A 7-Step Website Homepage Design Formula [plus Examples]

You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

That’s why your website home page is undoubtedly one of the most important pages on your website.

For any given company, the homepage is its virtual front door — and face to the world. If a new visitor doesn’t like what they see, their knee-jerk reaction is to hit the “back” button. Don’t let that happen.

What Makes a Good Website Homepage Design?

All of the homepage designs shown here utilize a combination of the following elements.

Not every page is perfect, but our lineup of best-in-class website home page designs get many of these right:

1) Clearly answers “Who I am,” “What I do,” and “What you can do here.”

If you’re a well-known brand or company (e.g. , Amazon or Coca-Cola), then you may be able to get away with not having to describe who you are and what you do.

But the harsh reality is, most businesses still need to answer these questions so that each visitor knows they are in the “right place.”

Steve Krugg sums it up best in his best-selling book, Don’t Make Me Think …

If visitors can’t identify what it is you do within seconds, they won’t stick around long.

2) Resonates with the target audience.

A website’s homepage needs to be narrowly focused — speaking to the right people in their language. The best homepages avoid “corporate gobbledygook,” and eliminate the fluff.

3) Communicates a compelling value-proposition.

When a visitor arrives on your homepage, it needs to compel them to stick around. The homepage is the best place to nail your value proposition so that prospects choose to stay on your website and not navigate to your competitors’.

4) Optimizes for mobile usability.

All the homepage designs listed here are highly usable, meaning they are easy to navigate and there aren’t “flashy” objects that get in the way of browsing, such as flash banners, animations, pop-ups, or overly-complicated and unnecessary elements.

Most (if not all) of them are 100 percent mobile-responsive, at least I hope so for the sake of their Google search rankings, which is an incredibly important must-have in today’s mobile world.

5) Includes calls-to-action (CTAs).

Every homepage listed here effectively uses primary and secondary calls-to-action to direct visitors to the next logical step. Examples include “Free Trial,” “Schedule a Demo,” “Buy Now,” or “Learn More.”

Remember, the goal of the homepage is to compel visitors to dig deeper into your website and move them further down the funnel. CTAs tell them what to do next so they don’t get overwhelmed or lost.

More importantly, CTAs turn your homepage into a sales- or lead-generation engine, and not just brochure-wear.

6) Always changes.

The best homepages aren’t always static. Some of them, like Whitehouse.gov, are constantly changing to reflect the needs, problems, and questions of their visitors.

Some homepages also change from A/B testing or dynamic content.

7) Employs great overall design.

A well-designed page is important to building trust, communicating value, and navigating visitors to the next step.

As such, these website homepage designs effectively use layout, CTA placement, white space, colors, fonts, and other supporting elements.

Now, get ready to learn how excellent website homepage designs are measured and battles in online business across market niches are won through these 19 real-life examples.

Ecommerce Websites

LUHSE TEA

The look and feel of this ecommerce homepage gives the brand a personal characteristic that makes it stand out from many others.

WHITE LOTUS AROMATICS

A great example of placing featured products where you’ll see the greatest amount of website traffic. The monthly update also gives viewers newer, more dynamic content versus a typical eCommerce website’s lineup of product pages.

LEGA-LEGA

You’ll notice a trend: Most attractive eCommerce websites feature homepage designs where their products are displayed in a clean and clutter free format. (not always the best converters, so beware the “looks clean” test when competitive benchmarking)

SCOTCH & SODA

The tiled look of this website homepage design works great for showcasing different areas of the website. Neatly placed social icons make it easy to share, and the “Latest Posts” tab gives users more content to consume — while also appearing authoritative as a thought leader.

UNCRATE

Uncrate has always had a consistent look and feel for their website redesigns. This website homepage design is no different. All of the categories and pages are neatly placed across the top of the page for easy-to-find, and click, website navigation.

Agency Websites

JIB

The colors of this website design compliment each other perfectly. You’ll also notice the texture of the homepage background that runs with the overall theme of the brand.

RIDE FOR THE BRAND

The old school look and feel of this homepage design is amazing. The custom UX design elements set it apart from others and the continuous side scrolling aspect makes it an interesting experience for visitors.

BUILT BY BUFFALO

Another one of our favorite homepage designs. This agency website puts a spin on the tiled style of presenting its content and pages. Using different shapes and colors to set themselves apart.

THIS IS THE BRIGADE

This website’s homepage design has great presentation. A large display banner to convey the message and segmented sections to break up the website content.

Retail Websites

REI

This diverse, engaging website features user-generated imagery and content, showcasing a variety of customer submitted photos in a familiar tile based layout.

These layouts are scrollable from side to side with interactive elements when hovering over images. As for the homepage?

It’s not too salesy, navigation is readable and content is plentiful.

JAQUET DROZ

The product design is in your face and isn’t trumped by any other visual elements on the website’s homepage. You see it, it’s gorgeous, and you want to buy one.

ITALIO KITCHEN

It isn’t often that restaurants focus on homepage design, but this site did it right. A large attractive visual media across the top of the website home page, followed by more images of delicious food!

Technology Websites

ART & CODE

The use of interesting navigation icons in a grid layout give this website homepage design an attractive and clean look. Sometimes, less is better?

PREZI

It was brilliant to have a visual content and calls to action embedded right above the fold on the homepage. It makes sense for a tech company that creates such amazing presentations to be great at presenting it’s own product.

FANNABEE

This is a great example of a website home page that uses Parallax Scrolling to deliver a remarkable user experience. Check it out and you’ll know what I mean.

CAPTAIN DASH

This is a great example of a website home page that uses Parallax Scrolling to deliver a remarkable user experience. Check it out and you’ll know what I mean.

SAGMEISTER WALSH

The use of overhead imagery in the actual company office is truly creative, to say the least. Each design element on the floor can be clicked and definitely sets this website homepage apart from other design firms.

BLIND BARBER

This website does a fantastic job of presenting the most important aspect of the website dead center on the homepage. It psychologically draws your eyes to the button and invites the visitor to learn more about this Blind Barber.

FANCY RHINO

Here’s another website homepage that showcases the best of their work with an embedded video on the homepage. The navigation and sidebar are simple enough to stand out next to playing video.

Conclusion

With all of these amazingly diverse, yet conversion-centered website design examples on the Internet, it can be difficult finding a style that represents your brand. Remember to do your homework and visit any websites that interest you.

Your main objective — with ANY website — is to create an aesthetically pleasing website home page that will also provide your visitors with a user-friendly customer experience.

Take the time to learn about your target audience, and build a truly remarkable user experience around their needs.

[FREE DOWNLOAD] 30 Examples of Brilliant Website Homepage Design in 2016


Originally published at unfunnel.com on May 7, 2015.

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