If you take a close look at the homepages of some of your favorite websites, you’ll notice a lot of them look relatively similar. At least as far as the elements they tend to include, which isn’t a coincidence. After all, website homepage design is essential to a site’s success, and this means including all of the key elements from the get-go.
It may seem ‘cookie-cutter,’ but essential aspects such as your logo and branding information, as well as your mission statement are important to include and get right. However, these are just some quick examples, and a great homepage involves many more elements in play.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to ten of the most common elements in website homepage design, why you should include them, and how to do it the right way. Let’s talk homepages!
1. Logo and branding elements
Almost every website you visit has a logo. In fact, you can probably recognize many of them through their logos alone, which tells you something about the power of branding.
Logos usually tend to show up on the top left side of your homepage since that’s where the user’s eyes are first drawn to. However, you can also center your logo within your navigation bar or the first section of the page.
Keep in mind, though – wherever you place your logo, it needs to be easy to spot, and large enough that visitors can make out what it says.
2. A hero section including your mission statement and tagline
A hero section is usually made up of a large image or slideshow, and it comes right below the navigation bar. The idea for the hero section is to quickly give visitors an idea of what to expect from the rest of your website.
One mistake a lot of homepages make is they only use hero sections for aesthetic purposes. In a nutshell, if you’re wasting this much screen real estate without giving any information, such as your mission statement and tagline, you’re doing something wrong.
3. A tempting call to action (CTA)
Ultimately, every website has a goal, which usually involves conversions. This can mean getting users to purchase something from you, give you their email, and plenty more.
The easiest way to get visitors to do something is by asking them, which is where CTAs come in. This can be a button or just plain text, but whichever approach you take, it needs to stand out from the rest of the elements within your homepage.
One easy way to do this is by using contrasting colors, as you see in the example above. Your choice of words also plays an important role, so consider them carefully.
4. Clear navigation menus
Unless you’re working on a one-page design, visitors need menus to move around your website. A menu should be the first thing they see on your homepage and it should be both highly readable and easy to use.
As you can see, menus also often house your logo and CTAs, which makes them one of the more important homepage web design elements.
5. An eye-catching color scheme
One key aspect of website homepage design is the colors you use. Colors aren’t just about style – they can help guide the eye, making for a more pleasant experience, and will influence people’s thoughts about your brand.
Usually, we recommend you pick out a few colors that work well together and use them throughout your website. For some elements, such as CTAs and menus, you’ll want to make sure to use colors that pop, so they stand out even more.
6. On-brand images
Images make up a considerable portion of most website’s designs, including homepages. The images you choose should never be filler – they need to give visitors an idea of what you’re offering them and what your brand stands for.
This means avoiding cookie-cutter stock images unless they’re necessary. If you can, take plenty of pictures and try to feature them throughout your entire homepage, using galleries if you prefer. Your hero section, for example, is the perfect place to start.
While using images is great, you’ll also want to optimize them to make sure they don’t slow down your site. If you’re using WordPress, a tool like Optimole can automatically handle image optimization for you.
7. Highly-readable and engaging typography
You might not think your choice of font matters all too much, but it’s more important than most people imagine. The right fonts can make your website more accessible by virtue of being easier to read. Plus, there’s always the matter of style as you can use fonts as a visual element.
The fonts you use is a matter of personal style. However, we recommend you stick to classic designs that are easy to read, and save the funkier styles for your logo and other branding elements. Keep in mind – whichever fonts you use on your homepage will re-appear throughout your site, so pick them carefully!
8. Social proof elements
Ideally, your homepage should inspire trust in your visitors, particularly if you’re running a business. One of the best ways to achieve this is to show users that you’ve gotten good recommendations from past customers.
To do this, a lot of homepages include social proof elements, such as testimonials and reviews, as you can see in the example above. If you want to incorporate social proof on your homepage, we recommend you stick to a handful of elements, so it doesn’t look like you’re overselling yourself.
9. Information about your team and/or products
Whether you work solo or as part of a team, it’s always a great idea to help visitors put a face to the name. The best place to include a bit of information about you and your team is on your homepage, so no one misses it.
You can also add a dedicated About page with more information, but seeing team members directly on your homepage is always a nice touch. Plus, it can make your homepage look very professional as in the example you see above.
If you’re using your website to sell products and/or services, they also need their own section, where visitors can get an overview of what they’re buying.
10. Contact information
Whatever type of website you’re running, there’s one thing your homepage can’t forget, and that’s contact information. For businesses, you can go as far as including a phone number and address alongside email. Some homepages add all this information on the main navigation bar, to make it easier to find.
If you’re not running a business site, a contact form is probably the best approach. With it, visitors will be able to contact you quickly, which may help you land more conversions. As for where to add it, you can usually find contact forms at the end of your homepage or on their own pages.
Create a better website homepage design today
A lot of homepages share similar designs, although there’s a logical reason for it. In short, it’s important to include all key homepage elements within your own designs. After seeing your homepage, users should know precisely what the purpose of your site is and how it can help them.
Some elements of excellent website homepage design include your logo, branding information, social proof, and an intro to your team and products. However, there’s much more you can and should cover if you want an amazing homepage.
Do you have any questions about best practices for website homepage design? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!