404 pages: Can you fix what’s already broken?

If you arrive at a webpage which has a message starting ‘Error 404’, you might wonder what it means. Simply, it means that the webpage you have visited either has the incorrect URL address or that the content that was previously there has been removed for some reason. Either way, it can be a little disconcerting for some people.

Used to illustrate a broken page or part of a site, you might think that little can be done with a 404 page, but that’s not the case at all. In recent years, therehas been a growing trend for 404 pages being changed almost beyond recognition. They have been made to be more informative, act as extra ad space or for more leftfield purposes.

A splash of colour

Previously, 404 pages were thought of as being nothing more than a blindingly obvious message surrounded by white space. However, they can be made to be far more colourful and easy on the eye with the addition of memes, cartoons or even something like a modified message that’s either humorous or slightly apologetic in tone.

Strange though it might seem, 404 pages can also be used in the search for missing persons. With so much space to use, it kind of makes sense to use these pages for more charitable ends, especially if they’re viewed by thousands of people. If they’re used in the right way, then 404 pages can be fixed to become something far more substantial.

Here are some creative uses of the 404 page

Dawdle, Mario, 404 page,
Dawdle created this great Mario inspired 404 page. 
Their Princess is in another castle.

South Park, 404 page,
South Park Studios
South park Studios created this 404 page which displays the 
series’ usual humour and reflects the brand.

Cats Who Code, 404 page,
Where would we be without the internet’s favourite animal? 
This simple 404 page is funny and cute.

Virgin Cruises, 404 page
Virgin Cruises
This animated 404 page from Virgin Cruises is simple and informative. 
It allows the user to find what they are looking for from right on the page.

Rarview, Chuck Norris, 404 page
Apparently Chuck Norris is all you need on a 404 page

For more interesting 404 Pages please see a similar article on Typecast.
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