How often do you scroll all the way down to the footer on a website?
Contrary to popular belief, the footer is visited by website users far more often than you might think - meaning that users will not only see but might even use the links and information that you place in that section of your website for ease and convenience.
Typically, the website footer contains information about the company, a link to terms and conditions, and perhaps detail on contacting the business, opening hours, and location. It’s also a good place to provide information about job opportunities and corporate partnerships - namely all of the company details and behind the scenes information that everyday customers don’t really need to know or access.
So, is it possible to get the design of your footer wrong? Not really - but it is possible, and in fact common, to overcomplicate the design of the footer and make it more confusing than it needs to be.
Which is why we’ve created this guide to best practice for website design in terms of this key part of any website, covering the things to include in your footer and what customers and browsers need for this information to be clear and concise.
The point of a website footer
What’s the point? Well, the website footer is there to act as a secondary source of navigation for those users who want to find out more about the company, its operations, potential job openings, and other information.
While customers using the main navigation seek out specific pages relating to products and product advice, those looking for job offers and terms and conditions will head down to the footer where secondary navigation links tend to be embedded. Other popular things to include in a footer include links to blogs, news articles, and more which relate to the business as a whole but not necessarily to its products or services.
What do users want to see included in the website footer?
This is where it becomes important to focus on the best practice design of your website footer - because while not every user will click on or utilise the footer as part of their online journey, those who do scroll down to the footer will want to be able to find what they’re looking for with ease and efficiency.
The company or business logo and company number are both normal things to include, alongside opening hours, a business address, and contact details. Businesses that create and share newsletters will often also include a sign up box in the footer to encourage users to become a part of their community without creating annoying pop-ups.
Social links are something else that have become heavily used in website footers in recent years - providing direct access to the company’s social pages but without encouraging users to leave the website before they have scrolled down the homepage (at the very least).
Considerations to keep in mind when designing a website footer
One of the most important things to consider when designing a website footer is that you want to make important information available but without detracting from the user’s experience on your website. If they’re browsing your products, you don’t want to distract them with links to social media instead - which is why the design of your footer should be cohesive with your brand guidelines but muted and subtle.
Another thing to consider, and something which is easy to overlook, is the validity of any links you include. As part of regular site maintenance, it’s important that you ensure every link on your website is working - and that includes the vital links in your footer. A broken link can impact the user experience negatively.
Then there’s the design presentation itself and how your footer looks. Generally, we recommend that businesses opt for a footer finished in brand colours, with text which is small but still legible and accessible in terms of readability.
Making sure that the footer is equipped with useful information, but without overstuffing the box or replicating the main navigation menu, helps to ensure that your footer is accessible and valuable rather than a black mark on the design of your website.
Use it to present the links to secondary content on your website, which has no real impact on customers and those seeking out your products and services.
And if you’re ever in doubt about what to include, remember that our team of designers are here to help. Get in touch to find out more about our website design and copywriting services.