The Importance of Great Header
Graphics for Your Web Site or Blog

Often taken for granted, header graphics on a web site are crucial. It is the first opportunity to make a great impression on a new arrival and anything less is likely to lose them. A successful introduction will draw the visitor into the site and then provide or effortlessly guide them to concise and functional navigation. Grab their attention. Be convenient. Nothing drives a new visitor away as frustration does.

While a great header graphic is no guarantee of a repeat visitor, a poorly designed header will certainly guarantee against them. The first step to ensuring that a web site header is a boon rather than a hindrance is to develop a plan. A lack of planning results in a poorly designed header. A great plan results in an effective header that will attract visitors and up the chances that they return.

Know the type of visitor that the web site is targeting. Examine sites that target similar audiences and consider their header graphics. Note the aspects that make a header effective and compare those against those less so. Being unique is critical. A header that invokes another enterprise could create unintended connotations.

Plan to integrate visual elements that blend into the site’s motif. A site should always tie in a visual scheme that makes it easy to read. A header that is overly effective at seizing attention may distract readers and detract from the site’s overall concept.

Pay careful attention to size because it is vital to strike a balance in this area. An extremely large header will certainly grab attention. It will also gobble up valuable screen real estate. It may also inadvertently influence visitors to form the impression that the site is light on content. The flipside of this is a header so small that it effectively serves no purpose at all.

This is the reason why carousel-style headers have become so prevalent. Used effectively they provide the best of both worlds. The header graphics can be large, loud and eye-catching. It can also alert visitors to the abundance of content on the site while incorporating a lean, central navigation.