Lesson 1: 404 Pages
These fun little pages, called 404 pages, are essentially a dead-end on a website. If a link URL changes or a page is deleted, then someone with a link to the original page will no longer be able to access it. A 404 page alerts the viewer that they’ve come across an error but assures them they’re still able to access your website by going back and trying something different.
In this lesson we will:
Step 1: Look at 404-page examples
In all honesty, a 404-page can look like anything you want it to. The best tips we have are to keep it simple, to the point, and to direct visitors back to the homepage so they can start again. From there you can have some fun with it!!
1. Simple & To The Point
Our very own 404-Page keeps things simple, to the point, and gives clear directions.
2. Pop Culture
Funny and poking fun at something that lots of people will recognize will make people smile but isn't suitable for every brand. It might be for yours though! (Just be aware of photo licensing rules and the existing design of your website before choosing an idea like this)
3. Crafty and Clean
Etsy's 404-Page features a cute illustration that is totally on brand for them.
4. Having Fun
Poking fun at the situation in the text always brings a smile to people's faces. And at this point, most people see 404 and know what's going on, so they don't need too much info.
Step 2: Create your own 404 page
Creating a 404-Page is much like creating any other page on your website. In fact, it's exactly the same!
To make your very own 404-page, use the above examples to brainstorm how you would like your own to look, and then create it as a new page in your "Not Linked" section. Best to name it 404-page to keep it easy to find.
PRO TIP! Store all the random extra pages, like 404-pages, in a folder in the "Not Linked" section. Not only can the folder page type be used as a drop-down menu when placed in your navigation, it can also be used as, you guessed it, folders! Add a folder to your "Not Linked" section, and simply click and drag your extra pages into the folder to keep them in one place, nice and organized.
Step 3: Apply the 404 page to your website
Go to Home > Design > Not Found / 404 Page
You will then see a drop-down menu, like this:
From here, you choose the page you want to be set as your 404-page from the dropdown list (look for the one you've named 404-page) and voila, you're done!
Now, the next time a viewer is on your site and clicks on a link that doesn’t work, they will see this instead. You are SO close to the finish line. Head on over to the next lesson to figure out what you’ll want in your footer.