15 Key Parts of a Website Layout

Are you building a website and don’t know where to start? Understand the key parts of a website layout before you get started.

Building a website requires the ability to not only deliver quality content, but also the ability to do so in a way that is visually appealing and easily accessible. When you are putting together a website layout for any purpose, there are a few key components of a site that you should keep in mind throughout the design and development processes.

8 Components every website needs

When creating a website, there are a few website components you should always keep in mind, even if you are experienced with web design and development.

Before you start to build a website, you will need a logo that represents your business, brand, or the message you want to convey on your site. The right logo can mean the difference between achieving your online goals and falling short of expectations.

Choosing and creating a logo that is reflective of your business and one that resonates with your target audience is essential for any website today.

Website header

One of the first website components introduced when building a website is the website header. A website header holds metadata such as page titles, descriptions, and important keywords in one location. A properly formatted header can significantly boost a website's SEO, or its search engine optimization.

Additionally, a website's header also helps to load specific CSS files, or Cascading Style Sheets, to help with stylizing the actual layout of your website. Website headers are a necessity whether you are developing a one-page website or if you are creating an extensive online community.

Navigation

The navigation of a website is an essential element that cannot be left out, especially if your website has more than one page. Without navigation, your visitors will be stuck on the page they land on, unable to browse or explore anything else that your site has to offer. Choosing how to display the navigation section of your website is another major decision that should not be made lightly. While some navigational menus are formatted horizontally, others are displayed vertically as sidebars.

Body

In website development, the body of a website is a foundational component, whether a website is a one-page site or if the website is a massive online forum or community that is updated in real-time. If you are building a personal portfolio website, an ecommerce website, or even a site to represent your business, your website's layout will require a body section to load and display content.

Feed/posts

Selecting a location for your content feed, posts, and updates you intend to share is another one of the most important website components of any site layout and design. While most often, choosing the body of a page is appropriate for a website's content feed, you may also want to implement various scripts or loaded content inside of your navigation menus or even specific sidebars you are using within your site's design, depending on your website's layout.

Whether you are creating your website from scratch using a traditional piece of writing software or if you are using a modern website builder, consider the main links you intend to use on your site as well as the proper placement of the links. Typically, if you want to maximize the visibility of your main links while also helping to boost your website's SEO, you should ensure that your main links load and appear above the fold whenever you are actively browsing your site.

Buttons/CTAs

If you intend to sell products or if you are attempting to redirect users to another page or website online from your own site, you will need to do so with the use of buttons or CTAs, also known as calls-to-action. Using a CTA and various buttons on your website will help to garner the attention of your visitors while incentivizing users to click links or to learn more about the products, services, or content you are promoting.

Footers

Another one of the most important website sections required when developing a new website is the website footer. A footer on a website is similar to the header, only that the footer is included in the coding of a website after the body and content of a page. A footer may include closing tags, scripts, and even contact information that will appear towards the bottom of every page as users visit them. Footers are also necessary to ensure that a website is properly coded and formatted for today's web standards.

7 Optional parts of a website to consider

Any time you create a new website, there are also optional elements to consider using, depending on the audience you intend to reach and the purpose of your site itself.

Images

Most of the time, when you visit a website, you are immediately welcomed with a visually-appealing logo or another type of image to represent the business, brand, or the website's purpose.

With that said, images are not a necessity when it comes to building a website. However, using imagery and well-designed graphics can help with making a positive and lasting impression on those who visit your website and those who have a genuine interest in learning more about the products and services you have to offer.

Blog

A website is not typically considered complete today without the addition of its very own blog. Creating a blog section for your website is a great way to expand your online reach and visibility while also solidifying a professional reputation.

With a blog, you can also reach even more prospective visitors and customers than by simply promoting a website devoid of any useful information or valuable content.

Special menus

While it is imperative to implement traditional navigational links and menus, you may also want to consider additional menus to help attract users to special events or pages on your website. Using special menus throughout the sidebar, navigation section, or even the main content website sections of a site can also help to provide valuable insight into the interactions and engagements your site receives. With special menus, keep track of which areas of your website receive the most engagement to better improve your website's layout in the future.

Sidebars

Adding sidebars to a website's layout is also another way to segment information into different sections. It is also possible to use sidebars on your website as alternative navigation menus, depending on the number of pages you plan to link to on your site and the overall design of the site itself. While sidebars are not always necessary (depending on the layout of your website), they can also be useful for sharing links and fleshing out a website's sitemap, which can result in a bigger boost in SEO, or search engine optimization.

Sliders

Sliders can provide a modern, chic, quick method of showcasing images, displaying content, or even promoting products and services. Implementing sliders into the content website sections can help to attract and hold the attention of your site's visitors. You can also use sliders to increase the engagement on your website as well as the overall clicks your site receives with its internal content. Sliders are great to use on both landing pages as well as to feature particular topics or issues you may be covering in your website's blog.

Forms

Using forms can help you to collect information about your website's visitors while also helping your website to appear more professional, credible, and authentic.

Whether you are offering a support form for visitors who are in need of assistance or if you are providing customer support for your online customers, forms can help you to do so with just a few scripts and in just a few minutes. From requesting email addresses for a newsletter you are launching to asking for feedback from loyal followers and customers, forms can serve many purposes when it comes to building a successful website today.

Another optional website element to consider using includes social media links. Sharing your official social media links can help with promoting your website's URL to popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing, thus, boosting the overall SEO of your website. You can also share your social media links in the header(s) and footer(s) of your website(s) to attract attention from your visitors and to help amass a following of your own across separate platforms.

Sharing your social media links can also help prospective customers to feel more comfortable about making a purchase from you or on your website, especially if they are visiting your website for the first time. When a customer feels as if they are entrusting a reliable, credible, and authentic business, they are much more likely to make a purchase while maintaining their own peace of mind.

Build your website with Mailchimp

Creating a website from start to finish does not have to feel overwhelming, especially once you are familiar with the parts of a website layout that matter most. From creating a stunning one-page website to a fully-functional, expansive online community, Mailchimp has the resources, tools, and website builder you need to get started without a hassle.

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