No matter how often we hope and pray for things to go smoothly, sometimes the inevitable happens and we have to get on with it. This exact scenario applies to the wonderful world of websites, and although it’s pretty much never our fault when a server is having some downtime or user types in the wrong request, we can put light on the situation with a nice little 404 page.
What is a 404 page?
Before we get to the fun bit, it’s probably worth explaining what a 404 page actually is. To put it simply, a 404 page is a HTTP error message which tells you that the page you were trying to reach cannot be found on the server. This is usually shown when the host has removed a page or changed the URL. Or, in more common cases, the user may have just mistyped a URL.
Although 404 pages are very frustrating to encounter, the situation can always be made a little lighter with a humorous 404 page. After a bit of digging and purposely visiting the wrong pages, here are some of the funniest 404 pages we could find! Feel free to use some of these to inspire you and divert some frustrated visitors.
Pixar, one of the largest animated film brands out there, did not step back when it came to designing their 404 page. If you’re a movie fanatic, then you’ll be familiar with one of their latest films, Inside Out. This film is all about emotions, so Pixar obviously used Sadness looking, sad, on their 404 page.
Giphy, the wonderful home of GIFs, is another great example of utilising a 404 page. Funnily enough, Giphy used a fitting GIF on their 404 page, along with a sassy comment about looking elsewhere for GIFs that do actually exist. Looks like Giphy isn’t taking the blame for any of their 404-page encounters!
LEGO are pretty honest when it comes to their 404 page, claiming that it may be an old link or maybe moved. There is no blame being pointed towards the user from these fun building bricks! Along with an honest message, LEGO use their famous characters freaking out to create a humorous effect, whilst simply navigating users back to the home page. Simple, but effective!
Bluegg are pretty famous for their fun culture and humorous nature, so of course, they are going to have a fun 404 page. We checked back recently and were sad to see that their screaming goat GIF had been replaced with a note of apology and direct phone number. This may be less fun to look at, but the goat did its job, and the creatives at Bluegg are now using their famous 404 page for business purposes. Clever.
Coding isn’t for everyone, and to a lot of us, CSS just consists of a lot of weird looking words and numbers. However, the majority of us know that Cascading Style Sheets are all linked to the backend of a website, so the experts at CSS Tricks decided to use their 404 page to see what’s underneath the pretty outer of a website.
The web designers worked hard on creating a site for Blizzard Entertainment, so of course, they then worked hard on completely ruining it for the purpose of a 404 page. It all looks very extreme, but it works, and once again puts the blame on the user in a comedic way. We’re just incredibly glad that the actual homepage doesn’t look like this, or we’d have to have a word with the designers…
Can we sneak ourselves into here? Looks like we can…
We took some inspiration from these epic 404 pages and created our own, using a fitting GIF of a lazy Bulldog to greet those who visit our 404 page. Including call-to-actions are a great tactic for ensuring users don’t bounce off your site, and a fun image will keep them feeling cool, calm and collected.
The experts in design at Hoppermagic have also used their brand name to their advantage, blaming the 404 error on rabbits nibbling at the cables. This simple yet effective 404 page does the trick and redirects uers to the home page. Job well done!
20th Century Fox cleverly use scenes from their films to distract their users from the horror of a 404 page. Not only this, but they use it as a promotional tactic, directing the user to purchase the film shown. It might not work for everyone, but with the number of movie-lovers visiting the site, we’re sure a sale will be made somewhere down the line!
So, there you have it! Some of the best 404 pages around. We’d suggest jazzing up the 404 page on your site, just so all corners are covered in the horrific event that a user lands on the page.