What is Error 404 or "PAGE NOT FOUND ERROR"?
Many of time such instances have taken place where all of us have seen the error message: “Error 404: Page not found” after loading a page. What is depicts and in the first place why this error occurs any why? The reason of the error is that when you put up your request to the server, then it comes to know that this particular page in not present on the server at the moment. It can be because of a variety of the reasons and occurs on the Client side.
What is the critical effect of 404 error?
It impacts users in a negative way. It makes your website suffer from the much-decreased rate of the overall traffic because the users want swift, rapid responses and much less load time. When the users are headed with this error they get annoyed and completely close the tab and merely retry coming to that web page. The issue is more critical when users are more interested in your competitor or rivalry websites.
There are some of the reasons for this scenario. A brief study of them is as follows.
- Requested file does not exist
Websites are the subject to continuous changes. These changes may include deleting file, renaming the existing ones or moving within the main website. Despite the fact that webmaster makes sure that the links/ pages being moved or deleted permanently does not appear on the website, but it is not possible to change the previous external link to the renamed and deleted pages. The links that are present in the external sites and specifically in the cache of any device will link to the old versions of the pages.
Many of the people make typing mistakes. The probabilities of the mistakes have been increased even more with the increased use of smartphones. Because the area dedicated for typing i.e. the address bar, in them is not very wide. The people with eyesight issues suffer even more in this case.
- Modification/ Renaming
If you have a website that requires consumers interactions like online buying sites then changing your address will make you suffer. As the cards you distributed earlier will be having the old address and people will type that in the search bar and will be hit by the error.
Resolving the matter
Some of the steps can be taken to give the users proper knowledge about what have been done. This includes some factors that are listed below.
Take the blame on your side
The term “Error” appears to be frustrating and annoying. Also, the phrases like you have tried to access a page that does not exist puts a kind of blame over the user that they have made some mistake. Try to deliver a user-friendly and informative message rather than putting the error.
Instead of making 404 errors boring and frustrating try adding some fun people will like it. Moreover, they will be indulged in the error displayed rather than finding it boring and completely not coming to the website. One such example can be found on mint.com.
Provide a proper suggestion
Despite showing an error message give the proper description about the reason of the error. Give them the proper guideline to the user for assisting them with proper direction. Provide them with the proper link to click on to rather than leaving them with the situation to hit the back button.
Try to keep the 404 messages simple and understandable. Use a basic structure that can help the user rather than give him no idea of the situation. Keep the design of the error dialog same to that of the website. So things appear familiar to the user.
Yahoo practices this phenomenon as it keeps the layout and design of the error same to that of the main website.
Keep it basic
Do not complicate the 404 error message; it should depict the basic and necessary information. It must direct your users to the direction they were heading toward, but had to come across this error.
One such example is the 404 error message of digital photography school. It along with the 404 error message gives the post recently posted data on the websites.