I had a good look at the presidential candidates’ 404 pages and they range from genuine and thoughtful to downright nonsensical. I’m curious how you’d vote today, if you had to make a choice based solely on a candidates 404 page. Take a look at them for yourself, then fill out the anonymous survey at the bottom.
Candidates are listed in alphabetical order, not by personal preference or opinion.
Hilary Clinton has Donald’s endorsement
Hilary’s page is very simple. So simple in fact that most of the links and the entire top navigation are removed. That’s an interesting approach considering this is the moment when you need a navigation more than ever. Maybe the lack of guidance in your time of need says something?
It’s also worth noting that Hilary’s campaign might be fully staffed by people who had a hard time navigating a website.
“But while you’re here, how about signing up to volunteer?”
I find it interesting that a 404 page is a good opportunity to recruit volunteers?
Ted Cruz – Mmmm Freedom
By far the most entertaining 404 page is Ted Cruz’s. I mean the guy literally cooks bacon with a fully automatic weapon, no joke.
“HUNGRY FOR FREEDOM? JOIN US.”
I guess Hilary isn’t the only candidate who’s recruiting lost visitors, and it says a lot that “Freedom” is defined as muzzle cooked bacon.
Enjoy your machine-gun sowbelly below
John Kasich – Vote for me right meow!
John Kasich’s 404 page is pretty conservative, but the dude’s got cats. Although, I’m not fully convinced that those kittens are there under their own volition.
I can’t tell if the far right feline is pissed, drugged or just straight up confused. In the end this page is simple, clean and I guess when all else fails the Internet can do with more cats.
Marco Rubio coaches kids on the lessons of losing
This 404 page has a lot of heart. I was actually pretty intrigued with the layout and message. But after a bit of time on this page a few things stuck out to me.
First, Rubio’s team is pushing the “America loves and relates to Football” message a little hard. Second, why is the thumbnail for the video of Rubio turning his back on us? It doesn’t convey to me the message of “I’m a leader come follow me” to me it says “Whatever, I’m outta here”.
Bernie Sanders – “We can get through this time of need together!”
Question from the moderator:
“A visitor found themselves lost on your site, possibly due to an error your part, what will you do to keep that from happening again?”
Clinton, Cruz, Kaisch, Rubio and Trump’s combined Answer.:
“I think ‘error’ is a strong word. I’ve done a lot to clean up my website and ensure visitors have a way get the American Internet experience they deserve. Also my website was made in America! America! MERCA!”
“Dude, your lost, and that’s ok we can get through this together, let’s get you where you’re going.”
Donald Trump – “Large Hands Not Found!”
I guess you could say that this page “came up short”, their hands-on-approach seems to have small gains? Maybe if the developer built a pay-wall we could have kept people from ever visiting this page in the first place, that is unless they want to pay for it.
It's time to Vote! 404's for America, vote for your favorite. https://t.co/33fVe1sicY
— Jesse Friedman (@professor) March 11, 2016
Time to Vote
Remember, you are voting for the 404 page you believe is the best fit to be our Commander in Internet Chief. For the purposes of this vote do NOT think about the candidates values, their plans for America or their track record.
Featured 404 image taken by Paul Downey
Jesse Friedman has been building websites for 18 years, and exclusively with WordPress since 2006. Since then Jesse has written several books, taught 100’s of students as a professor, and organized dozens of local meetups along with a few WordCamps.
Jesse has spoken at tech conferences around the world including SXSW, HOW, Future events and many more. Jesse has consulted for a wide array of companies from small agencies to multi-billion dollar international companies.
Today Jesse is a proud team member of Jetpack at Automattic, where he spends his time growth hacking and building strategic partnerships.