Top Tips for Creating Effective Website Footers

bOnline’s head designer, Sam Greensted, shares his dos and don’ts for creating effective footers for your website:

When starting any website project, it’s natural to want to concentrate your design efforts on the homepage and the header. As a result, the footer often becomes an afterthought – relegated to a poorly designed dumping ground for copyright information, legal disclaimers and spammy SEO links. But it shouldn’t be this way.

The footer of a website is as important as the header, if not more so. Why? Because the footer is the last port of call for many visitors. The point at which they’ll sign up for a service, want to read another article or simply require your contact details. Ask yourself – what do you want your visitors to do when they reach the bottom of the page? The answer you come up with will be a great starting point for designing your website footer.

Site maps do take time but are great for usability. It’s well worth adding one to your footer, especially for e-commerce (online shop) websites. “A site map is simply a detailed list of the pages on a website, divided into categories. It tells a user exactly what pages and information can be found on the website and provide access to those pages.” Something as simple as this goes a long way and can make usability so much easier for your website visitors:

This image also displays the importance of white space (or empty space) within footers. Padding is very important, be it the padding between columns or the space underneath each column. White space draws the reader’s eye to each block of content, improving focus and readability.

The color of the footer’s background is different than the color of the main content area’s background. Footers are usually given a darker background. Some have a graphic or illustrated background.

It’s well worth adding a smaller version of your logo in the footer as well. This brings an air of professionalism to the site and is especially important with building and trade industry sites. The same goes for accreditations like Gas Safe etc. Featuring on every page makes the company a respected and more reputable one to use so is again vital for building and trade companies. Social media feeds and links to interesting blog posts are also effective within website footers, as well as anything to make the footer as engaging as possible like call to actions, newsletter sign ups etc.

A busy footer gives the impression of a busy site, and it’s one more way of personalising your site and ensuring it ties in with your company’s branding. If you choose bOnline’s Pro Setup package, our professional designers will be happy to create a bespoke footer for your site, like the examples you’ve seen here.

About 

Sam is head of website services at bOnline. In his posts he shares tips for creating a beautiful business website and getting the most out of bOnline's website design tools.

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