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Web Design 101: A Guide to Website Footers

Website footers serve many purposes and benefits for business, no matter the size of their audience. Here’s everything you need to know about this underutilized feature.

Building a website requires more than simply sharing the information you want to publish to the world. A properly formatted website will also require proper HTML coding which includes both a header and a footer.

While the header of a website is considered essential for banners, introductions, and the management of logos, a website's footer content is equally as important and necessary for any online presence. Footers not only help a user to realize when the end of a page has been reached, but they can significantly improve the overall usability of a website, especially one that is larger in scale.

What is a website footer?

The footer of a website is typically classified as any section of a website that is distinctively located towards the bottom of a page. Not all footers are the same, but all footers are located at the very bottom of a webpage.

A website footer is used to share sitemaps for navigational purposes as well as for search engine web crawling purposes. Additionally, website footers can help users to navigate your website with ease while also streamlining the process of getting in touch with the right department, depending on the type of website or online presence you have.

Do all websites require a footer?

Building, developing, and launching a website without a footer is technically possible, although you will need to end the page at some point, it will just be devoid of additional useful information.

Having a website footer is not only more aesthetic and visually appealing, but it also provides numerous benefits and advantages compared to websites that do not have a properly coded and developed website footer.

What are the benefits of adding a footer to your web pages?

Having a website footer is not always required, but the overwhelming majority of websites understand the benefits that come with having a footer, such as:

  • Additional space for contact information: Share contact information, addresses, and other details relevant to your business using your website footer. Visible contact information is great for building trust among new visitors and prospective customers.

  • Simplified navigation: Using your website's footer section is also ideal to provide simplified navigation as well as a complete sitemap for both search engine and user purposes.

  • Testimonials: You can get creative with your website footers by integrating user reviews and testimonials in real-time. Showcasing positive testimonials can significantly increase sales and the amount of traffic your website receives on a daily basis.

  • Expand your social media presence: Another reason to consider using website footers is for the ability to grow and expand your online social media presence. Using social media icons in the footer of a website is optimal as users are finishing up the browsing of your site. If a visitor is impressed with your website or wishes to learn more about your business, they can easily do so with the click of a button using social media icons in the footer of your website.

Elements of a website footer

Building website footers is not extremely complicated, especially once you have established your business or brand and have an idea of your goals both online and off. With any website footer, there are footer components that can be considered essential as well as those that are optional based on your business model and the type of footer you envision for your brand.

With any footer, essential items to include are:

  • Privacy policy links and notices: Informing users of your website's privacy policy is highly recommended for any business that collects, stores, or uses data provided by customers or online visitors in any capacity.
  • Sitemap: Using a sitemap within your website's footer is another way to help optimize your site for popular search engines while also providing your visitors with an in-depth virtual map which can be useful while browsing a large or expansive site.
  • Copyright notice: Including a copyright notice is also highly advisable for the purposes of branding and for solidifying a professional reputation. You should also place a copyright notice on any website you create that includes original products, services, or even original digital content.

There are also optional items that can be added as footer components, depending on the type of site you are building, including:

  • Your website's logo: Your website's logo is likely to be visible towards the top of your page, or within your website's header. However, some websites also include a smaller or scaled version of their logo in the website's footer. Using a smaller or scaled version of a logo on your footer is another way to help with boosting the overall visibility of your brand online.
  • Contact information: Another popular content block that is often included in a website's footer includes a contact information block. Whether you want to provide a phone number and physical address to your online visitors or if you wish to provide an email, a live chat link, or a link to a ticket support system, you can do so easily within your website's footer.
  • Newsletter sign-up forms: It is also possible to implement your own newsletter sign-up form or email textbox using your website's footer. If you are having difficulties motivating users to register for your newsletter via social media or your website's blog, placing a registration box in the footer of each page of your website can drastically increase the overall engagement your newsletter sign-up box receives.
  • Social media buttons: If you have an expansive presence on numerous social media platforms, you can also integrate social media icons in your website's footer. Adding social media icons into any website's footer will help to boost the overall number of followers you have on those individual platforms. Additionally, social media icons in the footer of a website can also help with boosting the overall SEO, or search optimization and ranking of a website within today's top search engines.

Adding copyright to a website's footer

Using a copyright symbol and/or declaration is necessary for many businesses and brands online today, especially those that produce original content, products, or unique services. Adding copyright to a website's footer is possible with a few different methods.

  • Copy and paste: If you want to add a simple copyright symbol with your website's trademarked name or domain name, you can do so by copying and pasting the '©' symbol.

  • Typing the copyright symbol: If you prefer to type the copyright symbol yourself, you can do so by pressing and holding the 'ALT' button on your keyboard while typing '0169', which will provide you with the '©' symbol.

  • Adding the copyright to your website's footer: If you are interested in adding HTML code directly into your website's footer that includes your copyright information, you can do so with the following snippet:

    <footer> <small>© Copyright 2022, My Business/Brand Name</small> </footer>

Whenever you are adding copyright to your website, consider any registered trademarks you have filed and what type of information or content you are copyrighting. If you are unfamiliar with copyrights and creating a website, you can learn more from the official U.S. Copyright Office online resource.

Customizing your footer content

With the use of Mailchimp, editing and customizing your email campaign footer content has never been easier or more accessible. As with websites, emails benefit from the use of footers as they can provide readers with additional contact information, useful links, and even social media pages to follow.

If you are creating a new email campaign with the use of Mailchimp, you can begin customizing your email footer content by completing the following steps:

  • Footer content block: Using footer content blocks can help to easily begin building and structuring a footer that is optimal for your email campaign and the aesthetic you want for your brand.

  • Custom code: You can add custom HTML code to format the footer of each individual email newsletter and/or campaign you launch as you see fit. Sample HTML code that can be generated via Mailchimp will include an unsubscribe link, your preferred copyright year, a referral badge, address details, as well as links to update your profile or forward the email to a friend.

  • Footer merge tags: Another way to generate information or links for your email campaign's footer is to use built-in merger tags directly from Mailchimp.

If you want to change which content is required and displayed in your email campaign's footer via Mailchimp, complete the following steps:

  1. Login to your Mailchimp account and launch the email campaign you wish to edit.
  2. Select the 'Audience' link from the main navigation of your campaign.
  3. Select 'Audience dashboard' to load more information regarding your current audience.
  4. Choose 'Manage Audience" followed by 'Settings'
  5. Click ‘Required email footer content’ to open the menu for all required email campaign footer content.
  6. Check or uncheck the content you wish to have required for all of your email campaign's footers. Once you are done, scroll towards the bottom of the menu and select 'Save'. You should then be able to refresh and view the changes to your campaign footer.

Don’t overlook your website footer

Even if you are building a small single-page website for your business using a website builder, it is important not to overlook the possibility of implementing a website footer of your own. With the right footer components, you can drastically increase your website's page views while ensuring your visitors can easily browse and navigate your site without a hassle.

If you are looking to optimize your website with a professional footer and streamlined marketing strategy, you can do so with Mailchimp. Learn more about how Mailchimp can help you to better optimize your site while reaching as many users and customers as possible with your marketing strategy today.

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