An error page is always something that receives careful attention in a great web design – and is often overlooked by beginning designers or those new to WordPress or Headway. Some even think – why bother? Hopefully no one will see it!
Those who do see this page, however, are likely to just move off your site in favor of a different resource. Is that what you want? No! You want to draw your visitor into your site to see if there is something else of interest.
Here are a few ideas to help make your 404 Error Page more interesting:
Use a Fun Graphic
Don’t just use text – use a graphic! A baby making an “uh oh face” or a graphic that matches your overall design theme, whatever. A graphic will be more eye-catching than boring “Sorry! Broken Link!” text and catch their attention for a split second longer.
Add A Prominent Search Bar
Make sure that you add a search bar to this page! If they got a bad link, they could still try searching for whatever resource they hoped to find, and maybe even find something else of interest on your site.
Add a List of Most Popular Articles
If you are running a blog on your site, add a list of most popular articles in the sidebar or below your “Sorry! Broken Link!” message – even a few links to other places on your site may help draw them in to see what others are reading. If you run a static website consider linking to your services, contact page, or anything else that may help your visitor find their way.
Use a Clever Message
“Whoops! 404 Error” is great and all, but this message could be a lot better. Add some text (by editing the Page in WordPress entitled Whoops! 404 Error) apologizing for the inconvenience and consider providing the visitor with a way to report the broken link as well. Try using a clever narrative, anything other than another boring “Not Found” message!