We all know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. But as far as websites go, your homepage is your front cover and visitors will absolutely judge your business by what they see when they first land on it.
You only have 10 seconds to leave a lasting impression, too. So your website needs to tell them what they’ll get out of your business within this time span.
Thankfully, creating the perfect homepage from scratch is a little easier than one may think. Especially if you follow the tips we’ve included in the information provided below.
Start With a Good CMS (WordPress)
The best place to start building a new homepage is a good content management system (CMS). The most popular choice, and for good reason, is WordPress. WordPress has a 59.3% market share of all content management systems.
With WordPress, you do not need to have any coding knowledge, so it’s fairly straightforward to get to grips with. There are also plenty of themes available that you can pick up and install for free. With these themes, it becomes very easy to find a template that suits your overall vision for your homepage.
You can browse the free themes section from within your WordPress dashboard once it has been installed. Keep in mind that WordPress is entirely free.
You can pay for premium themes, but if you find a good free theme and a page builder as described below, you certainly won’t need to spend a penny on WordPress.
The WordPress Codex is a great resource for learning how to install and get started with WordPress for the first time.
Use a WordPress Page Builder (Elementor)
WordPress is a great starting point, but if you want full control over your homepage, you should download the Elementor page builder.
Elementor lets you quickly create professional website designs. It’s pretty straightforward. It provides pre-made templates and other elements such as customizable widgets. Widgets include anything from text boxes to your recent blog posts. Elementor also offers you the option to include your favorite 3rd party plugins.
The great thing about Elementor is that it’s all drag and drop – you can quickly adjust the layout and location of everything on the page individually.
Start With a Great Headline and Header Image
Once you have the tools you need to actually make your homepage, it’s time to start thinking about the perfect layout.
One very popular homepage design choice is to have a large header image with a headline text and call to action as the first thing visitors see when they come to your homepage.
This is something that many popular websites do. Take a look at Apple, for example.
This homepage design is popular because it works well to catch the attention of the visitor and to send them in the right place before they bounce or get distracted by other elements on your page.
It doesn’t just stop at the header, though. After that, visitors should be able to scroll to find more information about your website. Below we’ve included some content that goes well with the perfect homepage.
Include Social Proof, Such as Testimonials
Whether you’re running a recipe blog or an international eCommerce store, social proof can work wonders.
You’ve seen it before — companies bragging about who they work with. Don’t know what I’m talking about, precisely? Check out this example from Kite who segments their “satisfied client” social proof into target categories to appeal to various markets on their website homepage.
You can add a row underneath your header that includes tailored testimonials from your clients or customers, or you could include feeds from your social networks. Use anything that can show visitors that you’re a trusted source or brand.
The internet is filled with examples of how social proof has helped to boost user actions or conversion rates. For example, this study from Nielsen shows that 70% of people trust consumer opinions posted online.
Don’t Forget the Power of Images
A good quality header image, good icons for each row, and of course, good logo design can help to give yourself a better first impression.
According to a study, if given 15 minutes to consume content, two thirds would rather read something beautifully designed than something plain. Using high-quality images and logo design can help you to break up text and create a more visually appealing homepage.
That wraps up our look at how to make the perfect homepage. In summary, start with a good header, then build upon it with rows and widgets that showcase your website in the best light. Then you can start to turn your website site visitors into raving fans.
Michelle Deery writes and edits content for Heroic Search, an SEO agency based in Tulsa. Her work has been seen in publications such as Entrepreneur Magazine. She specializes in writing content about eCommerce and helps businesses increase their conversion rates.