Showcase of Creative and Entertaining 404 Error Pages
When designing a website, many of us just neglect the error pages considering them insignificant. But the fact is many visitors come across these 404 error pages either because of typing a wrong URL or due to any other number of technical reasons.
Visiting an error page is not a pleasurable experience for a visitor but web designers can make it pleasurable by designing beautiful and creative error pages. All it needs is a little bit of creativity and some quality time, and your error pages will stand out. Here is a list of some creatively designed error pages that will inspire you.
Entertaining 404 Error Pages
This error page is designed with extreme creativity that features an astronaut being lost in the outer space.
Giraffe features a mascot guiding the lost visitors, showing them how they can get back to the site again.
The missing bird in the row represents something is misplaced and cannot be found. Proper navigation is provided to help users get back to the website.
A baby weeping over a computer greets you when you come across the error page on iFolderLinks.
Apartment home Living
A very interesting approach of designing 404 error page. A nice ol’ chap appears whenever you come across an error page and a lady peering from behind the frame lets you navigate the website properly.
Factor D features a beautiful yet terrified vintage scream queen to indicate the horror of being lost.
This error page comically appears as if the user has broken the site with their plate spinning shenanigans.
Here is another example of the site appearing to have been broken by the user.
With a whimsical play on the Where’s Waldo series of books, this 404 error page playfully asks where is the page?
This page uses an illustrated, space age character running through exasperated and lost. The page includes a search box to help users find their way again.
This extremely interactive (complete with animation) design is brimming with creativity. Set in a mock NYC subway line dubbed track 404.
Here the mascot is floating out to sea, far from the familiar shores of the site.
In true 8bit fashion, just what you would expect from this site, comes a little creativity to go a long way.
Has an extremely colorful and artistically crafted error page. Bold and beautiful.
Appropriately designed 404 page that simply says you came too late, the empty plate an indicator that you have missed out on something.
The 404 error page for NPR is designed in such a way that it redirects the lost users to the stories of lost people, places and things.
The site’s creative way of demonstrating that something is missing, easily earned it a place in this showcase.
Spiritual But Not Religious
This site uses a tongue in cheek sense of humor that plays into the site and its mission wonderfully.
Good Old Games (GOG)
This innovative 404 design suggests that the page you were looking for has broken out of the site and is now lost somewhere in the cosmos.
A very creatively designed error page that also uses the lost in space theme to inform visitors that the page they sought could not be found.
This 404 page takes a bit of a different tact. Instead of being helpful, they berate the user and tell them to go away.
Here Hoppermagic takes the whimsical route, deploying their rabbit logo who has chewed on the cables and caused the error.
This error page plays on the age old excuse given to teachers when homework was left undone, which works well on a community site of teachers.
This error page also goes more of the comical route with their weeping raccoon, saddened by the users error.
Here the cute, little weeping penguin also plays on the idea that the users error has caused the sad face. They also provide you with navigation that can take you onward and the make the penguin happy again.
A vividly colored and extremely beautiful 404 error page. With an animated rainbow that appears to make the sadness of the 404 error go away.
OrangeCoat has designed a creative 404 error page flowchart that works with its users to try and figure out what caused the 404 error and to then help them along their merry ways.
This error page was designed for Jolie Poupee which is eco-friendly children’s clothes stores. It is the perfect blend of cute and creepy.
This fantasy gaming site uses imagery from the realm, mixing humor with the lore for their 404.
A visually compelling 3-Dimensional rendering of a broken 404 image is used to grab the users attention and let them know they are lost.
The page features a small bit of the classic 404 error page as an appropriately geeky t-shirt design, and gives the lost users proper navigation options to return back to the site.
A very simple and clean error page designed like a torn out wanted ad from a print publication announcing what the page is missing, and needs to be complete.
Employing the imagery of a broken egg as they explain that something may have broken, their playful explanation playing into the imagery and site’s mission, this 404 page is wonderfully simple and creative.
This playful and entertaining take on a 404 design sets up the page like a role playing game trap deployed on its visitors.
Using some of the sites animated penguins, who are checking a map to show they are lost, this 404 design has the penguins point you in the right direction…towards the navigation.
You may also want to consider our previous posts:
- 404 Error Pages, One More Time
- Single-Page Websites: Examples and Good Practices
- Best Practices For Effective Design Of “About me”-Pages
- 35 Inspirational Shopping Cart Page Designs
- Showcase of Creative (But Not Necessarily Usable) Contact Forms
About the Author
Aquil Akhter is a web graphic designer and has been working in this field for 8 years. He also runs the blog webdesigncore.com, which focuses on free web resources and inspiration for designers and developers.