Moving pages around during a site redesign can be tricky, and while most Webmasters are urged to use 301 redirects (to keep both users and search engine spiders from getting stranded) -- sometimes hard stops like the infamous 404 "Page Not Found" message can't be avoided.
But does a 404 page have to be dull, bland and boring? Not according to Brendan Picha, President of Squareoak Media, a search firm. Picha wanted to create a custom 404 message for a client's site, so he searched the Web looking for inspiration. What he found was a wealth of "Page Not Found" error messages that ran the gamut from elaborate multimedia affairs (complete with a picture of Lionel Richie and an audio track of him singing "Hello") to some disturbing "not safe for work" pics, to downright hilarious captions.
Picha compiled 11 screenshots of the most creative 404's into this blog post (along with direct links), proving that there are creative ways to let users know that they've entered the wrong URL (and even snarkier methods for getting them back on track).