After some time on the job, web kids tend to pick up a few quirky habits when visiting other sites. Many of us like to view the page source and see what other developers’ practices are like. Personally, while exploring a website, I might be tempted to go to a url that I know would (or at least should) not exist, just to check out their 404 page. Once in a while, I run into something quite spectacular, such as Poem of Quotes’, Limp Fish’s, or Bluegg’s 404 pages.
These error pages aren’t purely meant for designers, developers, and content writers to show off their talents, however. Errors aren’t fun, so of course they should be kept to a minimum, but sometimes these errors are inevitable. Pages get deleted, websites get redesigned, and every once in a while, posts like this get written that tells Google, “Hey, check out these awesome 404 pages.” Instead of throwing technical error messages at an unsuspecting visitor, designers and developers often take advantage of these pages. When done correctly, custom 404 pages can actually help increase your website’s traffic, user engagement, and even conversion rates.