Does Your Website Header Invite Readers In or Turn Them Away?
One of the first things that anybody sees when visiting your website is the site’s header.
Does your web design include a header that draws those viewers in or does it confuse or disinterest them and turn them away?
Before web designers continue on to any other part of a website, they must create an attractive and effective header that gives a welcoming first impression.
Unless your site has that, it could be turning away business.
Check out these helpful pointers on the importance of a great header and how to ensure your website has one!
What Is A Website Header?
The header on any website is the top portion of the page that sets the tone for the entire rest of the site.
Headers used to be recognized as the strip of screen space at the very top of a website; however, today the header space has grown, sometimes to nearly the size of the screen.
From a web designing aspect, the importance is that the header contain some essential details about the site to inform viewers of what to find there and present it in a tone that is representative of the business or organization.
It is every site’s invitation for viewers to stay a while and look around, so it’s critical that it be designed to actually do that.
What Elements Should Every Well-Designed Header Have?
Whether a web design includes a static header at the very top of a page or one that changes slightly throughout the website, there are certain essential elements that should be included:
- Brand Identification – A logo or color scheme that identifies the brand.
- Headline of Some Sort – A few words that quickly explain what the website is about or represents.
- Website Navigation – Obvious links on the main page to start viewers on their paths deeper into the website.
- Search Bar – Every website should include a search function and the header is a convenient and easily-located place to put it.
- Call to Action – In addition to standard navigational links, a well-designed header should also have a bright bold Call to Action or CTA prompting users to click and enter the site to find whatever they’re looking for.
How to Create An Eye-Catching Website Header
Since a website header is a virtual welcome mat to anyone any visitor, it’s crucial to work with web designers who understand the importance of this part of the site and how well an eye-catching, functional header can improve overall website performance.&
Fortunately, building a better header is actually pretty simple when certain practices are followed:
- Header Size – There is no website standard so the general rule of thumb is to be only as large as what will not interfere with the message it needs to present. Smaller headers are great for less formal sites while larger splash pages are popular for many business and formal websites.
- Persistent Navigation – Also called sticky navigation, this means navigation links that remain at the top of the page as it is scrolled no matter where on the site the user may be.
- Visual Hierarchy – Headers should be designed according to how viewers actually read acknowledged by many as following the F shape. Place design elements beginning in the upper-left corner and moving right, then left and down from there.
- Minimalist Design – Simple, minimalist headers with a great image, navigation links, a CTA, and a short headline in an appropriate font to build interest is what a web design needs.
- Images and/or Video – Images appearing on a header should portray the mood and message required for that brand. Image sliders, videos, animations, and illustrations can serve as header content if they support the main message presented by the headline and CTA.
- Mobile-Friendly Design – Consider how the header will function mobile and build it also functional. Responsive design is key and switching sticky navigation to a hamburger menu will save space while functioning intuitively.
Every Website Starts With An Impressive Header
The header is the first part of any web design that viewers see, the part that makes an essential first impression for any brand.
Using the tips above, work with your web designing firm to come develop one that sends the right message about your company while welcoming users in to find out more.