Well perhaps that’s over stating it just a little bit but I was rather surprised to see that the labour party website doesn’t have a custom 404 page. Why is that important? Well, if someone follows a link to a page that no longer exists or follows a link that has a slight mis spelling, if there is no custom 404 page, then they’re lost. For the uninitiated a 404 is the response a web server delivers when it can’t find the page that is requested on a website.
Why is this important? Well, I was following a link from the marvellous Stuart Bruce Blog. He’s pointing at something interesting on the Labour party website. Mr Bruce is a chap who is quite rightly widely read, one of the leaders in thought in the UK blogosphere but the love he is sending to the piece of interest on the Labour party site is wasted in this instance. The thing is, a custom 404 page is an easy fix. It takes maybe half an hour to deploy and covers a huge amount of sins. This is what happens if you get a 404 via the PushON website:
See the diference? Full branding and navigation so that you’ve got a chance of keeping hold of the viewer. you never know, they may want to vote for you! (Or spend some money if you’re a business).
Should I test the site to see if it is accessible? That’s a whole new can of worms.
After a quick search, we noticed we currently outrank the BBC, Telegraph and The Times for the term Labour Party Scandal*. Nice.