Today, a Footer is essential to a website. It shows the user that they’ve reach the end of the page and provides them with some additional information/links. Without a Footer, many users may wonder if the page has fully loaded within their browser.
Recent trends in Web Design have expanded on the traditional Footer, which contain a handful of links and perhaps a Copyright notice. These new Footer designs stand out from the norm and can provide a dramatic ending to a user’s scrolling experience.
Although I’m a Web Developer by day, I do have a keen eye for good design on the Web. So the following is a selection of my favourite website Footers.
Firstly, starting with what I consider a bad footer:
In general, Wiggle’s site comes across as cluttered and takes a while for the user to digest and find what they’re looking for. It’s also full-width, so on a larger resolution monitor can appear to have too much whitespace. Admittedly, the Footer does have some valid information, but could be laid out better.
So what makes a good footer?
Apple’s site is clean and crisp throughout, though their Footer is very simple and allows the main content to take centre stage. However, interestingly it contains a breadcrumb of the user’s path to the current page.
The BBC’s recent redesign impressed me, especially the Footer – which provides useful links for the user and uses a neutral colour palette, so that it doesn’t clash with the various pages throughout the site.
PelFusion’s Footer is split into 3 columns with links to Comments; Categories and Archives – distinct Blog features. I’m interested to see how this will look in a year or two – whether or not the extra Archives will spoil the look, or if the owner decides to only display the most recent ones.
Perishable Press has an almost sepia tone to the page, with the Footer echoing this. What inspired me most about this was the 3 sets of images that fit together well and the rollover states display more colourful versions, yet the 3 sets differ in dimensions and location.
Waterstones’ Footer is perhaps the only one here containing an actual photo, rather than the more common illustrated picture. It fits well with the nature of the site, displaying a selection of books on a Web 2.0 style glossy shelf. Below are 2 columns of links, each divided into 2 (totalling 4).
Yodaa’s Footer fits well with the rest of the site, which changes as you scroll down the page – from a blue sky in the header through to the dark earthy feel of the Footer. It contains a contact form that has been designed to fit the illustrated feel of the page very well.
I had to include my own site for reference, purely because at the time of designing it, I believed it reflected the current trend of Footers on the web. I spent a few days researching Footers that I liked the look and feel of – and opted to attempt a cartoony style, with all of the links as pictures rather than text. It’s starting to show its age and in some respects looks fairly plain compared to others on this list in a similar style.
That’s my list of 30 great website footers. Please be aware that these are my personal favourites and have made such an impact that I’ve bookmarked them whilst browsing the Web over the past few months. I can’t pick a favourite of the bunch, but looking through the list there does appear to be a trend in website Footers that I prefer:
- Multiple-columns – 3 and 4 are the more popular choice
- Jammed full of useful links
- Fit well with the rest of the theme
- Big and almost overpowering
And overall, they all provide that important factor – letting the user know they’ve reached the end of the page and providing them with a few more options in the hope of keeping them on the site.
When designing my next version of slickhouse and indeed, any future sites – I’ll be taking these into account, allowing them to influence my design decisions. If you’d like to read more on website Footers, the following Articles are worth a look:
- Themeflash – 50 excellent footer design inspiration
- Smashing Magazine – footers in modern web design
- Six Revisions – 25 stylish website footer designs
- Vandelay Design – blog footers
Let me know if you’ve come across any additional Footers that have inspired you and if you agree with the above choices, or not.