You’ve seen them – those huge, sometimes full-screen rotating banners on the homepage of a website. If designed right, they are visually stunning, beautiful and enticing. However, depending on the overall goal of your website, they might do more harm than good.
When You Should Not Use a Slider on Your Website Homepage
If your website is meant to be generating leads, sliders take up a huge amount of screen real estate, especially on the homepage. That space on the screen could be put to better use. You could still get the same point across with static, conversion-optimized content. Don’t use a slider above-the-fold if you want to convert traffic from search engines into customers. They need a clear and concise homepage to guide them from start and finish, otherwise you may not get the lead. If you have a website or want to build on, ask a website designer if a slider is right for your homepage.
When You Should Use A Slider on Your Website Homepage
Websites that aren’t meant to generate leads or convert visitors – like portfolios, galleries, and simple blogs or informative websites – might benefit from a slider above the fold on the homepage. The slider images and content should be neat, minimal and match the branding of the site. The slides should link to an appropriate page so the user has something to click on if they are compelled to click or tap on the slider image. That’s user experience design and it’s very important! Get in the head of a user that has never been on your website. That’s the way to build a successful website.
Case Study on a Client’s Website Slider
On my client’s website FTKny.com, we had a large slider on the homepage from 2013-2016. It took up about half the screen, above the fold. In early 2016 I was reading about “the death of the slider” and decided to drop the slider for a few reasons:
- The slider took up too much room above-the-fold. I wanted to leverage that screen real estate with more direct content and calls to action. Over the next few months after removing the slider, our bounce rate dropped a few percent. That means more users were landing on our homepage and clicking through to another page, instead of leaving our site.
- The slider wasn’t up to date with the rest of our website. We had improved the content and design of the site over time. Since the slider was built a few years before, it was portraying an old image of our brand. Removing it allowed us to show off our new, consistent identity to new website visitors.
I would concur that we made the right choice removing the slider from that website because the website was more about motivating users to make a call or fill out a form. The slider was just a distraction.
Note: We have since redesigned the slider to match our new identity and moved it below-the-fold on the homepage. I believe this is a good place for it and our conversion rate is only going up. If users land on our homepage, they won’t be bombarded by huge, vague images. Instead, if the content above the fold piques the visitor’s interest and they scroll down, they’ll see the slider.
FTKny.com’s new slider
Wondering if a slider is right for your website or not?