What is it?
Almost every person who uses the Internet on a routine basis has experience a 404 error page. It basically tells the surfer they have either misspelled a URL, or the link is broken. Either way, your
browser is unable to load the desired web page, and the 404 is a standard method to let them know what happened.
They can be useful.
The most common reason for a 404 error is that somebody types a URL incorrectly. For example: desiredsite.com/things/whatilyke, yet it should bedesiredsite.com/things/whatilike. In this regard, the 404 error page lets them know they are on the correct site and it can also provide a link which directs the user back to your home page. This simple 404 page can in many times, stop somebody from leaving your site in frustration, and staying in an effort to further navigate your website.
You can make this page fun.
In the vast majority of the time, you tend to see the standard, sterile version of the page. However, sometimes you will see a light hearted joke and/or a cartoon like picture and this tends to help your customer be a bit more at ease. In addition, you can also add a second scaled down sitemap, which offers links into important areas of your site. Personally, I recommend having a bit of fun with the page and customizing it a bit.
About the Author: Rhett DeMille, the owner of PalmettoSoft, is a leading search engine optimization consultant located in the Florida and Greater Carolina areas.