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Website Header Design–Everything Your Business Site Needs

Optimize your website header design to convert more customers. Leverage this guide and to get the most out of your brand's landing pages.

You may think that your website header design does not matter. But in fact, your website header is one of the most important elements on the page. It’s the first thing that visitors see, and it sets the tone for the rest of the site.

A well-designed website header can grab attention and create a positive first impression, while a poorly designed header can turn visitors away. From a practical perspective, the header helps visitors navigate your site.

So, what makes a good website header? In this article, we’ll discuss some of the key elements of effective header design, and we’ll also provide some inspiring examples.

What is a header in website design?

A website header is an area at the top of the page that typically includes the site logo, navigation, and possibly some other elements such as a search box or social media icons. The header is one of the most important parts of your site, as it's often the first thing visitors will see when they arrive on your landing page.

Take the time to design an easy to navigate header so that visitors can quickly find what they're looking for. It's also important to make sure that your header works well on everything from desktop computers to mobile phones. A good website header will help visitors understand what your site is about and navigate their way around it.

What should a website header include?

There are no hard and fast rules about what to include in a website header. However, some elements, such as the site logo, navigation, and CTA button, give your header a professional look and feel.

The site logo is usually placed in the top left-hand corner of the header. This helps visitors to quickly identify your brand and makes it easy for them to find their way back to your homepage. The navigation is typically located in the top right-hand corner of the header. This lets visitors quickly find the pages they're looking for, and it can also help with search engine optimization (SEO).

Some headers also include a CTA button (also known as a "call-to-action" button). This button encourages visitors to take a specific action, such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase. Including a CTA button in your header can increase conversions on your website.

How to create a beautiful header design

Now that we've covered some of the basics of header design, let's take a look at how you can create a beautiful header for your own website.

You want your header to be visually appealing so that it creates a positive first impression for visitors. When choosing colors, fonts, and other design elements, consider how they will work together to create a cohesive and stylish header.

Design your header for all devices. This means creating a responsive header for continuity on desktop computers, tablets, and mobile phones. Make sure to test your header design on all devices before launch.

Here's a detailed guide on how to create a beautiful header design:

Choose your colors

When choosing colors, it's important to consider both the overall look and feel of your website as well as the specific message that you want to communicate. If you're not sure where to start, a good place to look for color inspiration is your company's branding guidelines. These guidelines will likely include a color palette that you can use for your web design.

Place the logo in the top left-hand corner of the header so visitors can see it when they arrive on your website. If you don't have a logo, it’s time to create one. It’s worthwhile to hire an experienced graphic designer to handle the work.

Choose your fonts

Next, choose the fonts that you want to use. When choosing fonts, consider both the overall look and feel of your website as well as the specific message that you want to communicate.

Add your navigation

Put the navigation in the top right-hand corner of the header so visitors can see it when they arrive on your website. To create your navigation, start by creating a list of all the pages you want to include on your website.

Then, use a free online tool such as HTML5 Boilerplate to create the website code for your navigation. This will ensure that visitors can easily find their way around your website no matter what device they're using.

Include other elements

In addition to the essential elements, you may also want to include other elements in your header design, such as a search bar, social media icons, or a call-to-action button. You can place these elements in the top right-hand corner of the header or the middle of the header.

Remember, some designers choose to place the social media icons in the website footer instead of the header, so be sure to consider all of your options before making a decision.

Design your header

Now that you've chosen your colors, fonts, and navigation for your wireframe, it's time to design your header. Start by creating a mockup of your header in a program such as Photoshop or Sketch.

Once you're happy with your mockup, it's time to code your header. If you're not comfortable coding your header, there are plenty of free online resources that can help you get started, such as HTML5 Boilerplate.

Test your header design

Before launching your website, it's important to test your header design on all devices. You can use a free online tool such as BrowserStack to test your header design on different browsers and devices.

Six website header design examples

Now you know how to create a beautiful header design. Here are a few website header examples to inspire your own design.

  1. The Crazy Egg header design is clean and modern, with just a hint of color to add visual interest. It has a clear tagline and the call-to-action button stands out against the rest of the design.
  2. Slack’s header design is simple and effective, with a clear call-to-action and a well-placed logo. The use of purple color makes the design feel open and inviting, and the overall effect is clean and modern.
  3. The header design from Dropbox is a good example of a sticky header. The name of the company and the app's icon are both prominently displayed, and the call-to-action is at the top right corner.
  4. The Huffington Post's header design uses black and white colors to create a sleek and stylish look with the logo in the center. You will find the off-canvas menu in the top left-hand corner of the header.
  5. The Namecheap header design uses a minimalistic approach with the company's logo in the top left corner and the search bar in the center. The system groups the navigation links in the top right corner.
  6. The Apple website header is simple and effective. Place the logo in the center of the header, and group the navigational links together. The search bar is in the top left corner.

5 Things to avoid in your website header design

While there are many things you can do when developing a website header, there are also a few things you should avoid. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you design your header:

  • Don't make your header too cluttered. Too much information or images overwhelm visitors and make your website seem less professional. Avoid using too many fonts or colors in your headers to avoid distraction.
  • Don't make your header too small. Can visitors easily see and read your header? With that said, making your header too large makes it look out of proportion.
  • Don't use a generic header image. If you want your website to stand out, use a custom header image that reflects your brand or business. Not only will this make your site more visually appealing, but it will also help visitors remember your brand.
  • Don't forget to include a CTA in your header. Whether you want visitors to sign up for your newsletter or download a free eBook, make sure your header includes a clear call-to-action so visitors know what you want them to do.
  • Don't forget to test your header design. Before you launch your new header, make sure to try it out on different browsers to ensure it looks and functions the way you want it to. This will help you avoid any last-minute surprises and give you the confidence that your header design is ready for the world.

Create your ideal website with Mailchimp

To conclude, website header design impacts one of the first things visitors will see. Keep your header design simple and uncluttered, and make sure to include a call-to-action, so visitors know what you want them to do.

Now that you know how to create a beautiful header design, it's time to put your knowledge into practice. If you're ready to create a header of a website, Mailchimp can help. With our easy-to-use website builder, creating a stunning website is easy — no design experience necessary. Plus, we offer a range of features and integrations to help you grow your business online. Ready to get started? Create your website today.

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