If you don’t know what to do with your website footer, this ranking of the 10 most used items in footers will give you some good ideas.
The footer is usually the most neglected part of web sites. In fact, we should ask if it has any utility. Its origin comes from the page footer of books, where its function is secondary, traditionally being used to show the page number.
By applying the footer to websites, however, we face the dilemma of what to do with it. It’s a challenge to the horror vacui (“fear of the empty”), suffered by many designers. We are reluctant to end pages without adding anything because it gives the impression that is unfinished. The problem arises when, to fill that void space, we add random items.
I’ve compared 40 website footers and those are the most used elements:
The vast majority of web sites include some sort of copyright notice, but there are many variations. The most comprehensive ones include the Copyright symbol, year of the creation, name of the author and rights statement, but others only show the symbol and the name of the author.
2. Social networks
Interestingly, social networks are the second item. They are usually used as an alternative system to the traditional contact data (email, address) and, since they don’t have any specific page, they gradually have occupied this space.
Logically, the element that closely follows social networks are the contact details. It is especially used by shops, but we should ask if there’s no a better place to put this information (the contact page, for example).
Some websites include their logo here. Since it is already shown in the header, it may be redundant.
5. Extended menu
Many companies with complex websites use this space to include direct links to pages that don’t appear in the main menu. Although it can be useful, sometimes we run the risk of overloading the footer, looking like a hotchpotch of links. Maybe we should improve the structure of our site?
It seems that newsletter subscription forms are slowly taking hold of the footer.
7. Call to action
In single page websites or where web pages contain a lot of information vertically displayed, the use of the footer to make a call to action can be a very smart choice to prevent users from reaching a non-exit road.
8. Main menu
Although it may seem redundant, placing the main menu at the bottom of the page may be a good solution to avoid having to return to the top.
Not many websites include here a description of the company or the author of the blog, but it seems a very interesting idea.
10. Contact form
Some websites include a contact form. If it also appears on the contact page, it may be redundant, and if the form is too big it could ruin the design.
If, nevertheless, nothing caught your attention in the top 10 and you prefer to be more original, here are three interesting alternatives.