You never get a second chance to make a first impression — thatas why your homepage is undoubtedly one of the most important web pages on your website.
For any given company, the homepage is its virtual front door. If a new guest doesn’t like what they watch, their knee-jerk reaction is to hit the “back” button.
That’s right — unfortunately, a lot of people still judge a book by its cover.
What makes a website’s homepage design brilliant instead of blah? Well, it takes more than appears alone — it also has to work well. That’s why the most brilliant homepages on this list don’t simply score high in beauty, but also in brains.
But before we dive into the examples, let’s dissect some of the best practices of homepage design.
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 the best homepage designs get many of these right 😛 TAGEND
1) The design clearly answers “Who I am, ” “What I do, ” and/ or “What can you( the visitor) do here.”
If you’re a well-known brand or company( i.e ., Coca-Cola) you may be able to get away with not having to describe who you are and what you do; but the reality is, most businesses still need to answer these questions so that each guest knows they are in the “right place.”
Steven 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) The design resonates with the target audience.
A homepage needs to be narrowly focused — speaking to the right people in their language. The best homepages avoid “corporate gobbledygook, ” and remove the fluff.
3) The design communicates a compelling value proposition.
When a guest arrives on your homepage, it needs to oblige 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) The design is optimized for multiple devices.
All the homepages listed here are highly usable, entailing they are easy to navigate and there aren’t “flashy” objects that get in the way of browsing, such as flashing flags, animations, pop-ups, or overly-complicated and unnecessary elements. Many are also mobile-optimized, which is an incredibly important must-have in today’s mobile world.
5) The design includes calls-to-action( CTAs ).
Every homepage listed here effectively employs 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 oblige visitors to excavation 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) The design is always changing.
The best homepages aren’t always static. Some of them 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) The design is effective.
A well-designed page is important to building trust, communicating value, and navigating visitors to the next step. As such, these homepages effectively use layout, CTA placement, whitespace, colours, typefaces, and other supporting elements.
Now, get ready to learn about excellent homepage design through the following 16 real-life examples.
Website Design Inspiration: 20 of the Best Homepage Designs
Why It’s Brilliant
It’s easy to ingest. There is much debate on whether short or long homepages work better. If you choose to do the latter, you need to make it easy to scroll and read — and that’s exactly what this site does. It almost acts like a narrative. There’s great utilize of contrast and positioning with the primary calls-to-action — it’s clear what the company wants you to convert on when you arrive. The transcript being implemented in the calls-to-action “Get Started for Free” is very compelling. FreshBooks employs customer testimonies on the homepage to tell real-world tales of why to use the product. The sub-headline is also great: “Join over 10 million small business owners use FreshBooks.” FreshBooks expertly applies social proof — 10 million is a big number — to oblige its target audience to join their peers and try the tool. It includes the destination and date search form that most visitors come looking for, right up front, guiding visitors to the logical next step. The search form is “smart, ” entailing it’ll auto-fill the user’s last search if they’re logged in. The primary call-to-action( “Search”) contrasts with the background and stands out; but the secondary call-to-action for hosts is visible above the fold, too. It offers suggestions for jaunts and getaways Airbnb users to be able to book on the same site as their lodgings to get visitors more excited about booking their trip on the site. It also proves which of these offerings are most popular among other users. It’s a super simple design with a strong , no-jargon headline and sub-headline. The homepage gives off a procure but easy-going vibe, which is important for a product that handles financial information. It also contains simple, direct, and obligating call-to-action transcript: “Sign up free.” The CTA design is also brilliant — the secured lock icon hits home the safety message once again. Dropbox carries over its simple design and branding. It includes only what is important: A large, relevant image with supporting transcript, and a “Try free for 30 days” call-to-action button Dropbox’s homepage and website is the ultimate instance of simplicity. It limits its use of transcript and visuals and espouses whitespace. Its sub-headline is simple, yet powerful: “The procure file sharing and storage solution that employees and IT admins trust.” No need to decode jargon to figure out what Dropbox genuinely does. Drool. That’s what I believe when I arrive at the website for 4 Rivers Smokehouse. Combined with great photography, the headline “Brisket. 18 years to master. Yours to savor.” sounds like its own experience worth trying. The parallax scrolling guides you on a tour through the services, menu, and people having a great time — a great use of this popular design tendency. The only negative? I don’t live close enough to this place. Boo. The headline and sub-headline appeal to the visitors’ emotional side: “Work With a Company That Gets It”; “Trust us. We’ve been there too! We’ll find jobs which allows you thrive.” That value proposition is unique and obligating. It’s hard to tell from the screenshot above, but the headline is on a rotating carousel that caters to specific personas, from task applicants to people searching for a therapist for their schools. There are several pathways visitors can take when they arrive on the page, but the calls-to-action are positioned well, worded simply, and contrast with the rest of the page. It’s simple and get straight to the point. From the headline and sub-headline, it’s clear exactly what Jill Konrath does( and how she can help your business ). It also gives easy access to Jill’s thought leadership materials, which is important to establishing her credibility as a keynote speaker. It’s easy to subscribe to the newsletter and get in touch — two of her primary calls-to-action. The pop-up subscription CTA employs social proof to get you to join her thousands of other fans. It includes news outlet logo and testimonies as social proof. Over the years, Evernote has turned from a simple note-saving app into a suite of business products. This isn’t always easy to convey on a homepage, but Evernote does a nice job packaging many potential messages into a few key benefits. This homepage employs a combination of rich, muted colours in the video and its signature bright green and white highlightings to make conversion routes stand out. Following a simple headline( “Remember Everything” ), the eye track then results you to its call-to-action, “Sign Up For Free.” Evernote also offers a one-click signup process through Google to help visitors save even more time. “Stuffy enterprise” isn’t the impression you get when you arrive at Telerik’s website. For a company that offers many technology products, its bold colours, fun designs, and videography give off a Google-like vibe. Just one important aspect to inducing visitors feel welcome and letting them know they’re dealing with real people. I love the simple, high-level overview of its six product offers. It’s very clear way of communicating what the company does and how people can learn more. The transcript is lightweight and easy to read. It speaks the language of its clients. For those love birds planning their big day, eWedding is a great destination to building a custom marriage website. The homepage isn’t cluttered and merely includes the necessary elements to get people to starting building their websites. The sub-headline “Over 800,000 bridal websites constructed! ” is great social proof. It’s included excellent product visuals, a great headline, and a call-to-action that reduces friction with the transcript, “Start website.” For a long time, Basecamp has had brilliant homepages, and here you can see why. It often features awesome headlines and clever cartoons. The call-to-action is bold and above the fold. In this instance, the company preferred a more blog-like homepage( or single page site approach ), which provides much more information on the product. The customer quote is a bold and emphatic testimonial speaking to the benefits and results of using the product. This isn’t your typical non-profit website. Lots of visuals, creative transcript, and use of interactive web design make this stand out. The animated header image is a great way to capture attention. It applies great uses of video and photography, particularly in capturing emotion that causes action. This homepage is beautifully designed. I particularly love the use of whitespace, contrasting colours, and customer-centric design. The headline is clear and compelling, as are the calls-to-action. There’s also a great information hierarchy, inducing it easy to scan and understand the page quickly. The homepage is a great example of agility and constant change. Chipotle’s current homepage is all about the forthcoming holiday, which it employs as a unique value proposition to get you to start clicking through your site. When I believe Chipotle, I don’t inevitably think about catering, but the site is a great reminder to consider different uses for the burritos you already know and love. The food photography is detailed and beautiful, and it actually stimulates me hungry looking at it. Now that’s an effective use of visuals. This is perhaps one of the best uses of whitespace I’ve seen. It allows Medium’s app tagline and photo to take center stage while still describing your eye to the darker segment titles on the site. Medium stimulates it easy to sign up — on the site, or with a simple text message to your mobile phone. I’m much more responsive to a text than an email, so this is a great strategy to keep people engaged in the signup process. The homepage employs social proof to get visitors to start clicking around: The “Popular on Medium” and “Staff Picks” segments let me know where to find high-quality content. Unlike other online news publishings that inundate homepages with as many headlines and images as is practicable, Digiday’s first segment showcases simply one article. Its featured image( in this case, a scary one) is eye-catching, and the headline is just asking to be clicked now that the visitor has an idea of what they’re going to read. The top of the homepage, where websites ordinarily showcase a ton of different sections and options to click through, only has one icon to click — which results you to a subscription page. The bold colours produce contrast, inducing the words and images stand out on the page. The CTA — “Shop KIND” — is clever. It exhorts the visitor to click to learn more while making a play on the word “kind” — implying that it’s a good selection to shop there. KIND Snacks’ tagline is straight up brilliant — when I read it, the message immediately resonated and made me want to read the snack bar’s label. The color contrast between the blue, white, and orange colours is eye-catching and stimulates the headline and CTA pop. The sub-headline and CTA are a obligating pair: To be able to start tracking and outranking challengers for free is a great offer. The homepage presents a multitude of options for the visitor, but it isn’t cluttered thanks to the solid background and simple typography. The film company’s homepage is made up of only trailers for its new films. We know video content is format audiences want to see more of, and this is a great strategy to showcase A24’s work in a highly engaging way. At the top of the homepage, A24 immediately offers a myriad of ways to get into touch via social media and email — something I appreciate as a guest when so many other sites bury contact information at the bottom of the page. “Invest Like a Girl: Because fund is power.” These headlines are powerful and make me want to learn more about the product — both as a woman, and as somebody interested in inducing smart financial choices. The images show, rather than tell, one of the company’s value propositions: a desktop site and mobile app that move with you. “Get Started” is a great CTA — in fact, we use it ourselves here at HubSpot. When clicked, it takes visitors through a few simple steps to set up a profile and start investing.