Best 404 Pages: 39 Inspiring Examples of Error Page Innovation
- 1 Funny 404 Pages
- 2 Best Interactive 404 Pages
- 3 Most Creative 404 Pages
- 4 Animated 404 Pages
- 5 Best 404 Pages FAQs
- 6 Conclusion
The dreaded 404 page doesn’t have to be boring.
In fact, it can be used in such a way to improve brand recognition and increase conversions.
But, how will you make yours stand out?
In this post, we’ve listed 39 of the BEST 404 pages. From funny 404 pages to full-blown retro games, and more.
Check out all of these examples to get inspired for your own 404 page.
Funny 404 Pages
This first group of the best 404 pages are crafted with a sprinkle of humor.
If you’re looking for some inspiration for your own 404 page or just a good laugh, then you’ll appreciate these.
Ready to Go Survival
You’re presented with Morpheus from the movie classic The Matrix, offering you two options – The red pill or the blue pill.
The red pill links to the Ultimate Bug Out Bag List and the blue pill takes you to the homepage, suggesting you can believe whatever you want to believe.
This website templates and marketing tools company make use of a Venn diagram on their 404 page.
The diagram provides two possibilities for what might have gone wrong.
“We Broke Something” or “You Can’t Type”.
It’s to the point and quite comical, as long as you don’t have a mistyping complex.
The Lego 404 error page shows a “minifig” with a worried look on his face.
But, they also have a positive message, reassuring you that “everything is STILL AWESOME!”
This on-brand and clever spin on words make for a creative 404 page.
The games development company Blizzard has an interesting 404 page.
They have sent out a rescue murloc to help you find your way back to the home page.
But that’s not all. The button text is even in murloc language. I can only guess that “Mmmrrgmgrrrgmmll” means “Home” in murloc speak.
If you get lost on Medium, you might end up finding stories you never thought you needed.
That’s the message you’re presented with on this 404 page, emphasizing that “You can find (just about) anything on Medium.”
It’s a great way to keep you on the platform or to find your way back to the home page.
Bruno is a creative agency in Normandy and California and their 404 page will give you a laugh if you’ve seen the movie it references.
It’s a play on words from Dude! Where’s my car? Switching out the word car with page.
For an extra giggle the link to the home page is another reference, “And then…”, but you really need to have seen the movie to get it.
“You’ve Gone Off Script” is the apt message you get on the AMC Theatres 404 page.
They further express their love for “Improv” to soften the blow and give you a few reasons why you may have gotten lost.
You also get some links to navigate to other places on the site, such as buying tickets and exclusive offers.
Best Interactive 404 Pages
These 404 pages are interactive in various ways. From simple mouse movement effects to full-blown retro games.
This car dealer’s website has a very impressive 404 page.
It’s an 8-bit retro car game, complete with levels, high scores, lives, and sound effects.
The aim is to dodge boulders and other cars using your keyword to move up and down.
When it’s game over, the call to action prompts you to “Book a Test Drive”.
If anything, it’s a great way to pass some time on your lunch break.
If the last 404 page didn’t bring back enough childhood memories, then the Kualo 404 page certainly will.
It’s a clone of the classic game Space Invaders.
The web hosting company uses the game to give you the chance to win a discount on a hosting plan.
You just have to score 1000 points to win. Good luck!
The design tool by Figma presents you with customizable 404 numbers.
The numbers have been drawn with the pen tool, which allows you to drag different points of the design.
It gives you the chance to play around with one of the many tools Figma has to offer.
This explosive 404 page by HotDot boasts an interactive number and background with parallax effects when moving the mouse.
The numbers are made up of tiny vibrating bubbles, which disperse and reemerge when clicked.
A unique way to engage visitors who get lost on the site.
GitHub’s 404 page is a simple, yet cute design of their mascot stranded on a desert island.
Elements of the design move around on the page as you move the mouse.
But you aren’t left stranded, as there’s a search bar to find what it is you were looking for.
Zhenyary is a creative professional in web, product design, and beyond.
And her 404 error page does disappoint. The page is filled with smiley-faced bubbles that move away from the curser.
It’s a fun and fitting way to show off her talents.
Andrea Reni is a software engineer with exceptional branding skills.
His 404 page displays sketchy visual effects, eerie sounds, and strange noises on mouse clicks.
The terminal-like prompt in the bottom left provides instructions to navigate around the site.
It’s an extremely unique experience that will no doubt impress potential clients.
If you thought the last 404 page was strange, check out LeQB, an architecture and design studio.
It’s kind of like oil moving around and forming shapes as you move the mouse.
The only instruction is “Click to Back Home”, which takes you to the home page.
Romain Avalle is a front-end developer with a super cool 404 page.
The design of the numbers stretches out and moves around in a parallax effect.
It’s honestly quite mesmerizing.
The page is very minimal with necessary links to the rest of the site.
This 404 page has to be the most mesmerizing on the list. It features a cat with laser beams coming out of his eyes.
Day Cloud Studios, a digital agency, uses this unique design to uncover a hidden message. And it’s a lot of fun to shoot laser beams.
Blue Path are data strategy consultancy firm in Atlanta.
Their 404 page utilizes their skills by displaying a map of crime in the local area, suggesting that you are way off the map.
Most Creative 404 Pages
Creative 404 pages are inspiring and makes you appreciate the effort that’s gone into something so simple.
These are the best 404 pages with the most creativity.
The IMDB 404 page is a cool speech bubble that displays a random quote each time you refresh the page.
The quotes? From famous movies, of course.
Orange Coat is a web design agency with a fun and creative 404 page.
It’s a concept map helping figure out why you landed on their 404 page, and what you can do to resolve the situation.
Myriad is a creative video agency that adds a creative spin to its 404 page.
It displays the lost signal screen found on old TVs, with the message, Oops, No Signal!
There’s a link back to the home page and a timer showing how long you’ve spent there.
The Worry Dream 404 page is a simple one. It’s an elegant pipe with smoke in the shape of the numbers.
If that’s not enough, the message underneath “This is not a page” clearly tells you you’re in the wrong place.
However, if the site used Link Whisper, it would likely recommend a link back to the home page.
CSS Tricks let you see what’s under the hood of their 404 page.
With a tear on the page, you can see some CSS in action and some basic options to help you find what you need.
Erin and Smith
Ervin & Smith use thought-provoking copy to get their potential clients to ask the right questions.
For a branding company, this is essential, which is what makes their 404 page so genius.
An elegant 404 page by KonMari is the home of Mari Kondo, a tidying expert.
This on-brand 404 page has a very fitting message.
They’ve been tidying up and letting the page go with gratitude.
The HeadSpace 404 page offers you the chance to take a deep breath before you navigate to a different page.
A fitting way to promote the company’s mindfulness app.
The mascot on the page even expands, cueing you to inhale and exhale with it.
McKissack & McKissack
McKissack & McKissack is an architecture, engineering, and construction management firm.
Their simple, yet pleasantly designed 404 page clearly states that “Something is wrong.”
There’s a link to the home page and a contact form you can use to get in touch with the company.
Awww. Don’t Cry. This is the message you’ll see on the Pixar 404 page, along with Sadness from the Pixar classic, Inside Out.
They creatively explain that “What you’re looking for may have been misplaced in Long Term Memory.” – A nice touch.
Amazon put their 404 page to good use for the dogs who work at Amazon HQ.
You heard that right. There are an astounding 4,000 registered dogs of Amazon.
The 404 page showcases a different dog with its name each time you refresh the browser.
There’s also a link to the home page and a search bar at the top for your convenience.
ConvertKit has the same idea as Amazon, only the pets they show aren’t limited to dogs.
They name them ConvertPets. I’m not sure if this means they are the pets of the ConvertKit staff or if they help around the office.
Either way, it adds a personal touch to their 404 page.
This cool illustration on Kinsta’s 404 page is of a person finding what looks like an Egyptian tomb.
The torch lights up the entrance with a big 404 engraving. Who knows if there’s anything inside?
There are links to the home and contact us pages and a list of recent articles lower down the page.
At first glance, it might be hard to spot the depth of this 404 page.
But a lot of creativity has gone into it from the guys at CoShedule.
It’s a picture of some dogs chilling on sun loungers with the message, “Looks like this page went on vacation.”
So the page went on vacation, as did the dogs, and they can do so comfortably with CoSchedule handling everything.
Sprout Social also uses clever wording to make its 404 page stand out.
It’s a cute astronaut on the mood with a 404 flag and everything. The message?
“Oops! Wrong landing.” Bravo, Sprout Social, bravo.
NPR doesn’t like the idea that you’ve lost your way around the site.
Not only do they provide links to search, report a 404 page error, and browse to the home page, but they share some stories about lost people, too.
Animated 404 Pages
These 404 page examples animate when you land on them. It’s a cool way to add character to the page and make it come to life.
Probably one of the most minimalistic 404 pages on the list. This one has all the necessary links to find your way around the site.
And, there’s a girl who drops her ice cream on the floor. Much worse than landing on 404 pages.
OK, this is animated and funny. The graphic on this 404 page is of a flying saucer levitating a mouse curser.
The pun? This page has been abducted.
Lower down the page are some features and benefits of their products and links to some blog posts.
Spotify has traveled back in time with its 404 page. The animation is of an old record player, playing the track 404, of course.
They also add a spin (pun intended) on words in the title of the page. Instead of 808s and Heartbreaks (Kanye West album), it’s 404s and Heartbreaks.
All VERY on-brand, Spotify.
Screaming Frog, the SEO auditing tool has a 404 page that matches the brand nicely.
It’s a lake, complete with lilies and fish. The message is some tongue-in-cheek irony, as they develop software to help you fix broken internal links.
I guess this is an exception though.
This last 404 page by Mantra Labs terminates in 10, 9, 8, 7… OK, it doesn’t terminate, but it does have a countdown timer that redirects you home.
The animation? An astronaut who seems to have run out of oxygen. Poor guy, or gal?
Best 404 Pages FAQs
What is the use of a 404 page?
The default 404 error code is a basic message explaining that the page cannot be found.
It’s a common occurance when pages are deleted or URLs are mistyped.
The problem with standard 404 pages is leaving the visitor unsure of what action to take next.
Do they click through to the home page? Do they search your site for the page they’re looking for?
All these things and more can be included in a custom 404 page to ease your visitor’s minds and redirect them somewhere else.
Better still, keep them engaged on your site and possibly even convert them into a subscriber.
How do I make a custom 404 page?
Creating a custom 404 page depends on the CMS you’re using, but they mostly involve the same steps.
In WordPress, you’ll need to make sure your theme has a 404.php file.
Then, you can add custom code to this file to make it your own.
Another way is to use a WordPress plugin such as Smart Custom 404 error page. This lets you assign the 404 page to a normal page you create in WordPress.
There you have it. The very best 404 pages to inspire some creativity into your “page not found” page.
Don’t leave your visitors hanging.
A well thought out 404 page is a great way to add personality to your site. And convert unexpected visitors at the the same time.