For a website to be effective, multiple design elements play an important role like visual design, brand consistency, usability and overall user experience. It is essential to have a website design that lets users easily find what they are looking for in a website. Top menu bar plays that vital role in deciding ease of navigation for your website.
But when it comes to delivering an enticing user experience, the footer is one such section of the website that plays a very crucial role. Designing footer must be taken seriously. It is one location that generates the maximum impact.
Like any other design elements, footer too should be designed in line with the purpose of the website and the target audience for the website, based on these two factors the design will vary for website to website, but there are few "Must Have" elements for every website footer.
Simplicity is important
While we learn more about “Must Have” elements for any website footer, we must remember one of the critical aspects of successful website design is simplicity. In the case of the footer section, simple design is something that adds multi folds to usability.
Lets now look at 6 “Must Have” elements for any website footer.
1. Legal Stuff
- Copyright details
A copyright notice is the most important thing to be included in your footer. If your footer has only one element, then it should be the copyright notice. Copyright notice is to prevent website content plagiarism.
- Terms and Conditions
For websites in highly regulated industries (example - eCommerce), you may want to add "Terms and Conditions" link to your website footer.
Allow the users to connect with you in case they have any issues, or suggestion or proposal. It is important to include the relevant contact information in the footer design. Phone number, email address and in some case physical address will do the job.
Moreover, this facilitates in those situations wherein the user doesn’t want to discuss something major and nor does the user want to sign up with you. The user just wants to convey a simple message to you.
3. Social Media Icons
To let your website users know your presence on different social media is essential in a world where social media is an integral part of everyone's life. This way, you ensure your users are aware of your presence on social media platforms, and they start following you on these platforms.
To improve user engagement and social media is an excellent platform for every brand. However, you don’t wish loss your visitors too early and let them leave the website and go to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Because once they go away, they aren't coming back easily. That’s why best practice is to add Social Media icons at the bottom of the page in the footer. Our study also found that 74% of top websites included social media icons in the footer.
4. Important Links
Add important page links on your website to the footer, so that user can easily access them from any page of the website. It's like a simplified site map at the bottom of the website. For example, About Us, Management, Team, Job Opportunities, important Product and Services pages, Help or Documentation pages, and more.
5. Site Map
As mentioned above, one such important link of the footer is "Site Map". Including a "Site Map" link in the footer is the best practice of footer design. Page attached to "Site Map" link summarizes your website. This page content structured directory of links to all pages of your website. It helps users to jump any page of your site quickly.
Email marketing or updating customer about your offerings and happenings is one the oldest yet one of the most successful methods of sales. The footer is the best place to add the Newsletter Subscription button to solicit email address from the happy user.
Our study found that 34% of the top sites have a signup box in their footer. Email signups are more likely to occur when a user is happy with content and experience on your webpage, and he reaches to the bottom of the page.
Above are 6 “Must Have” elements for any website footer.
There are many things you can add to footer depending on your website purpose and your website audience. Here are a few more ideas you can consider adding to your footer.
- Social Media Widgets
- Site Search
- Mini Photo Gallery
- Link to Map/Directions
- Mission Statment
- Awards and Certifications
- Association Memberships
- Latest Articles
- Upcoming Events
- Call-to-Action Button
Few notes on design.
How many and which elements you add in your website footer entirely depends on your website purpose and your intended website audience, but these elements should be placed in such a way that the footer shouldn’t look crowded and unorganized.
Another important point which should be given attention to is the proportion and font size of the footer element. The text should preferably be two font sizes smaller than the text size of the main body content on the webpage. Well, this is because we surely want to grab the eyes of our users on the contents of the footer, but at the same time, we also want to separate our footer from the rest of the content. Hence, this convention proves to be the best form to do so.
The design of the footer should always be in synchronization with the web page itself. This means that we should always keep the formatting of the footer such that it provides a step forward to the theme inherent in the website itself. This ensures a proper web design in the whole and gives a sense of proper connectivity with the user.
A website footer has a vital role in connecting the entire website. A clean and concise footer design is the most effective way to improve your user's experience and effectivity of the website.
We are eager to learn if you have any tips for an attractive footer design, share with us in the comments section below.