Have you ever checked the 404 page on your website?

404 on a multi-coloured background, with an upside down smiley face

40-what, I hear you say? Let me enlighten you.

When you have a broken link on your website, it displays an error page, known as a 404. For all the geeks out there, this is the HTTP response code which signals that the specific page requested can’t be found on the web server.

You can control what appears on this 404 page, so why not make it useful for those lost visitors?

First you need to check what your 404 page currently looks like. Start at your website home page, then add an incorrect destination at the end of the URL – www.yourdomain.co.uk/lost, for example (remembering to insert your own domain).

Review at what comes up.

  • Is the page useful or confusing?
  • Does the text include an apology that matches the tone of voice of your content?
  • Does it give visitors options for how to get back on track or search for what they are looking for?

If you have a helpful and engaging 404 page, congratulations.

If you think there is room for improvement, work out what you would like to change to make it more useful. Then check your WordPress theme for a template or page that you can edit.

Alternatively, speak to someone like me who can help you improve the experience for lost visitors on your website.

404 page examples for inspiration

Star Wars

Screenshot of Star Wars website 404 page

My all time favourite 404 page.


Screenshot of Moz 404 page

Featuring Moz’s brand mascot, Roger Mozbot.


Screenshot of Headspace 404 page

I love how Headspace’s 404 page reminds you to take a deep breath before moving on.

Hello Lovely

Screenshot of Hello Lovely's 404 page

Brilliant use of the office assistant!

Carbon Orange

Screenshot of Carbon Orange's 404 page

This is definitely one to watch to find out how that splat got there!

Image credit: visuals on Unsplash