What’s a Website Footer and Why You Need One

Have you come across the term “website footer,” but have no clue what it actually means? Or are you trying to design your website? And you’ve put off building a footer because you don’t know what you need or why you even need one? Well, let’s learn exactly what a footer is, why it’s important, and some options to include if you’re building your own. Read at https://alirand.com/whats-a-website-footer-and-why-you-need-one/

Have you come across the term “website footer,” but have no clue what it actually means?

Or are you trying to design your website? And you’ve put off building a footer because you don’t know what you need or why you even need one?

Well, let’s learn exactly what a footer is, why it’s important, and some options to include if you’re building your own.

What’s a Footer?

A website footer is the area at the very bottom of a website.

It usually stretches the whole width of the page and probably looks distinct from the area above it (different color backgrounds, borders, etc.).

A website’s footer usually doesn’t change from page to page. And if you’re using a website theme, once you design it, the footer will automatically display on all your webpages!

So for example, if you scroll down to the very bottom of this page, you’ll see 4 columns of page links and a copyright area at the bottom. That’s my website footer.

Design Tip:

To design your footer in WordPress, you’ll most likely be going to Appearance > Widgets. Then, a lot of themes have Footer Widgets. There, you can insert what you want to be displayed in your footer.

Keep reading on for ideas for what to put in it…

Why is a Footer Important?

If you sell online, you know that every place on your website counts. Click To Tweet While space at the top is usually more important, you still don’t want to neglect the people who make it to the bottom of your website.

A website footer gives you a chance to interact with visitors and help them navigate your website.

Because your site should always try to make it as easy as possible for visitors to find what they’re looking for.

Besides easy navigation, your footer can display any information you want that will help your business’s goals.

So if you’re building a footer, ask yourself, “What are my business’s goals? What value can I provide my customers?”

For example, if you want to generate leads for your services, you may want to make sure your contact information is prominently displayed at the bottom to make it easy for leads to contact you.

But to learn more about what makes a footer important, it’s best to go through what are some common footer features and how they can help you achieve your business goals.

So what things can go in a footer?

Page Links

The most common footer feature is page links.

Because if a visitor has made it to the bottom of your website, don’t make her exert more energy by having to scroll all the way up to the top to go to a different page. Because she might just choose to leave!

footer-page-links-example-from-ali-rand

That’s why footers usually have links to other pages, so your visitor can choose right there where to go next.

If your website also has a lot of pages, it’s a great way to clearly let visitors know what’s there. Instead of hovering over the menu links at the top!

Design Tips

1. Prioritization

First you should try to list all your important website page links in order for them to be indexed by search engines.

If you have a small website, this may not be as big a deal for you, but if your website is large with over 20 pages, you’ll want to prioritize your most important pages you want found.

Just make sure you don’t put unnecessary or unused links. That can negatively affect your user’s experience.


2. Organization

Then you’ll want to group them by relevance to make your visitors’ experiences clearer and more organized.

While some sites have as few as 4 links, other large companies can have upwards of 25 links. It then becomes critical to make sure they are organized so customers can find what they want.

Make your headings the broad overarching topic that connects your sublinks.

For example, “Support” could be a heading if your page links under are “FAQ,” “Returns,” “Knowledge Base.”).


3. Keywords

And lastly, you’ll want to make sure you have keywords in your links.

Not only will this help search engines, but it will help visitors know exactly what page will be found once clicked.


Contact Information

The next main category most footers have is their organization’s contact information. You could list things such as:

  • Your address
  • Google map
  • Hours of operation
  • General phone number
  • Live chat or support number
  • Fax number
  • Email

So you’ll need to decide which, if any, of these links you’ll want. Again, this depends on your business and its goals.

If you’re a blogger or solopreneur, you probably won’t need to have an address or live chat number. But if you’re a business with a physical presence, you might need several of those features.

footer-company-contact-info-example-from-ali-rand

Because prominent contact information is a signal of trust to visitors. They want to know they’re dealing with a real and legitimate business.


Images

Some footers also feature images. You can really choose whichever photos align with your business goals.

To help you decide what kinds of images to use (and how to use them to boost SEO), read this post:

Read: How to Pick and Place Your Website Images Correctly

Some options are single images or a gallery of images (usually a 2×3 or 3×3 block of small images). If your business is visual-centric, this might be a good choice to include!

Another option is to include an image of your logo that is linked to your home page. This way, when visitors make it to the bottom of a page, they have a quick way to find their way home.

footer-images-example-from-ali-rand

And if you have an e-commerce website, another good idea might be to include trust and privacy seals. This will help your customers shop in confidence, knowing their sensitive information is guarded.


Legal

Copyright

It’s also a good idea to have your copyright symbol (©) near the very bottom of your footer. For legal purposes, you want to protect your work and your site, and showing its yours begins with a copyright.

You can then put the current year or a range of years.

Just remember to update your copyright each year, because an outdated website can cause visitors to question your business. Are they still operating? Are these services or products still available? Don’t instill that doubt for potential customers.

Design Credit

You can also choose to put a line near the copyright that basically says “This site was designed by XYZ.” This may be required in your contract with your web developer. Or it’s a nice way to help promote your designer’s business!

Legal Pages

And lastly, you may be required by law to have your privacy policy page displayed on your website. It varies by state, so I’d search for your state’s internet privacy laws or consult with a lawyer (sorry, I can’t give you legal advice as I’m not a lawyer…).

Some people, like me, also choose to have a Terms & Conditions page and disclaimer page, but it’s up to you and your business situation what you should have.


Social Media

In this connected world, social media links are very common in footers. It makes it easy for visitors to find and connect with your social media accounts.

Just remember to only put relevant social media links. If you’re not using LinkedIn to promote your business, don’t place a link to it.

Also, don’t go overboard with every single one of your accounts. You may find your click-through-rate increase if you limit yourself to 2 – 4 links.
If you give people too many options, they wind up picking none of them. Click To Tweet

Design Tip:

Your website theme should include social media buttons to use. But if not, you can find some at FontAwesome orFont Elegant.

Also, instead of a link to your account, you can also put your social media feeds directly in your footer!

Here are some links to WordPress plugins for displaying social media feeds:

Company Highlights

You can also use the footer to place a little blurb highlighting your company or restating what it is/does. Or even your mission statement if you so choose!

footer-company-bio-example-from-ali-rand

Try to make sure the messaging is in line with your brand.

So if you’re quirky, connect with people in that way. If you’re a professional and serious corporation, make sure your copy reflects that.


Subscription

You can also place a subscription form field and button in your footer. If you have a newsletter or better yet an enticing opt-in, you can promote that in the footer.

However, to see more conversions, you should try placing your email list signup right ABOVE the footer, not within it. In the footer, the area is small and often overlooked.

So make it its own full-width section above the footer.

Make sure the colors and design stand out from the surrounding design. Try using contrasting button colors, background colors or images and/or text colors.

footer-subscription-example-from-ali-rand

This will most likely result in more visitors noticing it, so your chances for conversion increase.


General Design Tips

So once you’ve settled on what features to include, it’s time to mockup how it will look like. So sketch it out (physically or digitally) and see how it’s looking.

White Space

Make sure you have enough white space around your links and features. There should be clear distinctions and boundaries for easy viewing.

Text Size

Even if you have a lot of links and text, don’t make it super hard to read. Keep it either the same text size as your body or just a point or two lower. Your copyright may be smaller, but make sure it’s easy for people to read and click links.

Typography Look

Feel free to play around with the type, especially for headings. You can vary the boldness, letter spacing, capitalization, color, etc. Just make sure it’s consistent and doesn’t look messy or unprofessional.

Mobile

Once you’ve designed your website footer and you’ve put in on your website, you should check that it resizes correctly.

View your site on your phone or resize the screen or use mobile emulators online.

Sometimes footer columns can get wonky, so you might have to play around with the code to get it looking good on smaller screens.

Conclusion

So now you know what a website footer is and why should definitely include one on your site.

And you’ve learned about some common options for designing your website footer and some tips to help you out.

So go out and give your neglected website footer some design love!

Wondering how to make your footer on WordPress? Go here:

Read: Make Your Website Footer

And if you haven’t already, you can download Your Guide to Website Footers. It’s a great way to organize your design your footer!

Got a second? Leave a comment below with how you’re going to design your footer. Any takeaways you’ll use from this post?

And if you’ve found this post helpful, please share it with your friends so they can also design their best footer!

About the Author
I create beautiful and conversion-focused WordPress websites for service-based entrepreneurs and businesses. Because websites should sell for you, not just look pretty. And if you're interested in learning how to maintain your website (so you can fix those pesky issues!), then click here.

4 thoughts on “What’s a Website Footer and Why You Need One

  1. Designing the perfect footer is something I’ve been obsessed with lately. There are so many options you can use that it can seem a little daunting. Either way what you say is so true, footers are so important and they are often overlooked. Sweet post 🙂

    • Hey Vivian!

      Lol So glad I’m not the only one! I totally get that you want to display the right info, but deciding how to do that can be challenging. But you can always change it up later, so don’t feel you have to make it perfect! Thanks for commenting!

Leave a Comment