Downtime is a headache for users as it is for site admins. Unfortunately, it affects nearly every site at one point or another. 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 404 error messages from a given site. We all know the frustrations that can mount when sites are underperforming, but the anger that can surface when a complete failure occurs is very real. These negative emotions are, of course, the opposite of those that our teams intend with their countless hours of UI and UX research and application to the site.
Although downtime is difficult to avoid altogether, limiting its impact is both possible and profitable. In addition to being transparent about downtime and monitoring your site for quick alerting, having a creative, clever, or visually appealing 404 error page may ease tensions that users perceive when your site is unavailable. In a dream world, a fail page would never be necessary, but preparation is key for those few (and hopefully dwindling) occasions that necessitate the page.
To recognize sites that have attempted to make the downtime experience slightly more bearable, we’ve compiled a gallery of our 8 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!
- These Lego characters are more upset than you about this page failure.
- You seem lost; time to get Sherlock on this case.
- People love explanations and when companies take credit for failures.
- Don’t feel alone; you’re not the only one lost.
- If only error pages were always as entertaining as screaming goats.
- Don’t give up on love; eHarmony’s got a heart up its sleeve for you.
- Desperate times call for desperate actions #mostwanted
- You’re lost, but at least you’re not in the middle of this creepy desert.
Rigor is the first end-to-end digital performance monitoring and optimization platform for digital organizations. Our platform programmatically identifies, prioritizes and remediates the root causes of poor site performance and reliability. If you are interested in learning how Rigor can help you proactively avoid the need for these 404 Fail Pages, click here to try free for two weeks.