How to Design Your Website’s 404 Page (Part 2)

Man looking for safety

Man looking for safety


A 404 page does not always have to bring disappointment in our lives. As a web designer, this is your chance to make up for the mishap. Guide the web visitor back on the right track. You can suggest taking them back to the previous working page or suggest reading another article that may interest them. You can present all your navigation options through a 404 page.

Follow these tips when designing an error page:

  • A 404 page is not all text.

  • Yes, you have to convey well your message. Apologize for the mistake, but you also have to ease their frustration by adding an image. Some websites add a funny image to lighten up the mood. Why empathize on the image? Because the first thing that people will notice is the image on the screen. The image displayed will help lay emphasis on your message.
  • Don’t overwhelm your web visitors.

  • You have to understand that they are already frustrated. Don’t add up to their stress. Images may help them cheer up, but you also have to offer a clear navigation.
  • Help get out that 404 page by presenting a limited number of options. They are lost so there’s no need to further confuse them by presenting so many options on where to go.
    • When your web visitors encountered an error, these are the 3 basic things you can offer:
      • They go back to the previous page so they can track where it went wrong.
      • They can also go to the home page of the website so they start over.
      • Lastly, they can report the error. Allow your web visitors to help you out. Perhaps, you are not aware that such problems exist. When you have an avenue for your web visitors to report an error, invalid page, bad link, you get to immediately take action. You are given a heads up that hey! This page ain’t working. You know what areas to improve on, and you know what needs to be done instantly.
    • Aside from giving 3 navigation options, you can also add these tools on your website to help more customers in the future.
      • Live chat feature.

      • Most of the time, chat bots are annoying. They just pop out of nowhere. However, when someone needs help, chatbots are really helpful. In a situation where a customer is lost, chat bots can be a lifesaver. Adding a chat option can help customers get on the right direction. You create automated messages that will guide web visitors to the main parts of your website.
      • Search box.

      • Another brilliant way to help is to add a search box on the 404 page itself. Web visitors don’t need to go to the home page to start a new search. They can do it right there. Perhaps, the 404 page appeared because they misspelled something. This search box can offer immediate assistance.
      •  FAQ.

      • Lastly, you can use this chance to answer questions regarding 404. You can why they are seeing an error, and answer common questions related to it. Grab this opportunity to inform your web visitors about the causes, and at the same time, alleviate their frustrations.