An Error Page or an Error Message is usually frowned upon by the internet users. And if the traditional 404 Error Page is considered, confusion is added to the anger of the user. Here are 5 ways to ensure that the visitor of your Website does not get frustrated but is left with a smile if he encounters the 404 Error Page:
- Use A Non-Technical Language : The 404 Error Page denotes that the page that the user is looking for does not exist or might have been moved. It is very important that you make this fact abundantly clear in the Error Page. The traditional 404 Error Page simply contains the words 404-Not Found in black against a white background. In most of the cases, the user will have no idea what 404 implies. He will thus either navigate away from the page or might even call his internet service provider. You need to state it clearly to the user that the page he is looking for is no longer available under the link he clicked or the URL he typed.
- Spell-Checks : Prompt the reader to check the spelling that he has typed in the URL. The 404 Error Page is also displayed if the URL is misspelled.
- Add Links Of Navigation : It is obvious that the user has landed on the 404 Error Page while searching for something. It is always advisable to add tabs with links to your homepage so that the user knows which Website he has landed up in or a search box so that he can search for the page he was originally searching for. If he ends up in your homepage, he might get interested in what your site offers and thus become a potential customer.
- Allow For Error Reporting : If any of the links in your Website lead to the 404 Error Page, it means that there are broken links which need to be repaired. Allow the user to report back the problem via the 404 Error Page itself. Understand that this would be a favor which the user has done on you and thus express your gratitude wholeheartedly.
- Present The Page Creatively : A creative 404 Error Page will always reduce the anger and frustration of the user. Divert his attention from his anger to the creativity displayed in the page. A creative 404 Error Page will not only leave a smile on the face of the user but also enhance the credibility of your Website.