Top 10 Website Layouts You Must Try in 2021

At first glance, you might think that a website stands out because of its colorful themes, attractive images, and valuable content.

However, if you were to strip that page of its colors and pretty pictures, you’d soon realize that it’s the layout that has put those elements in the proper place and made the website shine.

Below, we’ll go over the top 10 website layouts that can help you get the attention and traffic your site deserves.

Single-Column

The single-column layout is perhaps the most straightforward website design. As the name suggests, this design presents all of your content in a single, vertical column, making your page extremely easy to navigate.

Single-Column Website Layout

The single-column style is among the most popular website layouts because it’s 100% mobile-friendly. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about creating a different design that’s compatible with your mobile site.

In a world where almost all internet users use mobile devices, like phones or tablets, this makes a lot of sense. Plus, it’ll save you a great deal of time in the long run.

However, due to its simplicity, the single-column layout is a bit restrictive. For instance, the layout design may require scrolling, which could cause readers to miss some of your text.

Therefore, you might want to add a visible indicator like an arrow or text indicating to “scroll down.”  Plus, it’s also beneficial to write a summary at the top of the page to inform readers about what to expect.

Best for: Blogs, long-form content, and research papers.

Asymmetrical

Website design layouts that divide your content into different sections and sizes on your screen are asymmetrical. They enable you to break the page up however you see fit. This visual tension creates a dynamic environment from one side of the page to the other.

Asymmetrical Website Layout

Although you may be thinking that these asymmetrical parts of a website layout create imbalance, in actuality, it’s quite the opposite. The purpose of asymmetry is to bring cohesion to a page when it’s impossible to use equal proportions for two sections.  

The asymmetrical layout is all about creating balance and motion to push and pull the users’ attention to the intended focal points, resulting in better scanning behavior.

By changing the color, width, and scale across the page, the designer can draw the visitors’ eyes to specific elements of the page layout design. All in all, it’s an excellent choice because of its flexibility, ease of use, and uniqueness. 

Best for: Business websites or design agency portfolios.

Split-Screen

Similar to asymmetrical, the split-screen layout also divides the screen. However, in this design, the two parts are in equal proportion. When website builders use this spliced layout of a website, the outcome is a symmetrical and balanced page. 

Each section of the page represents a different idea or point of view, which makes an excellent first impression on new visitors.

Split-Screen Website Layout

Furthermore, the split-screen layout is an outstanding choice for those that want to showcase two different pieces of content with equal importance. Consequently, an eCommerce site selling men’s and women’s clothing would be wise to take advantage of this page layout.

However, this design doesn’t expand well as your content continues to grow. Therefore, the split-screen website design is not advisable if you need to provide large amounts of textual and visual material.

Best for: Websites offering two different types of content or those that want to combine text and imagery.

Magazine

As the name suggests, the magazine design took inspiration from printed magazines and newspapers. It uses multi-column website grid layouts to build an intricate visual hierarchy. By doing so, the page will have the flexibility of prioritizing main headlines over minor news.

Magazine Website Layout

Like the original print version, the magazine layout can use several headlines and images to introduce stories and engage the readers. The primary purpose of this design is to allow visitors to scan, read, and understand the content quickly.

Following the popular website layout ideas of 2020, designers provide an excellent user experience by creating a visual rhythm. They, in turn, make it easy for the eyes to scan and travel from one section to another.

The magazine layout uses visual weight to prioritize information in separate different-sized columns. For example, look at how the New York Times applies the page layout designs to highlight major headlines

Notice how they were able to isolate content blocks by employing this design while maintaining an organized and clean page.

Best for: Content-heavy websites, such as online newspapers and magazines.

Card-Based

Web designers like to use the card layout design because of its ability to present large amounts of content in an easy-to-digest manner. This layout uses card-shaped boxes to display diverse information. It’s also non-hierarchical, meaning that all content is treated equally.

Card-Based Website Layout

This is one of the most creative website layouts! Plus, it’s highly manipulatable and allows you to easily add a title, description, visual story, and more in your post. 

The card layout is also very responsive. In fact, it automatically adjusts the number of cards in a row to the available page width. It’s also pretty straightforward to import content into each box, resulting in a modular design that fits any screen size.

There are only a couple of minor issues with this type of layout. The first one is that you’ll need to have quality photos available, as cards work best with images. 

The only other potential problem is that if you have different amounts of content in each card, this can cause blank spaces, disrupting the balance of your page. 

However, neither of these issues is that big of a deal. Therefore, the card-based design is still one of the top website layouts regarding intuitiveness and user experience.

Best for: Content-rich websites, such as vlogs or online stores.

Hero

If you want to grab your audience’s attention right from the start, then the hero layout is probably the design for you. This layout employs large images and text that immediately creates an impact on the viewer. 

It’s also one of the best website homepage layouts and is used by many influential brands such as Apple and Samsung. 

Hero Website Layout

Looking at Samsung’s example above, you can immediately see a large image of one of its products and a brief description. In most cases, these website layouts also implement a call-to-action button, like the “Buy Now.” 

It’s also possible to use this layout for other site pages. But do so carefully as it may steal attention away from the more prominent pages (especially your homepage).

Needless to say, the hero layout is superb for making bold first impressions. Many famous brands use this design because it can convert leads almost instantaneously. 

To get a clearer picture of what we’re talking about, check out the best eCommerce website builders, such as Shopify, for additional hero websites layout ideas

Best for: eCommerce websites that want to capture their audience right away.

Full-Screen

As you may have guessed, a fullscreen layout makes use of the whole screen, usually with an image and short text that efficiently and immediately gets the point across. For example, cool website layouts like Spencers at the Waterfront don’t need much text to explain their niche.

Full-Screen Website Layout

What’s great about the full-screen layout is you can also add more content to the page, making it possible for users to scroll down. Unfortunately, this can cause them to miss critical content or even drive them away from your site. So, use these types of website layouts with caution. 

You may also want to consider employing a website builder like Wix. They have over 900 themes to choose from, allowing you to design your full-screen layout easily. Plus, they’ll even automatically ensure the site is mobile-friendly.

Overall, if you have amazing images to showcase, the full-screen version is one of your best options of website layouts to utilize.

Best for: Websites with specific niche or products, such as restaurants or photography.

Z-Shape 

The Z-shape or zigzag layout takes advantage of the natural scanning habit of the human eyes. When visitors come across a new page, they immediately scan in a Z-shape pattern. 

Our eyes naturally move from the top left to the top right corner, the bottom left, and finally, the bottom right, forming a letter Z-shape. Thus, designers that use these website page layouts arrange their valuable information within the Z-shape.

Z-Shape Website Layout

Facebook’s login page is a fine example of a zigzag layout. At first glance, our eyes will start scanning from the logo at the top left; then, move to the login area on the top right, and so on. Facebook has thoughtfully and cleverly executed this website layout idea.

The zigzag layout effectively directs users to specific points where you can add visuals, texts, and CTAs. Remember that the diagonal part is the best place for information that will grab the users’ attention. The bottom of the Z should be the climactic point of the page’s content.

Best for: Pages with less content and copy, like Facebook.

F-Shape

The F-shape layout design also takes advantage of the viewers’ natural scanning behaviors. Except, unlike the Z-shape, it’s patterned after the letter F. According to a study by NN/g Nielsen Norman Group, internet users typically scan in an F-shape pattern.

F-Shape Website Layout

Moreover, this page layout, similar to the example above, can provide many clickable elements. Websites often use this pattern to draw attention to the top part of the page, usually on the headline, where users’ eyes linger. That’s why bloggers are always encouraged to write compelling headlines

The second horizontal line on the F-shape websites layouts commonly contains subtitles. Then our eyes move down to a vertical line, making it the focal point. You can use images, icons, bullet points, or numbers here. Sites that want to showcase a lot of options would do well with an F-shape layout.

Best for: Websites with a lot of text, like blogging sites or pages that contain SEO results for searches.

Horizontal Stripe

Horizontal stripe designs are among the newer and widely used website layout ideas in the industry.  Many website developers implement this layout’s horizontal sections to deliver information line by line as users navigate the page. 

Each strip acts as a full-screen or semi full-screen on its own that supplies the users with different content as they scroll down.

Horizontal Stripe Website Layout

This WordPress theme is an excellent example of how modern website layouts such as the horizontal stripe can produce a fresh and stylish page that will surely stand out.

Plus, designers can customize each section using various color schemes and even add scrolling effects by applying videos or other dynamic content.

The horizontal design is truly one of the best website layouts and has quickly become a trend. Ultimately, proving that presenting data one step at a time avoids confusing the users and provides a pleasurable browsing experience.

Best for: One-page design websites.

Conclusion

There you have it! Those are the top 10 website layouts that are taking the internet by storm. No matter which design you decide upon, keep in mind that content is king. Now you’re ready to choose a website design layout that will make your content stand out from the crowd.

FAQ

What is the best website layout?

The best layout depends on what’s appropriate for your website. It’s worth checking your competitors’ sites to see which ones they are using for your particular niche.

However, you should also consider other factors, such as your target audience, theme, and content. The bottom line is that you may have to experiment on several layouts to determine which one is the best for your website.

What makes a good website layout?

When deciding on a good layout, there are several factors to consider. First, there are the aesthetics — you want to have a visually appealing page. Second, you must have strong content that’s easy to read. 

Third, you should consider usabilities, such as page loading time and clickable links. Finally, make sure that your layout can support a healthy search engine optimization ranking

How do I create a layout for my website?

Like everything else you do for your business, creating appealing website layouts takes careful planning. A few basic steps include:

  • Deciding the overall content of your site
  • Planning the format you want to use
  • Putting your design ideas together
  • Building out the final product

However, as simple as it may sound, it’s a pretty daunting process that requires a particular skill set. So, it’s best to hire a web designer if possible.

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