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404 Error Pages

Document Type: Standard


HHS must use a user-friendly error message for when the server can not find what was requested.


A 404 error page is returned for several reasons:
  • A internal broken link
  • A mistyped URL or an out of date bookmark/favorite
  • A search engine link that is out of date

A user-friendly Web site will give the user a helping hand.  The message should be a simple statement that the requested URL could not be found on your site, e.g., “Did you mean to type ‘suggestion here’?”


The error page text must provide the following:

  • User-friendly content: We are sorry but the page you are requesting could not be found.
  • Suggested alternatives: Did you mean to type “suggestion here”?
  • A link to the site search.
  • Links to the site’s main pages.