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What is a Footer and why you should use it

All great stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. In the case of a website footer, it is the closing chapter that visitors will be greeted with when they’ve reached the end of the page. Although a footer is one of the last elements users will see on your website, it still requires the same level of thought and attention to detail as the rest of your site does. 

After all, it’s your final opportunity to link to further content or offer reassurance about their purchase. A footer can also provide information that wasn’t available further up on the page. If you’re keen to learn more, here are our thoughts on what is a footer and why you should use it. 

What is a Footer?

A footer is an area that sits at the very end of your website on every page when the user cannot scroll any further down. It can contain internal links, graphical elements and other relevant text. 

It’s easy to assume that because a footer is not the header or the main website body that the footer doesn’t matter, but this couldn’t be further from the truth! Instead like all other areas of your website, it should be filled with tangible content for your audience. 

Why do I need a Footer for my webpage? 

Without a footer, your website would come to an abrupt end when users scrolled to the bottom of the page. That would be like giving a sales pitch with no close! Therefore, a footer is a final opportunity to reinforce any messaging. It also gives you the chance to link users to other content that may be of interest, as well as display your contact information.

Which information should a Footer contain? 

Footers are quite flexible in terms of what can be added to them. However, standard features include things such as a copyright notice, privacy policy, terms of use, social buttons and contact information. All of these elements may make your website cluttered especially if they are featured in your header, which is why your footer gives some much needed breathing room.

It’s also common to see some navigation in a footer too because sometimes it’s impossible to place everything within your main toolbar. Footer navigation allows you to add certain pages your visitors could be looking for. Though it’s good to note it’s a bad idea to include your entire sitemap in your footer as this would be overwhelming. 

If your website is e-commerce based, a footer is a place your customers will head to when they are thinking about purchasing from your website. Often, they scroll to the footer for reassurance or further information. That’s why the footer makes the ideal place for the likes of a returns policy, about us page link and even details of your secure payment methods

How can I add a Footer to my webpage? 

If you are working with a website builder, then most templates will incorporate a footer. The exact design will depend on the template, but there should be options to customise it. Some website builders (such as Wix) will even allow you to drag and drop a footer into place. 

Alternatively, if you are working with Bootstrap they have some sticky footer templates as part of their custom component offerings. 

Are there best practice examples?

There is a ‘best footer design’ category on the design website awwwards. This makes for interesting reading as it displays examples that play with colour, typography and negative space. While the style will depend on the tone of your website, factoring in the footer as part of your overall design strategy can certainly pay off. 

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