Error 404. We’ve all seen it before on small to large websites. This page appears when something unexpected has gone wrong, and usually means the server cannot find the page you’re looking for.

The message usually looks something like this:

The standard “Page Not Found” 404 message gives no explanation as to why something went wrong, or how to solve the problem; leaving users a poor experience and potentially leaving your website. We wouldn’t want that happening with a potential customer or anyone visiting.

The solution is simple – a custom 404 page. They serve the single purpose of guiding users from a bad page back to a functional page and keep them on your website. A good custom 404 page will usually have unique messages and links that will direct users back to the home page or to a blog or contact page. If your website is large, it would be best to have a custom search box allowing users to enter keywords and directed to specific pages.

Creative custom 404 pages reflect well on any company’s brand image, as it demonstrates understanding of user experience. At Hubnest, we love building 404 pages because we can get quirky with animations, punchy messages, and engaging visuals. This can turn a frustrating roadblock into a lasting impression of your digital personality. To demonstrate, here are some our favourite custom 404 pages on the web today, and why they make our list:

How could someone be frustrated when stumbling upon this art reference? The visual is a great laugh, though it could use a message directing users where to go next.

The image and message align well with the brand image; although we find the bottom text a bit small, there’s a helpful link to contact the website admin and report a broken link.

GitHub is infamous for having the best 404 customizations. The GitHub mascot dressed up as a Star Wars character, and the option to either search within the GitHub website or log into your account, makes this our favourite custom 404.