A web site’s header is the first thing a visitor sees upon their arrival. That is the biggest reason your header is important. It’s right there at the top of the page, where everyone can see it. The header may be the most important part of a design.
What can you put in a header?
- Your Logo: This is an obvious choice. Is it really a choice? No, it’s more of a requirement. Why would you not put your logo at the top of your site?
- Navigation: How about some links to important parts of your site?
- Search box: The header could be a good place to put a search box, depending on what you have in mind design-wise. If you have some extra room, go ahead.
- Login/Register links: Does your site require that users login to access some parts? The header is an acceptable place for login forms/links.
- Other: It’s totally up to you what goes in your header. Some webmasters like banner ads in their headers, as they tend to pay better when their above-the-fold (visible onscreen without scrolling).
That should have given you some ideas. What about the overall look, though? Your header needs to be good. Design it carefully, putting a bit of time into it. Here are some good headers I’ve seen around the web. Be inspired. To see how the headers fit-in with the rest of the site, click on the screengrab of interest.
If you want even more, check out 11 Cool Web Headers. You can learn from other sites you visit as well.
You see, you can design a header however you want…just make sure it’s good. Your goal is for new visitors to stop and stare at your header for a couple minutes, before continuing and reading your content. That’s how you make a lasting impression.
Header design is an art, like logo design (or anything with design in it for that matter).