Anatomy of a Website
Web Design, websites
January 5, 2022
Hey there and welcome back!
So last time we started our anatomy of a website series by first talking about the website header and what it is and how it can help your website. If you missed that video, I highly recommend that you go back and check that out after you finish this video.
Today we’re actually going to move on to the end and discuss footers. While they might be the last thing a person sees on a webpage, they still play an important role. And they can even help take the action that you want them to to continue down your sales funnel.
Now before we get too far along, if you want to see more videos on web design, ecommerce, digital marketing, WordPress and other website related topics, be sure to hit the subscribe button and to ring the bell for notifications.
Now let’s get started!
What is a website footer?
So what exactly is the website footer?
It’s at the bottom of every page on basically every website ever. And it can be the last impression someone has before deciding if they want to move on to a different page of your website or just leave the website altogether. And it can also be just as helpful for navigating through your website as much as your header.
So to that end, it can be a very important part of your webpage, even if you don’t see it very often. It can be a very good tool to help get users to where they want to be on your website. If you place social media links in your footer, it can help people find your business elsewhere where they can stay up to date with your business and maybe even come back to the website. And if you want, you can place a call to action sort of around the footer for people to take the next step through your sales funnel. And that can help increase conversions through your website.
So don’t overlook how important a footer can be to your website and ultimately to your business.
Elements of a website footer
So now that we know what the website footer is and why it’s so important to your website, let’s take a look at the different elements that can make up a website footer on your website and other websites.
First element and the one everyone will know is the copyright date. This is in the footer of almost every webpage on the internet today. And it’s also either the most remembered element this time of year or the most forgotten. If you want, you might want to make sure that it’s updated to be 2022 or whatever the current year might be that you’re watching this video.
Next, you can also have footer navigation down here as well, and I feel like this is a pretty underrated element. It can be a very helpful place to get people around your website. The navigation could just be a simple horizontal list or you could make it three or four columns across. The choice is yours. Just make sure that it’s user friendly and easy to navigate.
Also, you will likely place your social media profile links here. Since you can take up a little bit more room down here than you can the header, it might be easier to fit those icons down here. Just make sure that they work well with the design of your website. If you use WordPress, the Simple Social Icons plugin can really help you out here.
Finally, the footer is a great place to put a call to action. While I’ll talk about calls to action later on in this series, essentially what they are is a button that gets the user to take a desired action you want them to take, whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, downloading an information packet or scheduling a time to talk with you.
And the footer might be a good place for one final reminder for the user to take that action. Just make sure that it’s not too crazy.
What makes a good website footer?
So what makes for a good footer that you can try on your website?
Well first, a simple footer is a good footer. I know that you’ve probably already heard me say this a million times already in this series, but simple can be better. If it’s a simple one line that has the copyright date and information, a horizontal menu and your social links and stuff like that, that works.
Take for example the footer for the Sports Bench Main Theme. It has all of those things done in a simple manner. It doesn’t try to do too much. That can work.
Also, if you do have menus, make sure that they are easy to navigate. Your menus really shouldn’t have dropdowns like the header, that just looks weird. I’m personally a big fan of just having just one very simple menu, but if you want to have multiple in different columns, that works as well.
Take The Athletic for example. It has a couple of menus in the footer area, some with a lot of items, but they are laid out logically so you can find what you’re looking for easily.
Finally, just make sure that it fits in with the rest of the page. Yes, it might have a different background color from the rest of the page just to make it stand out or something like that, but make sure that it’s not drastically different from the rest of the page. That just looks childish.
What makes a bad website footer?
So on the other side of that, what makes for a bad footer so that you can avoid those mistakes?
First off, well having no footer is an issue. While it technically isn’t required for a website to work, it does provide great functionality for your website, and not having that can be an issue. Plus it just looks really weird, like a website without pants on. So put a footer on.
Next, having an out of date copyright year is, well, not great. Like it’s a small thing, but it’s a big small thing. Nothing says I may not actively be using this website like an out of date copyright year.
Finally, also having a bad menu design can be an issue. Again I will always argue that simpler is better and that having one menu is a good idea. But if you are going to have multiple menus in your footer, make sure that they make sense and that the user can use them easily.
What you can apply to your website
So what can you, a non-technical person do with all of this information?
Well first off, make sure that your copyright date up to the right year. This is commonly missed, especially around this time of year in January, if you’re watching this video in January, and it can be a bit of a turnoff if it’s the wrong year. Just go ahead right now, pause the video, and go and check that the year in the copyright is correct.
Next, like the header, make sure that the navigation menus are easy for someone who’s new to your website to use and to find what they might be looking for. Again, simpler is better. If you or your friend can’t navigate that menu, then you need to change it and maybe simplify it.
Finally, if you’re in the market for a new website design, or maybe a new theme if you use something like WordPress, you know, look at the footer of the themes that you’re looking at to see if you like them and if they work. Make sure there’s a place where you could possibly add in social media links down there as well. Or even a call to action.
Like with everything with your website, the best thing to do with your footer is test it every now and then to see if it still works and if it doesn’t, then figure out what you need to do to make it better.
So what questions do you have about websites and website footers? Or is there something that you’ve tried with your footer in the past that has or hasn’t worked? Be sure to leave them down in the comments section below.
Also, if you’re in the market for a new or first website for your business, I would love to help you get started and create a website to get your business online relatively quickly and for a price that should fit your budget. Check out the link in the description for more information and to sign up for a free one-hour consultation.
Next time out we’re going to be talking about the homepage and how you can craft the perfect homepage to get people to stick around your website and to learn more about your business.
To see that video and other videos about web design, digital marketing, WordPress, ecommerce and other website related topics, be sure to hit the subscribe button and to ring the bell for notifications.
But until next time, I wish you and your business the best of luck!
What is a Website Footer?