The Greatest Hits of 404

Posted by: Rea Maor In: Internet and SEO - Sunday, June 24th, 2007

A ‘404’ is of course one of those error pages you get when you send your web browser to fetch a page which doesn’t exist. Sometimes you get a straight-forward error page, and sometimes you walk off the edge of the web and into the Twilight Zone.

Maybe you’ll go see Big Brother. Or the Lost Boys. Or Morgoth. Or even a random nude image at this Not Safe For Work (but soft-core) site.

What happened? Maybe the document got eaten by a grue. Or a Hawaiian cybershark. Maybe there was a general page fault. Nah, probably just Lost in Space!

Some sites can’t resist the urge to play a joke on you. This one might give you a start if you weren’t expecting it. This site claims to have been shut down for a reason. This one has some fun with dialog boxes.

Spotting unusual 404 error pages has become a minor Internet sport in itself. Some websites get extra points for giving you a page almost as engaging as the one you were probably looking for. It’s as if they were carrying on the tradition of software “Easter Eggs”; those hidden features of games and systems that you uncover accidentally. This guy gives you a Bitty Browser to play with at the bottom. This site lets you play Zork. Here is one that has you talk to the famous Eliza artificial intelligence program. This site actually gives you a whole arcade’s worth of games!

Incidentally, it’s easy to make your own custom 404 page. Just create any normal web page, name it “404.html” and drop it into your public_html folder on your website! By default, your web server should check there to find it, before serving up its own default error page. What, did you think that there was some big secret to doing this?


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2 Responses to “The Greatest Hits of 404”

  1. Coop Search Says:

    Here is a list

    http://www.sendcoffee.com/minorsage/404error.html

  2. It’s LinkBombing Time! - 6/25/07 Says:

    […] The Greatest Hits of 404 […]

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