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How a Website Header is Designed | A Step-by-step Guide

In the first place, a Website header sits at the top of each page and serves a few very important purposes. Although, this does more than just providing a place for your logo.

It is part of a consistent user experience that all good websites share. As a matter of fact, the design of a Website Header may differ from site to site.

But, the core features that determine how a site is navigated and experienced remains the same. Generally, this section is usually consistent across all of the pages on the website.

However, some designs give the home page a slightly different header appearance. Especially in order to draw attention to featured areas of the site. Such as,

  • the general Company Profile,
  • Team,
  • Contacts,
  • Frequently Asked Questions,
  • Search Results, and even,
  • Services and Solutions Support.

With this in mind, you can Send a Proposal to the jmexclusives team for a free Quote on all-inclusive website graphics design and development.

Website Header

What is a Website Menu and Submenu Header?

What is a Website Header?

As can be seen, from the above explanation, in any given web page layout, a header is the upper (top) part of the webpage.

It is definitely a strategic part of the page as the area which people see before scrolling the page in the first seconds of introduction to the website.

Being somehow a sign of invitation, the header should provide the core information about the digital product so that users could scan it in split seconds.

In website design perspective, a header is also the area making the broad field for creative design solutions. And which should be catchy, concise and useful.

Above all, headers are often referred to as «Site Menus» and positioned as a key element of navigation in the website layout.

What are the Benefits of a Website Header?  

According to the jmexclusives, a Website Header is one of the most important components of your website.

It is normally horizontal in size, it runs across the top of the page and most of the time appears on every page of your website except landing page or sales page.

Not to mention, Website Header is often used to promote your brand. Whereas it mainly contains your logo, your site name or title, your own slogan, your labels, and some other key elements.

Such as social media icons, shop and store buttons, coupon links, etc. To say nothing of, your site header helps to set the look and feel or the identity of the whole website.

Equally important, a Website Header represents the first impression for your site visitors, and it could leave a lasting impact.

But, a Website Header must be able to outreach what you want to achieve. Such as,

  • to efficiently and effectively convey what your site is about,
  • what your business does (products, goods, services and solutions support)
  • and what you want to tell your visitors when they visit your site.

However, before embarking on your clients’ website header design or rather your own, it is highly recommended you sample out.

Especially, in regards to the general menus (header, pre-header and even footers) outlook.

What are Website Page Headers?  

Overall, a good Website Header makes your website easier to navigate, establishes your brand, and creates a consistent browsing experience throughout your website.

Important to realize, in typography and word processing, page headers are texts that are separated from the body text. In addition, they appear at the top of either a single printed page or even at each page(s).

Above all, word-processing programs usually allow for the configuration of page headers. Such as,

Which are typically identical throughout a work except in aspects such as Page Numbers, Page Fonts and Sizes.

Website Header Design & Development Guides

A Revised Guide on Website Header Design & Development – Image by Coffee Bean from Pixabay

What does a Website Header include?

Headers can include a variety of meaningful layout elements, for example:

  • basic elements of brand identity: logo, brand name lettering, slogan or company statement, corporate mascot, photo presenting the company or its leader, corporate colors, etc.
  • copy block setting the theme of the product or service presented
  • links to basic categories of website content
  • links to the most important social networks
  • basic contact information (telephone number, e-mail, etc.)
  • switcher of the languages in case of multi-lingual interface
  • Search field
  • subscription field
  • links to interaction with the product such as trial version, downloading from the App Store, etc.

It doesn’t mean that all the mentioned elements should be included in one web page header.

However, in this case, the risk is high that the header section would be overloaded with information.

For one thing, the more objects attract the user’s attention, the harder it is to concentrate on the vital ones.

On the basis of design tasks, designers, sometimes together with marketing specialists, decide on the strategically important options.

And also do pick them up from the list or add the others, so should you.

What is a Blog Header?  

The blog header is likely the first thing a new visitor sees on a blog. Whereas it can definitely draw readers attention into your blog post. And it might be the one thing that determines whether they want to hang around or not.

On one hand, the Blog header is always different than the header of a basic website because it needs more functionality. In particular, to help the reader navigate through the blog and become better involved.

On the other hand, Blog header can be used to set the mood and visually communicate what your blog is all about. Further, there are two important things you have to consider before you upload your blog header. Such as,

  • firstly, you should make sure that it is a reflection of you and what your blog is about,
  • secondly, you should select the right blog header size.

See an example of the jmexclusives Blog Header

What is a Website Banner? 

In the first place, a Website Banner is a graphic image.

Particularly, depending on how it’s used for; it can be a website banner image, an email banner or banner ads.

Below are more defined guides.

  • Website banner is a graphic image, also known as header banner or title banner that serves a different purpose than header; it announces the name of a site, the identity of a site or a page title and often is spread across the width of the page and normally used for informative purposes.
  • Email banner images are an integral part of your email newsletters and your email design. It has the power to draw your readers in, communicate your message, reinforce your brand and connect visually.
  • Banner Ads is an advertising image, also known as web banner normally used for advertising purposes and come in different sizes and orientation such as the leaderboard 728×90 pixels, wide skyscraper 160×600 pixels, etc.

What is a Hero Website Header?  

If you’re looking for more than just a half size header, so our Hero Header will be another header style that you are going to love.

A Hero Header is a full-width header image above the fold, and it resides in the most important area of every page.

For instance, at the moment it is the most popular trends in website design algorithms.

In general, text and navigation elements are usually displayed over the Hero Header as overlays in the design.

Website Header Design and Editing Tools  

As a matter of fact, there are four various sizes; blog header and website header sizes.

Be that as it may, which are simplified into; 1024×300 pixels1280×350 pixels and 1920×1080 pixels, which is a large room for website owners and web designers.

Whereas, for website banner, there are 800×200  pixels1024×300 pixels, and 1280×350 pixels.

For your graphics designing, we offer many online design tools and editing tools to help you easily create and edit your designs.

1. Header Maker

For creative audience & advanced users, we present powerful design makers such as our online Header Maker that helps you create your own unique, striking header that amps up your brand and impress your audience.

Our Header Maker will give you room to be creative, and there are a number of techniques you can use to connect with your users.

Above all, Header Maker can do almost anything you can imagine when you design your noticeable header!

Whether you’re a total newbie or an advanced user, you will be able to figure everything out! Start your exploration with your creativity! Make your own header in Minutes!

2. Advanced Resizer

Which is more; our website header can be easily customized to fit any online project.

Whereas, the advanced photo resizer is a free online modern technology image editor manipulation tools.

Not to mention, that help you Crop, Rotate, Resize and Optimize your Website header in Minutes! It is a great and powerful tool, very easy to use as 1, 2, 3!

Advanced Resizer is a robust browser image resize tool that can be used across many grade levels, from beginners to professional designers.

3. Photo Text Editor

Photo Text Editor is a handy and multi-talented online photo editor that lets you add text to photo in no time.

It is a layer-based powerful tool for professionals, yet anyone can use it. Further, with a friendly interface that helps any user to create a text overlay on the photo, adjust color, move, rotate and resize with quick and ease.

Notably, with over 650 amazing hand-picked fonts and styles; the Photo Text Editor is designed to make your job simple, unique and creative. Start now; Add text to your website header online for free!

4. Canva

Apart from Canva being an online creative design and editing platform, it allows you to create a variety of design content.

Among them is the Website Posters, Banners, Headers, Footers and also Social Media Fliers and Banner Ads as well.

So, with this in mind, amplify your Website Header with the Canva Tools!

5. Hamburger menu

Another design solution which is quite popular in perspective of header functionality is hiding basic links.

Especially that of data categories behind the hamburger button. It is called so as its form consisting of horizontal lines looks like typical bread-meat-bread hamburger.

The hamburger button, so named for its unintentional resemblance to a hamburger, is a button typically placed in a top corner of a graphical user interface.

Its function is to toggle a menu or navigation bar between being collapsed behind the button or displayed on the screen.

Whereas, the icon which is associated with this widget, consisting of three horizontal bars, is also known as the collapsed menu icon.

6. Fixed (Sticky) Website Header

Sticky headers present another trend able to boost usability is applied effectively.

Actually, it enables to provide users with navigation area available at any point of interactions, which can be helpful in terms of content-heavy pages with long scrolling.

Equally important, sticky navigation is a term used to describe a fixed navigation menu on a webpage. In particular, that remains visible and in the same position as the user scrolls down and moves about a site.

Persistent navigation bars – or “sticky headers” – are now a web design standard.

Learn more about the 3 Golden Rules of Sticky Navigation

7. Double menu

A double menu in the header can present two layers of navigation.

We have shown the example of such a trick in one of the recent case studies for a bakery website. Whereas, the website also uses a sticky header which consists of two levels of navigation.

The upper menu shows the links to social networks, the logo, search, shopping cart and hamburger button hiding the extended menu.

Also, the second line of navigation gives an instant connection to the core interaction areas. Such as:

  • products catalog,
  • locations for the point-of-sales,
  • news and special offers,
  • information about the service and contact section.

Additionally, visual and typographic hierarchy makes all the elements clear and easily scanned providing solid ground for positive user experience.

Choosing a Great Website Header Image  

Almost any website out there uses images to complement their content.

In fact, photography is a powerful tool for web designers. It can tell a story and draw attention to motivate your visitors to scroll further.

Below are some examples, inspiration and basic rules how you can use the imagery in the header of your website.

a. Contrast

You probably want to add a headline or a short text to your photo. And the last thing a visitor wants is to guess what they are reading.

You’ll have to ensure the text stands out and that it is legible. And also, you’ll get the best results if you use white color for the font.

In most cases, the dark text does not work because the contrast is too low. Dark text only looks great if you have an almost white photo, e.g. a white sky.

b. Composition

Do not hide the main subject of your photo behind a text. For one thing, this way you can dark out the side with the text to get a higher contrast.

And also, you can create a more bright side with the subject to highlight it.

c. Facial Features

study has shown that websites with facial features are perceived as more appealing.

Though, be sure to show a relevant photo. How do you use images on your website?

For inspiring photos check out Pexels popular photos:

d. Quality

As an example, use high quality and eye-grabbing pictures. Whereas, if people see an out of focus photo they will leave your website.

Remarkably, visitors expect to see high resolution and professional-looking images that are visually appealing. And do not use cheesy stock photos.

In other words, the right photos can give your visitor context and help them to understand your product or your vision.

Not to mention, a great photo can engage people who are interested in your website to read your article or to use your product.

e. Readability and Visual Hierarchy

The choice of typefaces for headers and the background color should get under highly rigorous research and testing.

Inasmuch as the aspect of readability in header plays a vital role. Whereas, the user has to be able to scan and perceive this basic information as fast as possible.

Without any sort of additional effort. Otherwise, you risk providing the non-user-friendly interface.

Examples of Website Header and Footer Designs  

Notably, both a website’s header and footer play an important role in the overall user experience.

Each one provides an opportunity to establish branding and offer up a large dose of utility.

On one hand, headers have long been the focus of designers. Inasmuch as it’s the first thing a user will see upon visiting a particular site.

Such as the jmexclusives Website. In reality, we often use it as the main source of site navigation, but it can do more.

Generally, a well-thought-out header could prove to be even more useful with more additional features. Such as; search results, e-commerce functionality, and also the accessibility options.

On the other hand, the website footer sometimes gets ignored. Especially, being relegated to display copyright and perhaps a few links. Not to mention, this is a great waste of potential.

Above all, for content-heavy websites such as the jmexclusives. While we sometimes see a footer that is more or less a rehashed copy of the header, there are other area-appropriate items that we may be missing.

Notable Website Header Inspirations 

We’ll take a look at some Website Header and Footer layouts that can serve as an inspiration to your Website Header Design. Including,

1. Kicklox Website Header

The folks behind Kicklox did a fantastic job in developing a header that is easy to use and quite useful.

Whereas, their potential users are a bit unique in that they might be engineers or those in need of hiring one.

What’s nice here is that they’ve actually provided users with an option for choosing which category they belong to.

It’s a prime example of how we can add utility that’s specific to a site’s purpose.

2. Undeveloped Website Header

Notably, Undeveloped has an incredibly minimal and sparse header – and it makes perfect sense.

Inasmuch as they’re in the domain business and their goal is to get you to either buy or sell domain names.

Their header focuses solely on this goal, without any extra clutter.

3. BucketListly Website Header

One of our pet peeves about headers is that we often try to jam so much information into a relatively small space – even on large screens.

Here, the BucketListly Blog makes great use of the available real estate, stretching the full width of an HD screen.

4. Fabienne Delvigne

As a matter of fact, the Fabienne Delvigne Website Header is attractive, compact and has everything users need.

The design blends in perfectly with the content below. Thereafter, adding a cohesiveness that we’ve rarely seen.

Plus, the more utilitarian choices on the upper right are noticeable, but not intrusive.

Also worth noting is that the header folds up quite nicely into a “sticky” version upon scrolling down the page.

5. The New England Journal of Medicine

When designing a website for an organization like The New England Journal of Medicine, there are so many needs to consider.

Users not only have to be able to easily navigate through the various sections of content, but there’s also account management, subscriptions and other potential uses that require attention.

In other words: The header has to do an awful lot. Something with this many needs could easily overwhelm users, but here it doesn’t.

There’s a great use of space and color to help guide users through the site’s many possible choices.

Remarkable Website Footer Inspirations

1. Weboo

It’s not often that we see a footer being used as the sole source of navigation.

Whereby, Weboo pulls this off quite well, with an easy-to-understand “step” method of getting from one page to the next.

Even better is that you can either click or use your mouse’s scroll wheel to navigate.

2. Block Collider

This is not your typical footer. Sure, there’s your standard mailing list signup.

But check out the craziness happening at the very bottom of the Block Collider Footer.

Not forgetting, two large animated blocks linking to related sites add a little excitement.

When was the last time you saw a footer do that?

3. Dorpstraat Stellenbosch

There’s nothing incredibly fancy about Dorpstraat Stellenbosch’s site footer.

But again, we see a design that focuses on a particular action.

In reality, they want you to sign up for their email list and aren’t shy about asking – but in a tasteful sort of way.

4. Orenda Security

Here’s a case of using the site’s footer to accomplish just as much branding as you’d typically see in a header-only on a larger scale.

Orenda Security features a large, animated logo, navigation and contact info in a full-screen view.

That’s something unique that you might only attempt to do with a footer, and it works quite nicely.

5. Dedeman Hotels & Resorts International

There’s an awful lot of utility to Dedeman’s footer area. Newsletter subscription form, social sharing, and affiliated sites are all there and beautifully put together.

So often, we try to make footer design elements tiny and almost unnoticeable – not so in this example. All the desired actions are big, colorful and easy to use.

The Top and Bottom of a Website Header

One of the most valuable lessons to be learned from the examples above is that it’s okay to create a header or footer that is unique to your brand.

However, that doesn’t mean you necessarily shy away from some tried-and-true principles.

But, it does mean that we have some creative freedom to do things that both look good and are useful.

May it inspire you to use your creativity to build something that gives users everything they need, but with your own personal touch.


Your website header is a vital part of your visitor’s website experience.

A functional, consistent header can make a world of difference in your site’s usability.

You can do a lot to make your header look and feel unique to your site and as long as the core common features are in place, your content and design will shine through.

Once you have planned out the content of your website, the next step is to figure out what content you want to put on the header, the content that goes into the body section of each web page and the content you want to include in your page footer.

Keep in mind that there will be a few elements common to most, if not all pages.

These elements may include your site logo, navigation menu, quick email/contact details, copyright notice, links to terms and conditions, etc.

Then, there will also be elements and content that is unique to each web page (for example, a Contact Form on the Contact Us page or a photo gallery on the Photos page.

For elements that are common to most pages, you can consider placing them in your page header or footer. The body is where all unique information should go.

Resourceful References;

I hope the above-revised guide was helpful towards creating your lucrative, impressive and outstanding website header.

However, if you have additional contribution sites and or inspirational facts you’d like the jmexclusives team include herein, feel free to submit them.

Below are more useful and related topic links.

  1. Digital Online Content Design & Development Guides
  2. Website Graphics » Design & Development Tips
  3. Website Head and Headers Explained
  4. Gutenberg Diagram, Z-Pattern, And F-Pattern
  5. F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content
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