404 with more

6:30 PM 14 September 2003

Looking at my web stats I was surprised the other day when I saw how many “404 Not Found” errors were reported. At this point I have no idea how to analyse my stats to reveal exactly what queries are being attempted; Or if there are broken links - where the refering page is.

Maybe this is a normal “prodding for cracks” internet occurance performed by curiously bored people or brainless bots. In time I expect gain some wisdom on this, right now I can only assume people are looking for something on my site they are not finding.

One particularly appealing idea seems to turn the otherwise dead end URLs into search queries - serving up a list of potential pathways into the site to even the most random page requests. This is beyond my effort level at the moment but I would like to, at least, include a search field on the page.

Even this provides me with significant study - so for the moment I’m going to add a link to this entry on my 404 page and encourage visitors (at least the humans) to tell me what they were looking for by typing a few words into the comments form. I’ll naturally be surprised if (m)any bother, but hey, why not.

If I can leave you with a relevant smile perhaps this 404 error page (link removed - no longer interesting) is the best example. Warning this wit may be lost on you if you are not familiar with a particular model of Peugeot.

Further thoughts


  1. Commented
    6:30 PM 20 September 2003

    This is a good idea.. 404 page with a search. nice. :)

Oliver Boermans is a design geek in Adelaide, South Australia: ollicle.com is a place for Ollie to rant, reflect and share. Feed

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