A good website has beautiful and interesting design, easily accessible information, a strong call to action, and a good flow of content that helps visitors find exactly what they are looking for.
A good website does NOT have a slider.
We still often get clients who ask for a slider on their home page.
They imagine that it will add an exciting and dynamic element to their website.
They imagine that it will be a handy way to highlight a lot of features to their clients in a small amount of real estate.
But they’re wrong.
Here are a few reasons why having a slider on your homepage is a really bad idea.
It’s not mobile-friendly.
Did you know that over 60% of all browsing on the internet is now done on mobile devices – either phones or tablets?
Imagine you’re surfing away on your phone, and you download a website that has a slider at the top of its home page.
That slider might have several large images associated with it. That means you’re downloading a large amount of data, which is going to cost you both time and data dollars.
Chances are good the first thing you’re going to do is scroll right past that slider, down to the information you really want to see, which means both your time and your money were wasted.
That’s not a great way to make a good first impression on 60% of your potential clients – so don’t do it.
It’ll cost you SEO points with Google.
Google is the industry leader when it comes to mobile-friendly design for websites.
Websites that are made for mobile devices – called mobile-first design – get bumped up in search rankings. It is a boost to your SEO to think of mobile surfing first when designing your site.
And it’s a downward hit on your website’s SEO to have non-mobile friendly design.
A slider isn’t mobile friendly. It forces mobile clients to load a large amount of data onto a small screen where they probably can’t read the associated text (especially if it is built into the images) and won’t want to waste time sitting around looking at a slider when the good stuff is below it, anyway.
So your SEO with Google will take a hit if you include a slider. Don’t do it!
No one is going to look at it anyway.
Imagine you’re visiting a website of a new company for the first time.
Maybe you want to know what products they sell. Maybe you want to know where they are located. Maybe you’re searching for specific information because you heard about them from a friend, or saw them on a TV show.
In any of these scenarios, are you going to load the website and then sit patiently while image after image of a slider goes by?
That’s kind of like arriving at a store, and being immediately accosted by a salesperson, and being happy to just sit and let them tell you all about their super awesome specials, instead of just letting you browse around and find what you need or what you’re interested in. Chances are you’re going to find your eyes wandering away from the sales person and their pitch.
That’s exactly what happens when a new client encounters a slider at the top of the home page. Immediate downward scroll, whether they are on mobile or desktop.
At best they are going to see only the first slide before they move on to other parts of the website – so additional slides just aren’t worth it.
Don’t expect your visitors to sit patiently through a slide show of ads when they came for the main program.
“Above the Fold” is an outdated design concept
It’s no longer critical to get all the good stuff on the very first screen the moment the site is loaded.
With mobile viewing being so common, everyone is used to The Vertical Scroll. Everyone knows to head down a page to find what they really need.
Gone are the days when you could expect to control what a viewer sees when a page is first loaded. They might have any number of screen sizes or shapes on the go. They might have changed their font size or pivoted their device to get a completely different view.
The best way to keep your information clear and accessible for all screen sizes is to slide everything down the vertical plane. It’s such a common solution now that everyone knows to scroll down – and that’s why using a slider to squeeze more information “above the fold” just isn’t required anymore. Don’t do it!
Showing your clients more doesn’t equate to more sales
You might have a lot of really great products. You might have a lot of really great sales on right now. You might have a lot of things you want your clients to know.
But shouting ALL those things at them at once is actually really confusing. When you offer your potential customers a lot of different options, they can get overwhelmed with choices. It happens much easier and faster than you might think – even offering them a choice of two different paths to purchase can cause paralysis and prevent any kind of sale.
We want a clear call to action right at the top of your homepage. We want to tell the customer what we want them to do – book this! buy this! sign up for this! – and give them just that ONE option.
We definitely don’t want to confuse them with slider image after slider image offering a myriad of choices and and overwhelming amount of information.
You will see sales increase if you simplify your website and have a clear, single call to action.
It marks your website as being outdated and out of touch.
Between focusing on “above the fold,” and targeting desktop instead of mobile browsing, nothing says “I have a website straight out of 2015” like a slider at the top of your home page.
Don’t do it!
Modern design makes use of better options like colour blocks, beautiful font combinations, a single arresting image, and a clear call to action that works on all screens to appeal to modern website surfers. A slider just isn’t relevant to today’s website world.
Don’t be a victim of outdated, lazy design.
Give your customers what they really want – fast and easy access to the things they want to see, suitable for all sizes of devices and screens.
Give Google what it wants too – simple, straightforward design that is easily indexed.
If your website still has a slider – it’s time to think about a website redesign. We’d be happy to give you a free quote!