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Forum Moderators: phranque
My 403 page, however, goes
You have tried to gain access to somewhere restricted.
If you have come here via a link on another site, please inform the webmaster of that site of the error.
If you came here from a link on our web site, please email us to tell us where this incorrect link is.
If you typed in the URL yourself - naughty, naughty!
Just about covers it, I think.
One of my mailservers, though, used to return the following in place of the boring "user unknown": 'Warning: Invalid DNA marker for selected phylum: session terminated.' I changed it after several confused, and irate, emails from folks who'd mistyped an address. :)
if you're running anything but the jokes site, the best bet will be to place a site map at 404
As I said, I have a boring 404 page that tries to give useful information to the user as to how to find what they are looking for. I don't think I even mention the figures 404 anywhere on the page.
I've tried to make it look as much like the other pages on the site and as little like an error page as possible. Experience as a support programmer taught me that unsophisticated users tend to panic if they hit an error ("Oh ****! It's broken! What did I do wrong?"), so I tend to disguise the fact from them.
To be funny is one thing. The help visitors staying on your site si the other thing.
You can be funny and keep people on the site. My 404 provided complete nave instructions, looked the same as the rest of the site and incorporated a bit of humor. It also generated some positive email and allowed for a bit of humanity to encroach into a sterile tech world.