We use cookies. You have options. Cookies help us keep the site running smoothly and inform some of our advertising, but if you’d like to make adjustments, you can visit our Cookie Notice page for more information.
We’d like to use cookies on your device. Cookies help us keep the site running smoothly and inform some of our advertising, but how we use them is entirely up to you. Accept our recommended settings or customise them to your wishes.
×

Excellent 404 Handling

404 page What happens when your users navigate to a nonexistent page? What should happen? Here are five interesting resources on building an excellent 404 page ("Page Not Found"): The last post reminds us that "pretty" 404 pages must still return a 404 HTTP header code, so that search spiders know the page isn't really there. This subtlety was a new one to me (though not to our web team, happily.) I also agree with JDMorgan's comment on keeping 404s simple:
I'm against introducing additional layers of complexity on top of an error condition, so I say that error documents should be dirt-simple static html pages with few or no external dependencies -- No external images, JavaScripts, CSS, PHP or SSI include files, etc. That is so that if you get one error caused by or affecting any of these potentially-external resources, you won't get a cascade of errors.
Agree. Avoid the complex or cute 404s like this.
Join the Discussion