Examples of “Whoops” Pages

Posted: February 9, 2010 in Uncategorized

A lot of people have liked my post about Whoops pages, so I wanted to share some examples, including some my company has done. After the screen shots are some pointers for building your own Whoops pages.

Moon Dog Tavern’s Web site, where the owner is an avid cyclist:

image

I Left My Phone At Home, where we blame the gremlins:

image

B3TA’s Site:

image

Huml:

image

Many more examples can be found here.

Considerations for Whoops pages:

  • Give the user links to pages that are most likely to work, including the home page (let us pray)
  • Provide access to a contact form and/or phone number if you are a commerce site
  • Whoops pages aren’t just for 404 (page not found) errors – they are almost mandatory for when something goes wrong (server errors) and making sure your development team knows something’s gone wacky!
  • Watch your traffic reports and error logs to address these issues that customers are likely not reporting
  • If you are using ASP.NET, you can configure your whoops pages in your web.config, including settings different pages for different types of errors.
  • It’s also a good idea to point your Web server to more creative error pages, since you’re never guaranteed that CGI pages (ASP.NET, ASP, PHP, JSP, and so forth) are going to use your Whoops page for every document type.
  • Don’t make your Whoops pages very intensive, such as including video from your own server (hint: use YouTube or some other video service instead). If there’s a popular page that isn’t working anymore, your bandwidth costs could go through the roof!

This actually reminds me, we have to do a new one on our own site <grin>… sending the email off to our UX team now!

Now, I personally think it would be funny to Rick Roll people on the Whoops page, but you may tick off your customers 🙂

Comments
  1. Greg says:

    Nice post, Auri. I have a passion for quirky 404 pages too. I keep some of my favorites in a public SkyDrive folder at http://bit.ly/a2qWTD. Swing by sometime and have a look!

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