Unfortunately, 404 error pages are some of the most-visited pages on the entire internet. It's unavoidable - sometimes, pages just can't be found. Now, one project in the European Union wants to raise awareness that there are other thing out there that can't be found, and they are a lot more important than webpages.
Missing Children Europe, with the help of Child Focus, have just launched the NotFound project. The initiative asks that websites let them take over their 404 error pages to help display information on missing children across the EU.
It's pretty simple: Site owners can install the NotFound application right from the site. After that's complete, any time an internet user lands on the site's 404 page, an image of a missing child will be displayed. It will also include some basic information, the number for the European Hotline for Missing Children, and this message:
Page not found, neither is (Alessia & Livia Schepp)...
"This project will allow us to once again concentrate the attention on children whom we haven't heard of for many years. These children risk to fall into oblivion. The choice of the shown missing persons message on the 404 page will be at random: it could be a recent disappearance, or on the contrary, a child that has been missing for a long time. We already have a few major partners and invite every business or person with a website to join our project. No financial investment is required, just good will," says Maryse Roland of Child Focus.
Some websites take the time to spice up their 404 pages, to make them funny or interesting. NotFound's goal is to make them useful.
"The 404-page is a cornerstone of the internet culture. An increasing number of websites designs have customized error pages that limit frustrations for the user. With the NotFound-project we are however taking this one step further by giving these pages a reason to exist. The next step came easily: Page not found, neither is this child," said project creator Laurent Dochy.
According to NotFound, they already have close to 1,000 sites (of varying notoriety) participating in the initiative.