The other day I was thinking about what some of the most basic components for good web design might be. Of course every site needs a good header, clear navigation and compelling content. But then I started to focus on the footer.  Often times the footer is treated as this dark and lonely place at the bottom of a web page. A place where only the bravest of souls dare tread. But then I came to the realization that almost all of the best websites have really great footers. So, why not shed a little light on the footer?

Years ago it seems like footers where just a place to stuff in some links, add in some copyright information and of course a site counter for good measure. Oooh, 5,000 visits! Impressive!

But today a footer can mean so much more when it comes to user experience and website functionality. I could go on but I think this article from Smashing magazine does a much better job of shedding some light on things than I ever could. There is one thing that I would like to highlight and that is common footer elements.

Some common footer elements include:
Site Map
“About” or “Contact” Information
A Simple Contact Form
Return to or Back to Top Links

When approaching web design, the footer deserves just as much care and attention as the rest of the page. By taking a bit more time to focus on this area and make it functional as well as aesthetically pleasing, your web design will be that much more professional and your footer won’t be left in the dark.

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