Nothing’s worse than searching for a page that isn’t there. Frankly, bluntly, and in all other ways candid: hitting a 404 page usually sucks.
There are, however, some creative methods one can employ to make the frustrating 404 experience suck a little less. Humorous attempts have been made by imaginative webmasters all over the world to make their 404 pages a small consolation prize in the wake of user disappointment and frustration. Funny web comics, helpful guides, animations, games, and even the occasional existential lament from a ghost in the machine all populate this compendium of the noble efforts to placate irritated visitors who’ve taken a wrong turn.
Take a look at some of our favorites and feel free to leave a few of your own in the comment section.
1. Association for Computing Machinery
The Association of Computing Machinery’s server has become sentient, and it feels reallllly bad that it can’t find the page you want.
Cute, fuzzy, and ferocious. Rawnet’s 404 page is just adorable enough to where you’re glad you found it.
Pivotdesk puts it to you straight and unapologetically. It’s your fault for looking for things that don’t exist anyway.
Phillips goes the subtle route, with a dark room on a website dedicated for lighting. They also manage to provide you with relevant links to get you back on track.
You may have just witnessed the aftermath of a murder, but at least it’s kinda cute. It also matches the website’s quirky branding.
It really makes you think. Are you even sitting at a desk right now? Whoa. Mind=Blown.
Every time you come to the IMDB 404 page it gives you a different movie quote cleverly altered for the sake of letting you know you’re in the wrong place.
Look at the bunny. Try not to audibly “D’aaaawwww.” It’s impossible. Once you’re done admiring the precious little bun-bun, you’ve got all the most popular links conveniently arranged on your right.
This is a 404 page that must be included on this list to illustrate my dedication to excellent 80’s movies. Now keep moving down the list you son of a motherless goat.
Back away slowly, lest you get force choked for your impudence.
We call him the Bry-man. He’s the stylish one in the group. And yes, that is Sex Panther you smell.
I don’t know exactly what makes this picture so fantastic. It could be the tan lines. It might be the juxtaposition of masculine physique and feminine swimwear. The explanation, much like the page, remains unfound.
This is an effective tact for a 404 page: blame the visitor. They probably did spell the URL wrong. Stupid visitors.
Simple animation, links to more likely destinations, and a quote from Truman Capote to cap it all off. This 404 page is a roller coaster from start to finish.
In Soviet Russia, page can’t find you. Check out the hot electric polka music and epic dance moves from this 404 wonder.
Again, perfect mixture of humor and usability. 404 pages need more links.
Second Star Wars reference today. GitHub outdoes the Darth Vader with the mouse-tracking animation though.
I am thoroughly creeped out. Any 404 that can elicit a flight or fight response makes the list on principle alone.
You may have thought you were looking for a page, but now that you’ve found the 404, you’re most definitely playing Pac-man.
The Stone’s classic hit makes this 404 all too appropriate.
Nothing like a screaming goat to put you back into the sales funnel fast.
You’ve got to respect the effort put forth into making an entire U2 parody music video for your 404 page. I defy you to listen without singing along.
This isn’t an example so much as a suggestion. Notfound.org transforms your 404 page into a missing persons page. You can help locate a lost child simply by installing an application.
That’s it for our list. Which did you like best?