.

What is a good 404 Page

When developing a website, remind your developer to design and also optimise the 404 page,  you should include your company message on your 404 page, it should be a page that will not put your visitors off, but instead direct them to what they are in search for. Besides the visual appeal of the 404 page with a nice image it should include at least one more of the features below:

  •  A link to maybe the home page, which will take your visitors back to the beginning of your website from where they can navigate accordingly

  •  Your best selling product which most of your visitors search for

  • Tag Cloud, tags and keywords which will take your visitors to different sections and categories or products on your website

  • You could also include a search box maybe, which will allow visitors to search for what they were originally looking for.

If you didn’t want to have a separate page, you can also ask your developer to set up a direct that will take all the visitors to the home page of your website, that have anciently ended up on a page that does not exist.

In conclusion, you should have a fully functionally the error 404 page, according to your website theme, and your business goals. Have a look at some cool 404 Pages.

Share your 404 pages with us, let us know of some new points and features you can have on the 404 page.


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