Hero Image Website Best Practices and Examples
You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Especially in today’s fast-paced, constantly changing digital world. Since our attention span is shrinking and our expectations are rising, you need to make sure your website will intrigue everyone who enters it for the first time. And what’s the first thing that pops out on the top of your site? The hero image. In short, the hero image is a large web banner image that sums up the overview of the site’s most important content, design vibe, and your brand’s essentials. It’s considered to be one of the most important website elements so it holds a lot of potential for building brand awareness, introducing your latest projects, announcing big sales, or showcasing your best works.
Most often it consists of an image and text and it can be static or interactive. Also, many websites use hero videos or carousels as well. The power of a good hero image is in its ability to capture the attention and convert website visitors into subscribers, buyers, readers, or clients depending on the niche. The well-designed hero image is visually appealing and interactive, followed by interesting storytelling and eye-catching font choices. To create a website hero image that brings results you need to be familiar with the best website design principles. In case you are a web design newbie or you want to keep up with the latest design trends check out the following hero image tips.
There are 4 most common types of hero images – product images, contextual images (company’s image for instance), illustrations (artistic photos), and portraits (image of coach, CEO, fitness instructor). No matter what kind of hero image you prefer, always make sure to use high-quality images only. Poor image quality is a big NO if you want to show your professionalism.
Besides good quality, your hero image should be optimized for different screen sizes so it looks good on all devices. Moreover, your hero image should be your original photo, not a generic stock image. People will see you as less reliable if you use a stock image that can be seen on many sites across the web. In case you’re not sure which hero image will work the best, try A/B testing.
Test the different versions of hero images to see which attracts more attention. When it comes to texts, avoid generic messaging as well. Tell your business or brand story authentically. Don’t forget to use the contrast between your text and the background image. Also, if needed, use a relevant call to actions button to level up conversions.
We’ve already mentioned that there are four most common hero image types. As each type is specific, you should carefully plan each detail. Let’s start with product hero images. This type is the most frequent one since there are unlimited product categories and business niches. Whether you sell beauty cosmetics, offer homemade sweets, or develop software solutions, the hero product image is the best choice. Make sure it shows your product in detail – use the best quality image with the right title and CTA button.
In case your choice is a contextual hero image, ensure it illustrates the context of the message you want to send. Most often, this kind of image should encourage people to take further action and it aims to communicate the advantages of your business. For example, if you’re a yoga instructor, you can use the image that illustrates the meditation or peaceful landscape.
On the other hand, if you run a creative business such as a design agency, then illustrations may be the right choice. The illustrations will let you show your talent right from the start, send the message in a unique style, express your brand character and attract everyone who fancies art and creativity. Make sure your hero illustrations are the perfect blend of powerful messages, an eye-catching color palette, and stylish typography.
Lastly, you can use portraits in your hero image sections. This is ideal if you want to introduce yourself first, share your business story, or give space to the company’s CEO, etc. You can go with a black and white or colorful image – just make sure it builds trust and shows how professional you are.
Your hero image website section can steal hearts when you choose the right image and the picture type. Below you can have a look at hero image website examples that can get you inspired to find the best solution for your business. We will first cover static hero images and then analyze interactive hero image options. Let’s go!
Product Hero Image
If you want to put a spotlight on your latest product, the best selling items or to promote your iconic collection, use the product hero image. All you need is an original, visually appealing picture that captures the look and feel of your product. The right static image, without a lot of details, will work wonderfully if it’s original and in line with your brand story. At the moment, Dior’s hero product image is fully dedicated to Eden-Roc perfume. There is no tagline, call to action, strong messaging – the product itself is the star of this hero image and it speaks for itself. This kind of hero image will work for everyone who puts minimalism first and already has a strong reputation without a need to push customers to purchase.
Contextual Hero Image
Introduce your business to potential clients with the hero image that sums up the essence of your business story. No matter what niche you cover, you need an original, custom-made image that illustrates your offer and specific services. Yoga International nailed this. A natural, authentic image of a woman who practices yoga is followed by a strong title and the email field where you can join the free trial.
Portrait Hero Image
Billie Eilish has a new album! And what’s a better way to promote it than through the cover image right there on a website? The lovely portrait of a young star introduces us to a magical album that will surely set standards in the upcoming months. Also, this portrait hero image is a real example of how portraits should be integrated into the website’s content. Soft colors, full-width format, and minimalistic, elegant fonts work great together.
Illustration Hero Image
Visual artists such as illustrators, designers, web designers, or painters should use the hero image to showcase their works. For this reason, illustration hero images are the best choice. Natalia Vazquez Garcia does a great job at showing off her talents while keeping it cool. The artistic vibe of this illustration hero image gives us the insight of what we can expect from the rest of the site.
Before everything else, let’s make this clear: hero videos should run on their own. People shouldn’t need to play/pause the videos, nor should these videos get in the way of content. Also, if you don’t want to be annoying keep your videos muted in audio. In case a hero video is your choice, check out Danilo and Sharon’s amazing black and white hero video. This video brings the vibe from wedding shootings, revives the magical moments, and shows the creative process of a well-known wedding photography duo. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your video flow but keep things simple for the best results.
Carousel of Hero Images
A carousel of images is the ideal tool for promoting brands or services from different angles. If you want to spice up your presentation, use the carousel format to tell your brand story, highlight your special offer or promote your products. Prince Hotels is the example we like. The choice of colors, details, and images creates the impression of comfort, luxury, and prestige, which will surely attract attention.
Slider Hero Images
Samsung is another great example of an interactive hero image section. This famous brand uses horizontal sliders to promote new products. If your business has a large portfolio of versatile products, horizontal or vertical sliders placed in the hero section may be the best solution.
Parallax and Animated Hero image
The parallax effect is one of the most popular animation types. It’s a great option if you want to make your content more interactive and keep your customers engaged. In combo with the right hero image, this effect can turn an ordinary site into an advanced online presentation. We especially like Wota website that shows the parallax effect at its finest.
You don’t have to be a design wizard to create memorable hero image website sections. With the help of premium WordPress themes, anyone can create and customize user-friendly hero sections. Below, we handpicked our favorite themes that offer numerous possibilities for everyone who wants a site that steals the attention with one look at a hero image.
Fönster – Creative Portfolio Theme
This theme is designed not only for creative folks but also for everyone who is a fan of the bold and vivid design. As such it will work wonderfully for marketing advertising agencies, gaming studios, or design hubs. Fönster is packed with 10 distinctive homepages – each offers an original hero image style. This means you can experiment with different hero image layouts depending on your goals and visual taste. Apart from this, it offers a wide range of animation effects so you can boost your hero sections even more. Plus, it’s packed with numerous portfolio styles made specifically for the creative industry.
Features that make Fonster a great WordPress theme:
- 10 distinctive homepages
- Bespoke animations
- Dozens of portfolio layouts
Oráiste – Creative Portfolio WordPress Theme
This is another theme that will let you create and customize superb hero image sections with complete ease. Oráiste is packed with 12 pre-designed homepages suitable for creative niche and any other business field that requires an innovative approach. Use parallax effect or other animation types to give your hero image a unique character. Moreover, there is a huge collection of portfolio and shop elements that will let you craft a powerful online showcase or a shop that has it all.
Features that make Oráiste a great WordPress theme:
- 12 pre-designed homepages
- Practical inner pages
Marceau – Creative Portfolio Theme
Marceau is crafted for all illustrators and designers. Its summerish, vibrant design with eye-catching typography makes the perfect combo for everyone who wants to steal the eye with hero image sections. The theme is responsive, packed with 14 homepages you can use to create any type of hero image section, and equipped with tons of animation options. From horizontal and vertical sliders to full-width style – it covers it all. Lastly, this beautifully designed theme comes with shop and blog features you can use to further grow your business.
Features that make Marceau a great WordPress theme:
- Vibrant design
- 14 homepages
- Horizontal & vertical sliders
Let’s Wrap It Up
Original web design ideas are the first step among original websites. However, not all of us are experienced designers who know what works the best for different audiences. In case you want to start a website but you’re not sure which layout will be the perfect choice, don’t forget to check out the best website layout examples. These examples will give you insight on what works the best and save you time and energy. Just find the example that is the right choice for your industry and niche and start building your online presentation!
We hope this article was helpful. If you liked it, feel free to check out some of these articles as well!