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Creating a Custom 404 Page in Squarespace. Best Practices

Author: Serhiy Manuilo, Publication Date: Oct 22, 2023, Last Updated: Jun 15, 2024
by Serhiy Manuilo, Jun 15, 2024
The article image: "Creating a Custom 404 Page in Squarespace. Best Practices"

Squarespace provides website owners with a generic 404 Not Found page template. It’s not good, it’s not bad, but it definitely can be improved.

Fortunately, there is a way to customize it. In this article, I’ll show you how to create a custom 404 page in Squarespace so you can make it unique and user-friendly.

How to Create a Custom 404 Page in Squarespace

Squarespace doesn’t allow us to modify the 404 page directly since it’s a System page. We can reassign its reference instead, so we need to create a Not Linked page first and then replace the system one with it.

Follow these 10 steps to do this:

  1. Go to the Dashboard and select your website Select Squarespace website on the Dashboard
  2. Click on Website Go to the Squarespace Website settings
  3. Create a new Not Linked page
  4. Select Blank Page
  5. Enter the name (in my case it’s “Custom 404”) and hit the Enter key
  6. Click on the page row and customize it Create a new Custom 404 page in Squarespace
  7. Go to the System Pages
  8. Select 404 page
  9. Select the Custom 404 page you just created
  10. Click on the Save button Assign previously created Custom 404 page to the default one

How Does a Default 404 Page Look in Squarespace

This is a default Squarespace 404 page. The page describes why it is not found and offers to go to the home or search page.

Squarespace default 404 page

It is the same for all Squarespace websites, and if you want to build a branded site, a customized 404 page is a must to bring more uniqueness and improve visitors’ experience.

Check out ”25 HTML Funny 404 Pages” to find inspiration for funny designs and create similar ones for your website.

How to Customize a 404 Page in Squarespace

Since it’s a regular Squarespace page, its customization process is not much different from the customization of any other page.

Do the following:

  1. Click on the Custom 404 page row
  2. Click on the Edit button Edit a custom 404 page in Squarespace
  3. Click on the ADD SECTION button Create a new section on a custom 404 page in Squarespace
  4. Select Add a blank section. Unfortunately, there’s no templates for the 404 page, you can try to adapt any other though Create a new blank section on a custom 404 page in Squarespace
  5. Customize it as you like. Here’s what I came up with. It’s not perfect but definitely better than the default one Custom 404 page in Squarespace

By the way, I used ChatGPT to generate the content.

You can go further and generate the entire page HTML with ChatGPT and inject it using the Code block instead of building it with standard Squarespace blocks.

How to Test a Freshly Created Custom 404 Page

After you’ve done the job, it’s time to verify that all works as expected.

  1. Make sure that all changes have been saved
  2. Go to homepage
  3. Enter a random text next to the domain name, eg
  4. The new 404 page should be displayed instead of the default one

How to Improve a 404 Page

The primary intent of any 404 page is to let users know that the content they’re looking for doesn’t exist. It should be done explicitly to provide a good user experience.

As soon as a user lands on this page, you fail as a website owner, even if it’s not your fault. That’s why many website owners or UX come up with something clever or funny.

Isn’t it enough?

No, you must benefit from this situation. That’s why I’ve added the search bar. There’s a chance that some percent of users won’t leave the page and try to find what they were looking for.

However, there’s room for improvement. Alongside the search bar, consider listing popular articles, products, courses, etc.

Leverage the 404 page as advertising space to gain benefits rather than losses.

How to Get Google Analytics Insights About a 404 Page

The bigger your website is, the more people see the 404 page. All of the above is more symptom treatment rather than disease curing. You must understand why users end up there and fix the issues when possible.

If you have Google Analytics installed on your website, you can see what pages visitors try to reach out to. This article can help you get some insights - Google Analytics 404 Report: How to Monitor, Find and Fix 404 Errors in GA

Don’t have Google Analytics? Read this - Using Google Analytics with Squarespace


Setting up a custom 404 page in Squarespace takes a small effort, but the actual design and its implementation take more.

It is worth having it funny / clever to make your visitors feel positive emotions. But don’t forget to make it beneficial for the website users and yourself, and mention some of your top content.

Keep in mind when your website scales you should pay more attention to the 404 page. Otherwise, you may lose a significant amount of traffic.