3 Reasons not to Waste a 404 Page

Considering nearly every web platform has the ability to produce a useful 404 page, It is amazing how many web designers simply do not understand how to properly utilize a 404 page on their sites.

For those who do not know what a 404 page is, it is what a website displays when you attempt to go to a page or post that either does not exist or has a broken link.

Here is an example of a poorly designed 404 page.

And here is an example of a well designed 404 page.

Typically, when finding themselves on a 404 page most will leave the site and attempt to find the information they were looking for elsewhere. This is why the 404 page is so important. In this post, I will briefly go over a few reasons why everyone needs to be utilizing the 404 pages on their websites.

A good 404 will create a better UX

One of the best and easiest ways to begin building a 404 page is by giving it a look that is consistent with the branding on the rest of the site. The best way to determine if you have done this correctly is by ensuring that those using it would be aware of what website they are on even if they have found themselves on a 404 page. This can be done by adding the main parts they would see on the rest of the site like the logo, menus, and sidebars. Additionally, you could also build on this by giving them options on the 404 page to help them find information relevant to what they were originally searching for.

A good 404 will reduce bounce rate

A byproduct of building a 404 page that is congruent with the rest of the website is that it will decrease the website’s bounce rate which is an extremely important part of Google’s ranking algorithm. Pages that have higher bounce rates and lower times on-site will appear lower on search results. This is because the search engine has determined that the information found on the site may be less relevant to the user than similar content displayed on another website.

A 404 page can be a useful tool

Lastly, another great way to utilize a 404  page is by using it to examine how frequently users find themselves on it. Often times web designers will set up a page redirect to send all 404 traffic to a working page. This does eliminate all 404 status codes but it will also make it far more difficult to find broken internal as well as inbound links. For example, If you happen to see a vast increase in the amount of 404 codes over a short period of time it could be a sign of broken links on the site that need to be addressed.

Ultimately, if a 404 page is built correctly it can be another useful asset to a site that will positively increase overall user experience, help the site rank higher on search engines and can be used to help find issues that need to be addressed. There are more ways to enhance a 404 page but just implementing these 3 easy steps will go a long way in terms of beginning to understand how useful it truly can be.

One of Southwest Montana’s Hidden Gems

Located in the heart of southwest Montana, just 15 minutes west of Butte, lies the largest hot springs pools in Montana. Fairmont Hot Springs Resort is often considered one of the best spots in all of Montana. With 153 rooms, the resort attracts guests from all over the western United States. The main attraction that brings everyone to Fairmont: The hot springs.

With two olympic size swimming pools, (indoor and outdoor), and a 350ft waterslide, Fairmont is the perfect spot for all wintertime activities. Located 45 minutes east of Discovery ski area, Fairmont is a big attraction for skiers looking for a ski getaway, or even an evening soak after a long day on the slopes.

So what are all the things Fairmont has to offer on a skication? With special packages and rates that include two nights lodging at Fairmont, four full day lift tickets at Discovery, four waterslide passes, and 24 hour pool access, Fairmont provides you with a full fun weekend on the slopes and in the pool. After a busy day shredding the runs, have a seat at one of Fairmont’s two newly renovated restaurants.

The Springwater Cafe provides a family friendy environment that is suitable for all casual diners. With a large selection of menu items, guests are bound to have an exquisite experience at the Springwater Café. Even if you are not a guest at the resort, no problem, you are welcome to come and dine as well.

Waters Edge is a more upscale dining room overlooking the outdoor swimming pool. Featuring a more high end menu. Waters Edge is more suited for adults, though all children are welcome as well. Waters Edge also has a drink menu, good for unwinding after a long day at Discovery. Also, for those looking to have a more event filled evening, Fairmont also features a full-scale bar at Whiskey Joe’s Lounge.

Whiskey Joe’s features a wide variety of domestic, micro, and local tap beers for your pleasure. Enjoy a night of fun with live entertainment, or try your luck on one of several gaming machines. If you are sitting by the pool, enjoy a nice drink from the indoor pool bar while you relax and soak. There are also plans to renovate the lounge in the future as well.

So if you are an avid skier, like myself, and looking to have an awesome ski weekend, Fairmont and Discovery are a perfect combination for a fun-filled skication. When people say that there is nothing to do in southwest Montana in the Winter, they are flat out wrong. Every weekend is a fun one at one of southwest Montana’s hidden and most popular gems.

-Zach Luebeck

 

5 Netflix Series You Have to Watch

The world of television and media has been completely reshaped by the likes of streaming services like Netflix. This is mainly because of the streaming and binge worthy capabilities of some of its series. Here are 5 series on Netflix that I believe no one who watches Netflix should not having in their viewing archives. (Not in order of favorites)

1. The Witcher

This series follows the life of Geralt, who is a bounty collecting monster hunter. As a mutated human like witcher, he is met with great distrust from the rest of the human population as he continues to save that same group from ravenous monsters.

2. Narcos

Narcos is a look back at the rise of the cocaine and drug wars that gripped the US and Colombia under the control of Pablo Escobar. As Escobar becomes a billionaire and king of the trade, it also shows the strenuous effort that law enforcement and the government had to make in order to track him down.

3. Peaky Blinders

Peaky Blinders is a series about the urban gangster family the Peaky Blinders which is set in Birmingham, England after WW1. This follows the Blinders never ending turf war against other criminal organizations in a very shellshocked post war Britain.

4. Explained

This series goes into a broad range of relevant topics in todays world. It covers things from Pandemics and cryptocurrency to how the brain works. If you like to learn things about stuff you wont typically learn everyday this is a great pick.

5. Black Mirror

Black Mirror is probably one of my favorite shows of all time. It is a collection of different stories that shed light on the potentially twisted and unknown powers of modern technology. This show’s perspective on how there can be heavy consequences in innovation gives an eerie look into what the future could hold.

Healthy Recipe Recommendations

Have you ever struggled to find healthy and tasty recipes? Lots of people mistake healthy food for meals that are unenjoyable but with these awesome sites, you can eat delicious meals and love what you’re eating too!

1. Pinterest

Pinterest is a website and app that uses visuals to help people find ideas like recipes, home and style inspiration, wedding ideas, and more. There’s billions of things to search that can spark an idea or help motivate you. Pinterest is well-known for having awesome recipes from every site you can think of. Just type in some key words you’re looking to make and boom, you have hundreds of recipes. If you like what you find it’s super easy to organize your findings by “pinning” it.

2.  Food Network

The food network is a unique lifestyle network that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. It launched in 2009 and has helped billions of homes create beautiful and tasty meals. The food network has its own section for healthy recipes called “healthy eating”. They include quick video tutorials and give directions to a t. These videos range from the best of the best chefs or from families at home. Both of these are reliable ways to believe it is doable. Their main page gives lots of suggestions but if you have something in mind you’re wanting to discover, the search box is easy to locate.

3.  Delish

Delish is another website that invites home cookers to seek tested recipes, menus, cooking shortcuts, family meals, and so much more. When you click on the website they give you ideas that have been most popular. The current headline is “11 dishes inspired by the 2020 Oscar nominees”. Delish also gives you the opportunity to subscribe to their website to stay up to date on all the fun, new ideas they get. They also include other amenities like food trends, kitchen tips and tools, food news, entertaining and parties, and more. This website makes it super easy to navigate through and find your next delish meal.

4. Healthy cook book

There are tons of healthy cook books to choose from and with how often we use the internet and how popular it is, we can easily find online books. Amazon will give lots of suggestions where you can find cook books but if you just google it, lots pop up to read through technology! E-books are in people!! There are even audible sites to listen to your recipes to stay away from making too much of a mess and allows you to not worry about messing anything up.

The 3 Best Menu Items in Missoula

If you’re not a fan of Sushi….. You may have come to wrong place.

Coming in at our #1 spot this week we have… THE AVOCADO BOMB from Kobe Seafood & Steakhouse.

The Sushi House – Wanderlust in the City

An edible masterpiece….. a blend of life’s best foods.

Avocado STUFFED with spicy tuna, mixed crab, FRIED, topped w/ eel sauce, sweet chili, and spring mix salad.

What’s not to love about this incredible creation? The avocado, tuna, and crab come together so perfectly in the fryer bringing this menu item to the #1 spot. It may not be traditional Japanese cuisine or considered healthy… but it’s still the best. For only $9.00 it is worth the price and one of Missoula’s best kept secrets.

Now for our number 2 spot don’t be surprised at another sushi item….

*drumroll*……… Yes ladies and gentleman you guessed it

THE MASSIVE ATTACK from Saketome in the heart of Missoula.

Sushi Ninjas - San Diego California - Food Smackdown

The Massive Attack: spicy crab. avocado. mango. neufchâtel. pankoed and fried. topped with: liger. sweet soy.

Now I may not know exactly what neufchâtel or liger is, but I’m pretty certain they taste amazing. I’ve liked sushi ever since I can remember and had some pretty interesting rolls in my life. But the fried roll holds a special place in my heart (tummy). Again, it’s probably not that healthy, but it’s TASTY.  And filling. for $14, it’s pretty worth it and one of the cheaper rolls on the menu. A safe bet for a ‘fusion’ restaurant with a very interesting menu.

Coming in at the # 3 spot on the foodblog today…. a staple, a necessity, and a menu item for the people. Surprisingly, no it is not more sushi.

ladies and gentleman….. THE SAUSAGE EGG & CHEESE from the University of Montana College of Business.

Sausage & Egg English Muffin Breakfast Sandwich

Priced at $2.75 (Cheaper than the golden arches) and hot n’ ready for the busy students of Missoula. Nothing hits like one of these bad boys at 8am when you’re too tired to cook for yourself. A quick and hearty classic meal that keeps the people going. If America runs on Dunkin, The U of M CoB runs on these babies.

Thanks For Reading!

Your feedback is welcomed and wanted!

Ben Hastings