Tips for a better website

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No 404 error page at Google?

Standard 404 page

I had a bit of a scare this week. If you accidentally type in instead of, you get this:

Not really what you'd expect from Google.

What is a 404 error page?

A web server shows an error 404 if it is asked for the url of a page that doesn't exist. Because the page doesn't exist anymore, for example. Or because the user made a mistake in typing in the url.

A standard 404 error page looks pretty unattractive and isn't very useful. The best thing you can do is create your own 404 page. On that page you should put your logo, main navigation, the message that the page the user is looking for doesn't exist anymore, maybe a few suggestions and a search feature.

Practice what you preach?

What makes Google's lack of a customised 404 error page so strange is the fact that they give tips about how to make your 404 pages more useful on their blog. An oversight? Or strategy?

A big thank you to Elja Trum of for pointing this out.

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