Reading time 3 min

Downtime occurs more often than most businesses like to admit. In fact, according to studies by the Aberdeen Research Group, the average website is out of business 8 days a year. This makes for 192 hours of 500 error messages from any given site, resulting in Internet users frequently experiencing feelings of anger, stress, and animosity – not exactly the customer experience businesses tend to aim for.

Although downtime is difficult to avoid altogether, limiting its impact is feasible. In addition to being transparent about downtime and monitoring your site so that you can be alerted of issues as quickly as possible, having a humorous, clever, or visually appealing 500 error page may help to soften the blow when your site is unavailable. Although the ultimate goal is that users will never see your 500 error page, in the case that something does go wrong (because something will go wrong), it can’t hurt to give frustrated users something pretty to look at as they frantically click the refresh button in hopes of gaining access to your site.

To recognize sites that have attempted to make the downtime experience slightly more bearable, we’ve compiled a gallery of our 15 favorite 500 error pages (in no particular order) for your viewing pleasure. If your business has an awesome error page that hasn’t been included, or if we’ve left someone out, feel free to let us know. We’d love to hear your comments!

1. LivingSocial

2. atizo

3. Giant Bomb

4. GitHub

5. Hootsuite


We interrupt this listicle for an important message:
Are you looking to get ahead of outages and avoid the need for error pages like these? Request more information and get your free trial of the Rigor platform today!


6. LinkedIn

7. Opera Portal

8. Clickscape

9. Twitter

10. YouTube

11. Qype

12. Twingly

13. Digg

14. iStockphoto

Want to get ahead of outages? Reach out for a free trial of the Rigor platform today.

Suggested Blog Posts

The Perception Gap for Poor Web Performance

E-commerce revenue continues to grow,as consumers turn away from shopping in brick-and-mortar stores to shopping online.  However, many businesses are not prepared for this growth because they do not fully understand the market and how to invest in...

Read More

Using Browser Trends to Maintain a Better Site

Because of the multifarious nature of web clients today, it’s important to consider the usage statistics when designing, implementing, and managing your site. However, misconceptions often arise when determining what browsers to design...

Read More

Finding Causes of Intermittent Errors from Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools is a web service that allows webmasters to view the status of their sites as seen by Google and the Googlebot crawlers. In addition to indexing your site structure and content, the Googlebot crawlers also record data on perform...

Read More

Optimization Options not Always Optimal

Web designers and developers are always looking for ways to speed up their page load times. Yahoo has an excellent article written on the best practices for speeding up your page. How do you know if implementing one of their suggested practices will...

Read More