7 Webpage Layouts Crucial for Any Site to Incorporate

To online consumers, your website is your company. A great layout informs users about your product, guides them where they need to go, and gives them an excellent experience. A poor website layout can leave users confused, unsatisfied, and can have a negative impact on sales.

This guide will discuss the importance of page layout and webpage design concepts, and give you a few examples of effective layout options.

Why webpage layout is important

Customers make several decisions in the blink of an eye when searching for something online. Whether they’re job hunting, trying to learn a new skill, or shopping for a holiday gift, there are many websites where they can get their needs met. When someone visits your website, you may only have a fraction of a second to show them why your product or service is better than everyone else’s.

Effective page layout increases usability and makes it more likely that users will stay on your page long enough to learn about your business. It increases your chances of converting those users into customers. Not only does quality web design help you make sales, but it also increases satisfaction among current customers by making it easier for them to check out new products, make returns, and leave comments.

In the next few sections, we’ll go over a few things to consider when planning the layout of your website.

Start with the user journey

To tailor your homepage to your target audience and help them make their journey as simple as possible (and in the fewest clicks possible), you need to know who they are. This will depend heavily on the services or products you offer.

For example, if you sell baby products, your intended audience will be families who have or are expecting children. This demographic will have different needs than teenagers interested in fashion trends.

To provide a seamless user experience (UX), think about what your target users need. You can contact your current customers to get their insight. For example, parents will probably care most about:

  • Products like strollers, high chairs, and car seats
  • Child safety information
  • Deals (parenting is expensive)
  • Parenting tips

Another way to plan out the structure of your website is a technique called card sorting. Card sorting is a collaborative exercise that involves brainstorming topics your target audience finds important, writing them on notecards, and organizing them into the structure of your website.

Make it easy to use and navigate

Search engine optimization (SEO) helps get visitors to your website, but that’s only part of the battle. Your website needs to be easy to navigate. It should also have a flow that guides visitors toward finding the information they need or taking some sort of action.

You’ve already outlined important elements to attract new and returning customers. It should be simple for users to find them. One way to make these topics easily accessible is by adding them as navigation links in your header. If you have a large website with many pages, consider adding breadcrumbs.

Breadcrumbs form a navigation path of each page on your website that a user has visited en route to the page they’re currently on. If they need to go back, they can simply click the breadcrumb for the earlier page. If you don’t have coding expertise, many website builders like WIX, WordPress, and Squarespace have plugins that make it easy to add the feature.

The action you want your user to take could be a purchase or something smaller, like filling out a form with their information. Include an eye-catching call to action (CTA) link on your webpage so that customers can complete your desired action effortlessly. Here’s what your CTA might say:

  • “Start Your Free Trial Now” (for subscription businesses)
  • “Learn More”
  • “Book a Reservation”
  • “Sign Up”
  • “Order Now”

In the next few sections, we’ll go over website structures that can guide your user’s attention to your CTA. To start, here some other things to make it stand out:

  • Give it a square or oval shape. This will make the button appear clickable.
  • Use a different color scheme for the text and the background of the button to make it clear.
  • Include an action phrase like “Order Now” (or any other like the ones listed above).
  • Ensure there’s negative space around your button to make it stand out.

Make it clear what the webpage is about

Your webpage will have primary content and secondary content. Primary content is the most valuable information to your target audience and should be featured prominently the moment a visitor reaches your page.

The goal of your primary content is to make it completely clear what your business and webpage are about. Some examples of primary content include:

  • Logo: A logo makes your brand more memorable and recognizable. If you need design help, Upwork has the largest pool of independent logo designers to help bring your vision to life.
  • Headline: This is a short, catchy phrase that explains what your company does. It will be the most prominent phrase on your webpage and should relate to your customers’ needs. An example of a headline for a health and wellness company could be, “Feel better, have more energy, get more done.”
  • Subheadline: This appears under your headline and is slightly less noticeable. It supports your headline with more detail, but it should still be catchy. An example for our health and wellness company could be, “Create custom meal and workout plans for your body with the help of our experts.”
  • Images or videos: You can use featured images or videos to make your webpage more attractive or teach visitors about your products or services.
  • Navigation bar: These are the links to everything your target audience finds important.

Secondary content is less important. It includes lists of features and specifications for your products or services. Its sole purpose is to back up the primary content. Visitors will have to either scroll down or navigate to linked pages to reach it.


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Use grids

Grids separate the space on your web page into equal sections. These sections can be divided vertically, horizontally, or both. They can be squares or rectangles. The idea is to feature content on the grid in areas where the eye is naturally drawn to. You can enlist the help of a coding expert to create grids using programming languages, such as cascading style sheets (CSS). Many web editors also have plugins for making grids.

For example, the rule of thirds in photography separates a space into nine equal sections. It states that the eye is drawn first to the points where the squares intersect. Place the content you most want your users to see at the intersection points of your grids to increase their visibility.

7 web page layout types and examples

Even the best content won’t do you much good if you can’t get a visitor’s attention, but how do you give your web page the best chance of catching a user’s eye? You use a common website layout. These layout design templates have been proven to work for a variety of company sites.

1. Single column layout

A single column layout shows all your content in one vertical line. This layout is extremely user-friendly. All a visitor has to do is scroll down to find information. Websites that use this design also translate from desktops to mobile devices without losing functionality. Many personal blogs or blogging sites use this kind of layout.

Single coloumn layout

If you use this layout, remember to put all of the primary content at the top so that it’s the first thing users see. These sites can have long scrolls, using sticky navigation so that visitors don’t have to scroll back to the top of the page. Sticky navigation means including a clickable sticky menu (your navigation bar) that follows the user when they’re scrolling down the page. It lets users immediately go back to the top of the scroll or to other specific points.

2. Full-screen or featured photo layout

With this type of layout, a high-quality image takes center stage on a page and can sometimes be used in place of a background. If you use a full-screen photo, be sure to make any content on it easily readable (use high-contrast or visible colors). The goal of this image is to let users know about your company in a powerful, emotional, and visual way.

Full screen photo layout

This type of layout is good for businesses that sell a single service. It’s not as effective for businesses, like retail companies, that sell a variety of products. For example, a website for a financial adviser could feature a couple laying out poolside at a beautiful beach resort accompanied by the headline, “Find your financial freedom.”

If you use this layout, make sure your image is high-quality. Sites like Canva and Image Resizer have tools that can help you adjust the specs and pixels of an image for any screen size without losing quality.

3. Split-screen layout

This layout splits your webpage into two halves. Each half represents a version of a customer’s user journey. It gives both versions the main stage without showing preference to either one. For example, you might use a split-screen layout if you have a store that sells clothes for both men and women.

Split screen layout

On one side you might have a clickable picture of a man that leads to men’s options. On the other side, you’d have a clickable picture of a woman that would lead to women’s clothing options. These sites work better on a visual level. Try to limit the amount of content you add with this layout.

4. F-shaped layout

The idea behind the F-shaped layout is that people generally read content on the web in the same way that they read a book: A user starts at the top-left, reads to the end of the line, then moves to the next line to repeat the process. This makes an F pattern. The user’s eyes take a brief pause at the beginning of the line to get focused and a brief pause at the end of a line to transition.

That means that content on either side (where the reader pauses) will have a better chance of standing out. This is where you should put your most important content. This common layout is good for webpages that have a lot of content without much spacing, like news sites, where it’s easy for users to miss valuable details.

F shaped layout

This layout can also be used in conjunction with other layouts. For example, you might use an F-shaped layout if you have a single-column blog to draw attention to a CTA. When using this layout, you can also highlight important information or use quality images to catch a reader’s eye.

5. Z-shaped layout

The theory behind the Z-shaped layout says that people scan webpages with small amounts of content differently than those with large amounts (F-shaped layouts). They start at the top-left of the page, read to the right side, and then their attention zigzags to the bottom left of the page and to the right again.

The spots that will get the most attention are located at the top-left, top-right, bottom-left, and bottom-right of each page (the ends of the Z). This simple layout is good for landing pages without too much copy. It can help you lead a visitor to a CTA and make a conversion. Like the F-shaped layout, this layout can also be used in conjunction with other layouts.

Z shaped layout

6. Fixed-navigation or fixed-sidebar layout

The fixed-sidebar layout always shows a vertical menu on either side of the page so that menu options are always in the user’s view. This gives the user a fixed-navigation option on the page at all times. This layout works best on websites that don’t have too many menu options, like portfolios for freelancers. A cluttered sidebar can be visually unappealing to a visitor.

Your sidebar doesn’t just have to include your navigation options. If you have room, you can add links to social media sites and anything else that might be relevant.

Fixed navigation layout

7. Asymmetrical layout

If you want to get creative, you can try using an asymmetrical layout. This type of layout makes it very clear that two sides of a webpage have different amounts of content. The side with the bulk of the content will draw the user’s attention first.

However, the contrast will divert the user’s attention to the other side of the page. Contrary to its name, an asymmetrical layout actually increases the chance that both sides of a webpage will get equal attention.

Asymetrical layout

This layout works for any kind of business website you’d like to add flare to. You might have a thought-provoking, bright, colorful image on one side of the page and a small CTA on the other side inviting users to learn more about the image.

Ensure your website has the right layout

The moment customers land on your website, you may have seconds to make the right impression. That’s why it’s important to choose a layout that effectively conveys your business offerings.

To ensure your choosing the right layout, it might be a good idea to seek the expertise of a web designer. Web designers specialize in understanding the webpage layouts and design elements that will work best for your business and the information you want to share. Browse the independent web designers on Upwork and make the most of your website today.

Author Spotlight

7 Webpage Layouts Crucial for Any Site to Incorporate
The Upwork Team

Upwork is the world’s work marketplace that connects businesses with independent talent from across the globe. We serve everyone from one-person startups to large, Fortune 100 enterprises with a powerful, trust-driven platform that enables companies and talent to work together in new ways that unlock their potential.

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