The classical web design theory states that you should put the least important content and elements at the bottom of the webpage. Most users also think the same way and many designers are also convinced that it is true. In fact, they leave footers as the most uninspiring and boring place in the site. Designers typically use the bottom area of the webpage for anything they haven’t place on the upper part of the webpage. Contact details, back-to-the-top link, copyright, W3C badge and disclaimers are often found on the bottom. But, is it possible to use footers to impress users with something interesting and unexpected?
Many websites employ creative usage of footer. In general, you can use footers to place information people are looking for. This is why ‘About Us’ and ‘Contact’ pages are placed on the footer. Corporate websites often place e-mail, web form, telephone number and driving direction. Footers can be used to express something very personal and artistic on blogs. For example, if you’re a comic fan, why don’t you place a small picture of your favorite superhero somewhere in the footer? This small detail can make your personal blog more distinctive and focus users’ attention.
Blog designs often have a bunch of information displayed or hidden in the footers, including latest posts, latest comments and links to other websites. Some website owners even go further by placing the entire navigation system at the bottom of the webpage. In this case, the website is split in two major parts. The upper part accommodates the contents, while the bottom part contains everything else. There are some possibilities for blogs: footers may contain icons, web forms, photos, related links and personal illustrations, they simply offer plenty of room for creativity. Unfortunately, many blogs misuse footers by cramming in ads and SEO-spam. These are three tips to use footers properly and effectively:
- Imitate the Earth
If navigation links are branches and contents are fruits, you can consider the footers as the Mother Earth. Many blogs imitate the characteristics of Earth on footers. This means you can use dark green, brown, beige and black as the background color of footers. Many personal blogs use elements that are grounded on the bloggers’ interests, such as hand-drawn elements, illustrations, mascots and attractive characters. Illustration can give footers particular meaning they need to convey. Possibilities are limitless. In many cases, owners of personal blog can choose cartoons and vivid images.
- Use the right colors to separate footer and content
Since the primary purpose of the footers is to complete the website layout, often they are given color that contrasts the rest of the site. A bright website often has footer with dark footer. On the other hand, footers with vivid colors can give enough contrast on websites dominated with calm colors.
- Use advanced features
Apart from visual purposes, footers are often used to convey information quickly and effectively. Sitemap, address and contact information are often found in the footer. However, you can still use elements with advanced functionalities such as tag clouds, email subscription and RSS feed.