Clients often ask us to include a slider on their homepage. And we can see why sliders are popular – they’re an easy way of bringing movement and variety to the homepage, while allowing multiple parts of the business to bask in the homepage spotlight. But want to know a secret? Web designers hate sliders, and with good reason. Here’s why you might want to step away from the slider and consider a different approach.
The downside of the slide
Yes, sliders can be visually appealing, but they do come with some significant drawbacks. For one thing, they impact page performance. When the slider is front and centre on the homepage, the browser has to focus on loading the slider content before it can load the rest of the page. And this can be super-frustrating for visitors to your site. Which brings us to the second downside. Sliders just annoy website visitors, especially in the case of automatic sliders, where the user has no control.
The takeaways here are, if you really, really want a slider, don’t plump for an automatic one. Instead, let users manually scroll through at their own pace. And don’t have the slider right at the top of the homepage (in tech-speak, it should go ‘below the fold’, meaning users have to scroll down to see it). In the case of client testimonials, for example – a legitimately good use of the slider – further down the homepage is the best place anyway.
User frustration and site performance issues aside, there’s a bigger problem with sliders … they’re just not the best way to convert visitors into customers.
So what are the alternatives?
We’ve got two recommendations for you, both of them better at engaging customers than the dreaded slider:
1. A single hero image. Having one prominent banner image at the top of your homepage is the gold standard in web design because it loads much quicker. And when that image provides a neat snapshot of your brand and delivers a clear, compelling message about your value proposition, it’s also a powerful conversion tool. Combine this hero image with a clickable call-to-action and you’re winning at web design.
2. Video content. Bearing in mind that people generally prefer watching over reading, we’re seeing a rise in above-the-fold video messaging. But we’re not talking about video for the sake of it – we’re talking about video that delivers a purposeful message and encourages the user to engage further.
Ready to rethink your homepage design? Let DCX Design do the hard work for you. Let’s chat about your website.