Website Footer Design Guide: Footer Design Best Practices (Examples)

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Website Footer Design Guide With Examples (Footer Design Best Practices)

Create The Best Footer Design Using Website Footer Design Guide

Website Footer Design Guide

What are Website Footers?

On a webpage, the footer remains at the bottom of every page and below the main body of content. This term has come from the print world; however, it has a different meaning in the digital world. In the printing industry, ‘footer’ is a consistent design element that is seen across all the pages of a document. However, in the digital world, the footer contains different types of information.

In yesteryears, the footers were either used as the utility areas containing succinct data on a subject (tiny and nearly intelligible texts) or used as a location for different types of links. However, the importance of footer has changed over the years and they work as a crucial reference point for the people. Therefore, the footer is used to perform a variety of tasks these days.

Do you know?
A good interactive design of your web-page footer can increase the website conversions nearly 23.77%

Source: BlueFountainMedia.com

To get an idea of how well a footer design works on your website, Wireframing can be a quick and cost-saving solution to try out different combinations.

What It May Consist (Basic Footer Elements)?

The content of the footer or the type of the elements present in footer depends upon the demands of a business or the user goals (the final states that users want to reach). The web-designers select different types of footer elements due to this reason and some common examples of footer elements have been listed below.

Utility Links/Contact Information

Most websites include utility navigation or utility links in the footer. These links point to the following details of a business.

  • Contact information (address, phone number as well as a link to live web chatting)
  • Privacy policy
  • Customer-service information
  • Terms of use

It is prudent to use the aforementioned links at the footer even if you have mentioned these details at the top of a web-page, as many users search for contact information or the details associated with the customer support at the footer.

Main (Global) Navigation/Quick Links

The main navigation can be included in the footer along with the header of a web-page. This feature is extremely useful for the long web-pages, as it enables a user to move to different sections of a website without scrolling to the top in order to reach the main navigation.

Secondary-Task Links

If you want to help the visitors to your website find additional content that is not directly related to the website’s main objective, then you may include the secondary task links to the footer. The following list may give you an example of the secondary tasks to include in the links and these tasks are not usually added to the global navigation or utility navigation.

  • Primary tasks for the content creators
  • Evaluating the investor information
  • Applying for a job with the company
  • Accessing Media Kit (a document that contains details of a business, products or events ) along with other PR information
  • Locating specifications of a product or documentation of a service
  • Locating affiliates of the company

Site Map

A site-map provides a list of pages on a website. Therefore, the style-map styled footer features the components of global navigation along with the web-pages that are absent in the global navigation. This type of footer exposes the lower-level subcategories of the main categories and is useful in the following scenarios.

  • To expose the underlying topics that are not obvious at the global-navigation level
  • To increase awareness regarding a website’s primary content
  • To remind users regarding the primary offerings of a company

It is important to remember that the Site-map footer component may not include all the web-pages unless there are less than 26 pages on a website. In this scenario, you may feature a complete site-map on a separate web-page and provide a link to this web-page at the footer. A large website with multiple levels of domain or information benefits from this type of footer component.

Awards & Recognitions

It is a proven fact that the businesses with awards and positive testimonials can quickly instill credibility into the visitors’ mind. Therefore, it is a sensible decision to feature the awards and testimonies in the footer if you want to win the trusts of the users and want to build authority.

However, it is important to remember that featuring numerous testimonials or awards may deliver a wrong message to the visitors of your website. They may believe that a company is featuring multiple testimonials or awards because it does not have enough maturity or stability.

Therefore, it is prudent to run a usability test or A/B test with the target audience in order to determine if this strategy is suitable for the target customer or to determine the number of testimonials to be featured at the footer without delivering a wrong message to the users.

Other Brands of Same Business Organization

A large business organization may own multiple brands or may preside over numerous smaller companies. These businesses generally use Universal navigation to connect child companies to the parent company.

Universal navigation provides a link to a website’s homepage from the Subsides (subordinate sites), Microsites (individual web-pages) or various other sections of a website.

These businesses may equally benefit from including a list of brands/subsidiaries in the footer in order to underpin the awareness of other companies/brands within a company’s portfolio.

Email Newsletters & Social Media

The web-page footer may even be used to increase customers’ engagement, as most users scroll down to the footer in order to find information regarding the promotional offers or coupons or to stay updated with regards to the product releases or sales of a business. Hence, the footer may include prompts for mailing list sign-ups, social-media links or links to a company’s social media accounts.

The e-mail newsletters are one type of e-mail communication sent to the audience in order to deliver the latest news, tips or updates regarding a company or its products and services. The e-mail newsletters keep the subscribers engaged, connected and informed regarding what is new with an organization or business and you may include the e-mail newsletters in the footer to increase users’ engagement.

The links to social media accounts can be equally useful in increasing the engagement of the users. However, it is important to consider how frequently do you post on the social media platforms before embedding a widget for social-media feed into the footer. You need not embed this widget if you have a less active social-media account. However, there is no negative effect on your business if you feature links to social media accounts in the footer.

Additional Read…

After having a view on all these, let’s see what is the purpose and importance of website upgrade. Importance of Updating Website and Steps to Upgrade

In short, a good website footer design can help your content stand out, adding more weight and pulling power to your overall website design.

Common Problems and Solutions

The importance of web-page footers may have changed since its introduction in the 1990s and the designing concept has also undergone changes accordingly. However, a few problems with the footer still persist and the following tips may help you avoid/resolve these issues.

Multiple Levels of Hierarchy

It is important to include only important information in the footer. For example, it is not essential to include an entire site-map of large websites with multiple web-pages in the footer.

Solution

It is essential to prioritize the content and to display the links to the first-level or second-level categories in the Information Architecture (IA). You may feature the link to a lower-level web-page if this page is important instead of showing all the levels of information hierarchy.

Unclear Information Hierarchy

If a link on a website has no relation to the secondary tasks or global navigation, then it is called orphan links. In many websites, the footer includes ‘orphan links’ along with or devoid of other links. The users may not spend a lot of time looking at the footer if it has no pattern of organization.

Solution

In this scenario, it is prudent to use visual-design patterns in order to indicate the visual hierarchy, as it conveys the information hierarchy of the items at the footer with clarity to the users.

Unclear Link Names

In many scenarios, the Resources link on footers sometimes represents the conventional footers with different names. It may lead to confusion and make it difficult for users to understand the purpose of the link.

Solution

It is important to stick to the conventional and easily understandable terms in order to resolve this problem. A usability test may help you find out the terms that are confusing to the users.

Conclusion

It all depends on the purpose of your site and the needs of your visitors (Give space to what your business offers to the audience).

Are you a big eCommerce site? Lots of links may help to occupy the footer space.

Is customer service busy? Add that info down there.

Just ask yourself, do your visitors have an important question that isn’t answered in the header or in the rest part of your website?

If so, add it to the footer.

Let’s wrap here…

You can share your thoughts and experiences on more footer examples, in below comment box…
Thank You!

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