How to create a custom 404 page in Squarespace

By David Nge • Last Updated: October 25, 2022

Here's a step-by-step tutorial on how to create and set up a custom 404 page in Squarespace.

We'll go over:

By the end of this tutorial, you will have successfully created a custom 404 page that impresses your visitor and increases value for your business.

Let's dive right in.

Create a new custom 404 page in Squarespace

Here's the step-by-step guide to creating a custom 404 page in Squarespace.

  1. Log in to your Squarespace dashboard and head to Pages.
Head to Pages
Head to Pages

2. Create a new black page under NOT LINKED.

Create a new blank page
Create a new blank page

3. Name the page 404 Page.

Name the new page "404 Page"
Name the new page "404 Page"

4. Click Edit to start customizing the 404 page. Make sure the page you're editing is the newly created 404 page (it should be highlighted).

Edit the new 404 page
Edit the new 404 page

5. Add a new Page Section then add a new blank section.

Add a new page section
Add a new page section
Add a blank section
Add a blank section

6. Add the following content blocks, then edit and arrange them accordingly.

Start adding the blocks for the custom 404 page
Start adding the blocks for the custom 404 page
The block elements of custom 404 page
The block elements of custom 404 page

With the newly released Fluid Engine,  Squarespace has made it easier to design these pages. Just drag the text and image blocks into their respective order and they should align automatically.

7. That's it. You've created a new custom 404 page. Click Done from the top corner to save changes.

8. The last step is to set the new page as the default 404 page. From your Squarespace dashboard, head to Design ➝ 404 page, then select the new 404 page from the drop down menu.

Head to Design
Head to Design
Select 404 Page
Select 404 Page
Select 404 page from the drop down
Select 404 page from the drop down

Save the changes and that's it. You've successfully created and set up a new custom 404 page!

Helpful tips and what makes a good 404 page

These are some helpful things you can include in your 404 page to improve the page experience.

  1. Make the title apparent and let the users know the page they're looking for doesn't exist or has been removed.
  2. Offer a way for them to reach out to you by including your email or contact number.
  3. Help users navigate the site by including relevant links.
  4. Provide value to the users by offering free resources such as templates, guides, or blog posts.
  5. Personalize the page with photos and humor (optional).

Need some inspiration? Read below to learn how top Squarespace designers design their 404 pages.

5 Creative custom 404 page design examples from other Squarespace sites

Take your custom 404 page one step further by taking inspiration from other Squarespace sites.

1. Taylor Nguyen

Taylor Nguyen's custom 404 page
Taylor Nguyen's custom 404 page

Taylor Nguyen is a Toronto-based freelance web designer who helps small businesses stand out with her design prowess.

Her 404 page is carefully designed, and it doesn't look like a broken page at all!

What makes this custom 404 page stands out

2. Big Cat Creative

Big Cat Creative custom 404 page
Big Cat Creative custom 404 page

Erica and her team run Big Cat Creative, a web design agency based in New Zealand. It doesn't hurt to incorporate some humor in their 404 page!

What makes this custom 404 page great

3. Lauren Taylar

Lauren Taylar's custom 404 page
Lauren Taylar's custom 404 page

Lauren is a web designer and SEO consultant who helps female creatives build kickass professional websites.

While the 404 page is simple, I like that she added some personal touch to it and made it practical for her visitors.

Why this custom 404 page works

4. Kate Scott

Kate Scott's custom 404 page
Kate Scott's custom 404 page

kate Scott creates smart website templates that help entrepreneurs grow their online businesses. Sometimes keeping it simple is all you need, and that's what Kate did for her 404 page.

What makes this custom 404 page works

5. Kerstin Martin

Kerstin Martin's custom 404 page
Kerstin Martin's custom 404 page

Kerstin is a solopreneur who runs a successful blogging and web design business. She obviously owns a cat and doesn't mind low-key blaming her for the 'bad experience'.

What makes this custom 404 page interesting

Conclusion

404 pages are often uninspiring, but yours doesn't have to be that way.

You can add value to your visitors and your business by creating a custom 404 page that incorporates useful links, content, and resources.

Your visitors get something out of the bad experience, and you might end up with a potential client. It's a win-win situation.