The first thing site visitors see is the website header which helps them decide whether the site is right for them or not.
Designing the perfect header for your clients’ sites means engaging visitors, explaining the brand and adding aesthetic value all in one image. The right image can say more than an entire home page.
By working with your clients, you can improve their existing website headers to create one that helps draw visitors deeper into the site.
Unobtrusive By Noticeable
The header should be easy to see, but not so large that it takes away from the content beneath it. When visitors have to scroll down the screen just to find the end of the header, they’ll feel the site doesn’t have any real content and move on. Some sites opt for a simple image or logo with a tagline while others utilize slightly larger headers with carousels showcasing the latest content or samples of work.
Communicate The Brand
Branding is important with a header. For instance, if the brand is known for its professionalism, a brightly colored, whimsical header isn’t going to work. A minimalist style header with simple colors, the logo and a tagline is what visitors expect. Work with your client to understand their brand and personality. The header should be a snapshot of what the brand represents.
Make It Interactive
Website headers don’t have to be static. While it might not be appropriate for all types of sites, an interactive header instantly engages visitors. Adding special effects, such as text movement when the visitor scrolls, or a countdown clock makes the header stand out even more. The header could feature a slider with the top three stories to encourage visitors to start clicking through to other pages. You could even use the Conductor plugin on WordPress sites to switch out featured items in the header.
A well designed header not only looks good, but explains what the business does. For instance, a magazine site that focuses on beauty trends might have images of makeup, hair brushes and shoes with a line that reads “turning you into a trendsetting beauty.” The images and text don’t have to be complex. In fact, simple is always good. The idea is to convey the purpose of the site in a small space to quickly introduce visitors to your client’s site.
Headers can feature menus, links and clickable images. Placing navigational items within the header ensures a visitor’s eyes are draw to those elements. They’ll obviously notice the header image. If your client wants to make sure visitors never get confused on how to visit the most common pages or top stories and posts, use the header to help the visitor navigate easier.
Blend Into The Site
You want the header to stand out, but it shouldn’t clash with the site. Visitors are so drawn to the header that they don’t notice the content around it. They also see the site as poorly designed. A header that blends seamlessly into the site looks more professional and impresses visitors.
Keep It Simple
Some headers try to cram everything into one small space. The header becomes a cluttered mess that poorly represents the site. Limit the number of elements in the header. This helps it load faster and it looks better. Opt for a simple image and text or skip the image and use a logo with navigation. If using an image, make it attractive, but ensure it’s simple enough to prevent clashing with the site itself. The more complex the header, the more visitors are likely to get distracted or confused and leave the site. Simple is always more effective.
Add Relevant Content
Many headers focus solely on either on image or a logo. A short line of text might be included, but there’s no other content besides that. You don’t have to wait for the body of the site to add content. A short paragraph introducing the business or a slider with the most popular pages are a great way to add content to the header. This engages visitors immediately and encourages them to continue browsing.
Website headers sometimes get overlooked by clients. They don’t realize how important they are. Explain to your clients why their headers need to be improved. The right design makes all the difference to their visitors.
Want to help your clients by adding content to their headers? Try using the Conductor plugin for quick and easy to edit layouts and content switching.