Why Home Page Sliders Are Ineffective (And What’s Replacing Them)

Imagine the Bat Signal flashing in the sky.

A shining beacon piercing through the night, calling upon a hero to save Gotham City.

Nope. Hold on. It just changed to Superman’s logo. And now it just flashed instructions on where to go and…wait…what’d it say? It scrolled too fast. Oop…now it’s back to Batman’s logo.

Well that’s confusing. Who do they want? And what did those instructions say? Are both heroes supposed to go? And where should they go?

That’s exactly what having a slider, also referred to as a carousel, on your main landing page feels like.

That scenario above would be strange to see on TV, wouldn’t it? Usually, Batman sees the signal, receives the info from the impeccably mustached Commissioner Gordon and then takes down the bad guys.

That’s exactly how your landing page should work.

Ideally, the top of the page should simply grab your attention (the signal), prompting you to scroll a bit for more information (Commissioner), and ending with some action at the end of the page (take down the bad guys).

That’s what a hero-style page layout accomplishes, which is precisely the reason they’re turning landing page image sliders into the 8-track of the internet.

In this era of web marketing, the only places first fold sliders belong are in baseball or between two delicious, mini whole wheat buns.

Hero Layout Explained

Let’s go back to that term “hero layout.” To understand the term, we need to talk briefly about the fold.

The first fold of your web page is the first portion of the webpage that is visible without scrolling. Consider it your “foot-in-the-door” section.It should convey the single most important thought behind your product, either garnering an action or a continuation toward your main goal.

Pictured: The first fold on a webpage.

This first fold can be filled with many different things. Images, widgets, sliders (please don’t, though), forms, content and a whole lot more. That first fold is the most valuable real estate on your page for communicating your message.

With that in mind, let’s give the hero layout a concrete definition:

The hero layout is based around a single content section that takes up the first fold of a page with one clear goal.

It really has that feeling of a superhero signal in the sky. It’s big, stationary and grandiose. It takes up your entire screen, yet feels simplistic at first glance.

Here, the hero layout builds anticipation.

And it consistently outperforms homepage sliders. Why?

Home Page Sliders Hurt Conversions

Getting a person to visit your site is a small miracle in itself. So many things have to go right. Whether it was solid social media outreach, great SEO, strategic paid advertising or something entirely outside those realms, having that visitor choose your site for their internet viewing experience is a gift.

So why would you greet visitors with something that numerous tests are showing they do not want? When you break it down…

1) Sliders Have Low Click Through Rates


Any idea what that represents?

Out of the 3.7 million visits the University of Notre Dame’s official website pulled in during a six-month period, that’s how many clicked on ANY of their slider images.

If only 1% of your visitors are clicking on whatever is occupying your above-the-fold area, you’re wasting your website’s prime real estate.

What’s even more amusing is what image they clicked on. 89.1% of that original 1% clicked on the first image they saw. That means just 10.9% of clicks were divvied up between four other images.

While that’s only one example of many, it raises a legitimate question: do you want something that takes up so much of the landscape to command so little action?

Low click through rate (CTR) from SearchEngineLand study.

What’s even scarier is how much the actual shape of the slider can hurt a site. As the prevalence of banner ads has gone up, so too has the banner blindness phenomenon. Visitors are becoming so desensitized to ads that they don’t even notice them.

This heatmap image shows eyes completely missing the slider.
This heatmap image shows eyes completely missing the slider.

Guess what else looks like a banner? Guess what else visitors think is an ad?

You know where this is going.

They’re skipping over your slider because it looks like an advertisement. Banner blindness has bled into first fold sliders, leading to a severely decreased CTR.

2) Sliders Aren’t Often Mobile Friendly

In January of this year, 55% of internet usage was conducted from a mobile device. That’s the first time EVER that mobile overtook desktop in internet usage.

The fact of the matter is, sliders are almost never mobile friendly. Those sprawling, beautiful images you’ve got scrolling around with that ever-important CTA text? Get ready for that to shrink to microscopic size, rendering your message (and image) virtually non-existent.

Then you have to add in the nature of WiFi-less data surfing on a mobile device. Websites already take ages to load on data plans, but imagine that phone having to pull up huge images through Javascript while loading the rest of the site AND resizing the page (if it’s responsive).

You can almost hear the “back” buttons being frantically pushed.

3) Timing Your Slider Transitions Is Tough

Timing has always been the Achilles heel of sliders. They generally suffer from two different issues:

  • Too Quick: Sliders that seem to give you two seconds between images run the risk of not being comprehended at all. Take a look at this slider and try to read everything. Frustrating, isn’t it? Think about those that are hard of sight, low of literacy or aren’t natural English speakers. A quick-scrolling slider all but guarantees frustrated users and, ultimately, bounces from your site.
  • Too Slow: To combat quick scrolling, some have opted to allow a generous amount of time to pass between images. The problem they face, though, is too much time passing, leaving the user to think the primary image is the only image. That leads to low/non-existent interaction with images that follow the primary one.

The main argument slider-lovers use to counter this is the “choice” slider, where the user has to advance the images themselves with easily viewable slider buttons. While this is slightly more helpful, they still run into the issue of undiscovered secondary images. It’s an inconsistent practice that results in missed opportunities.

4) Sliders Hurt Your SEO

As I mentioned earlier, the load time for a site with a slider can be absolutely back-breaking.

Sliders require Javascript to be pulled every time the page is loaded. Add on multiple hi-res images and your load time can get bogged down, which is something neither Google nor your visitors will enjoy. Slow load times lead to bounces, and bounces launch you down the organic search rankings.

Then there are the other factors like unwanted H1 tags that accompany sliders, text on images that aren’t read by Google and the usual Flash required to run a slider that ends up doing unnecessary damage to your web page.

You can see the disadvantages of having a slider as your first-fold mainstay. They’re rampant. If there are any tangible advantages, they’re surely outweighed by problems.

But if you’re ready for something worthy of your website’s first-fold area, look no further than the hero layout.

Why You Should Use The Hero Layout

What do sites like LeadPages, Evernote, Dropbox, Spotify, Square and a whole lot more have in common?

The hero layout on the first fold.

There’s a reason why these types of companies are embracing the hero layout. This layout is one of the highest-converting styles on the web. And there are a multitude of reasons for that.

1) They’re Static

Where sliders have trouble with load times and sizing, hero layout pages don’t sweat that aspect.

For one thing, you don’t have to pull near the amount of imagery or Javascript on a static page. The static nature of the page means there are less moving parts to synchronize, which should help tremendously with load time.

Plus, one unchanging layout has a higher chance of being more uniform across all browsers and device sizes. A static page interacts better with responsive AND non-responsive sites than a dynamic slider would, which means a more consistent look and function no matter the device.

Which really leads into a bigger, overarching advantage. . .

2) They’re Consistent

In baseball, pitchers are renowned for their consistency or scorned for their lack of it (I’m looking at you, Danny, the kid who drilled me with a scorching 48 mph pitch in Little League). Repeating the same motion over and over with little variation translates to a consistent, controllable result.

When it comes to a landing page, that’s what you strive for. The same experience for every single visitor to your site. Think about it: if you perfected a sales pitch, you’d do everything to make sure that message was read the exact way you made it, right?

A page that looks and interacts the exact same over multiple devices and browsers does that. If any one thing is off — say, a slider with your main CTA not loading or being too small — you’re cheating your customer and losing out on sales. Hero layouts capitalize on this consistency.

3) They’re Better for SEO

Granted, the content in the folds below that first fold has a lot to say about how your page is ranked, but there’s something to be said about speed deficiency and H1 tag duplication problems that a hero layout can fix.

Normally, whatever you choose to put in that first fold won’t have that extra inherent H1 tag that comes with a slider widget. Pages can only have one of those, and having two can be seen by Google as keyword spamming. A slider-less page doesn’t have to necessarily worry about this (unless you actually ARE trying to keyword spam, in which case…read this article).

Then comes the boost in loading time a hero layout gives you. The issues we discussed in the slider section aren’t as prevalent in a hero layout because there’s just less to load. The decrease in load time bumps you up in the eyes of Google and the hyper-short attention spans of your users.

4) They’re Flexible

Henry Ford had a great quote that talked about the slider layout. He just didn’t know it at the time. He said,

“You can have (the Model-T) in any color you want. As long as it’s black.”

With a slider, unless you have waves of coders you can throw at it like Netflix does, you’re basically stuck with sliding images and a button on the image.

That’s it. Seriously.

With the hero layout, you have a whole world of possibilities in front of you. A solid color background with a content box and single button? Done. A picture that just so happens to interact (statically) with an opt-in form?


The opportunities to mix and match to make the most optimized landing page are readily available in a hero layout, whereas the slider option gives you one type of layout.

But what sort of article would this be without examples? It’d be a college algebra textbook, that’s what. So let’s throw some solid imagery your way with a few great examples.

4 Great Examples of the Hero Layout



Look at the simplicity of this page. Stunning photo in the background, clear call to action centered in the middle of the page and an opt-in opportunity right after the introductory copy.

Plus, they do something pretty subtle yet wildly clever. Look at the bottom of that fold. They start their next section of content right above the fold to let you know there’s more to scroll down for. AND they make those sections clickable. This is a solid page that does a lot of things right.



This is one of the most simplistic examples you’ll find on the internet. They don’t even have intro copy like Evernote did. There’s just a headline, an signup opportunity and a bit of “Learn More” text to prompt some scrolling.

But it works. The simplicity goes a long way and makes you focus on exactly what they want you to.

Another interesting thing to note — check out their animated photo. It’s just a simple GIF that cycles through a few runs then goes stationary. It’s easy to load, scaleable and gives the simple page some not-too-distracting yet engaging movement.



This one’s a little trickier.

But there are two things I really like about this apart from the obvious things it does right (engaging, quick load time, etc.).

First, their imagery. A gorgeous photo, undoubtedly, but I like how it implicitly calls on associative emotion. “Remember when you relaxed on the beach with your friends, soft notes of Led Zeppelin floating in the air?” “Remember when you poorly sang ‘Bye Bye Bye’ in the middle of that 7-11?” Evoking emotion is a powerful way to inspire action.

Second, there are two opt-in opportunities in the same fold. That green button stands out big-time, and they’ve got it in two places: the universal nav bar and smack-dab in the middle of the page. Even if you don’t click the download button on the first fold, that button association will follow you as you scroll down the page.

It’s also a parallax site, which is something we wrote extensively about here.



This is actually a page one of our customers designed using a massive converting template we made (that you can grab absolutely free here). The above pages were all for big businesses, so I wanted to show you what a hero layout can do on an individual level.

The striking image plays a nice foil to the content box that tells you everything you need to know about what he’s offering, adding a strong call to action at the bottom of the box. Then, for an added bit of credibility, he’s included a “Featured In” bar to lend to his expertise.

These are all high-converting pages. All beautifully designed. All technically sound.

And you know something interesting about all these examples?

They don’t have sliders in the first fold. The evidence is there to show that, while you can make it work, it’s just not a design that should be embraced anymore. Not with the success of the hero layout.

What Do You Think?

I’m interested to hear your opinion on home page sliders vs the hero layout. Do you have a home page slider currently? Would you switch over after hearing these stats? Sound off below!

  • chris

    How would this work for a home page and product pages of an ecommerce site?

    • elsaid_m

      I Was thinking the same exact thing when I read the article….. Do you have examples of successful ecommerce site utilising slider replacements leading to higher conversion rates?

      I belive this is good if you offer a service. but if you are an ecommerce site, it’ll be difficult since the job of the slider is to show various “Hero” items to the customer in a short period of time perhaps to attract an impulsive purchase or even grasp a genuine interest..

      • I am also wondering about e-commerce. I only have one slider and that is on the front page. Most of the it is not even really a slider, its just a image. But its off to one side not taking over the top like many seem to do. The over large ones. Those do bother me. Is there not a happy medium for those who are e-commerce and those who do other things?

        • Sean Bestor

          I hear you, Kim. That same question has kept UX and UI designers up every night around the world! Would you mind commenting with a link to your site so I can take a look at what you’re talking about? I’d really like to see it and maybe talk about what’s going on.

    • Sean Bestor

      Everyone on this comment thread brings up a really great question that I realize I didn’t answer specifically in the story, so thanks for bring it up because it’s an important thing to expand upon.

      I think e-commerce sites are no exception to this article.

      The advent of phone and tablet-based web browsing has caused a shift in consumer salience to scrolling. Traditional e-commerce sites were built with the intent to cram everything possible in the first fold, which prompted the need for one widget that could display multiple things (the scrollbar).

      The first fold is still important, but now sites are able to put more below the first fold — IF it’s in the one page (many content boxes on one scrolling page) or waterfall (what Pinterest uses with multiple side-by-side content boxes). That’s why I see e-commerce sites moving to a one page format.

      Successful e-commerce sites like Sony, Square and Luhse Tea already do this. They’re successful in this design for two reasons:

      1) They have distinct site navigation bars that command your usability attention. They want you to use these navigation bars as the primary form of site movement, so the rest of the content is ancillary “enticement” promotions.

      2) They prompt further scrolling with image hints. Think back to the Spotify example I showed in the blog. They had three content boxes that peaked above the first fold. This creates a visual cue to scroll down further on the page. Successful e-commerce sites mimic this design to keep a

      In the end, it comes down to being creative with the universal navigation bar and prompting on-page scrolling for e-commerce hero-style success, something I think can be achieved.

  • Piers

    Ok. Convinced. The slider is coming off, to be replaced with a static, large visual, two step opt-in. If I remember, I’ll try to come back later and update what it does to conversions.

    • Sean Bestor

      Awesome, Piers! Remember, test your current layout against the new one you suggest to make sure it’s what your audience wants. Testing is key for success. And absolutely come on back and report with conversion notes! I’m really excited to see that.

    • I’d love to hear how you get on as well 🙂

  • Nick

    Some badass shit!

    • Sean Bestor

      Nick, I dig the sentiment. Thanks for reading!

  • Some things worried me while reading the article – it makes it seem like there are lots of hard, concrete facts about sliders, and from my experience, they aren’t at all universal truths as is implied: 1) not all sliders have text overlays and therefore H1 duplication is not necessarily a problem, 2) not all sliders are flash, and most importantly, 3) SLIDERS are NOT using java. Javascript, yes… big big difference.

    I would like very much to know more about bounce rates because this new layout trend drives me nuts. The above the fold area is what matters in the 5 second test, and in some business niches, you just can’t have a huge image that sufficiently conveys what your site is about. So while the trend looks good, I worry about bounce rate from not having sufficient info above the fold (not that I am promoting too much detail above the fold — just worried about not enough info.)

    I would really like to see examples of bounce rates from small businesses using this layout – I bet its different from that of the known brands like Apple where everyone goes to the site with some pre-existing knowledge about the offering and is therefore less likely to bounce.

    Also check out http://www.ismywebsitegood.com to compare layouts with the 5 second test!

    • I think the idea is to offer people an optin gift and make your homepage basically a lead capture page. That’s certainly how I’ve done my website for the past 9 years and it works for me! If they want to know more, they can use the navigation or click on the “continue to blog” or whatever you decide to put there. Visitors wouldn’t need to know that much about you, so long as they like what you’re offering.

    • Sean Bestor

      Hey Steven,

      Love the points you bring up here. Thanks for reading the article and writing a response like this.

      It seems like a lot of the worries you bring up are based in the “not all” frame of mind. In the article, I noted that big sites like Netflix who have waves of coders can make any sort of layout work, including sliders on the first fold. This article is meant for the masses who have more realistic budgets and end up using a “plug and play” slider widget that just doesn’t convert (as the stats above show).

      For your second point about the worry of the hero image layout, take a look at what I posted down in response to Chris. When it comes to small businesses, the viewpoint I bring up in response to Chris and the others is only strengthened. True, they aren’t Apple, which means less sheer amount of product to promote. That plays in favor to the hero style first fold layout with a one page overall layout, achieving an equal amount of exposure for the available products.

      I’d be interested to see some examples you’ve got of first fold sliders that don’t take up the whole first fold (even Nike has switched their traditional slider to a whole-fold image). Comment below and let me know!

  • I find it something of a relief to discover that everyone is now doing what I decided to do 9 years ago – which was have my home page be a landing page. I’m also relieved to discover that I’ve managed to skip over the slider craze and probably haven’t missed much 🙂

    • Sean Bestor

      Nice, Jane! Treating a home page like a landing page should really give more conversion than ambiguous multi-choice based layouts. Glad to hear you found success with this!

  • I’d like to have a brainstorm on how this would work for a local business. Dentist. Contractor. Service Provider. That seems like an entirely open market as these types of businesses have their own ideas of what a homepage should look like.

    • Sean Bestor

      Very good point, Matthew. I know we’ve got some great templates in LeadPages that can tackle this very point. It is true, though, that different businesses have different needs, but I do truly think a slider in the first fold just hurts more than it helps in any scenario.

      • Interesting. So are you saying that Lead Pages ( Which I own ) can be used for website Homepages ? I don’t think I really knew that… or are you saying you have landing pages that can be used for local businesses. I’m a little bit thrown off but you peaked my interest.

    • Ginger Coleen

      Hi Matthew – I was studying local business pages a few months back and came across a site that had a video on the first page above the fold. It was taken with the owner talking about the business standing in the parking lot with the business building in the background. It wasn’t long but it was long enough to give you a good feeling about the business and the business owner who seemed to really care about his customers. Wish I could find it now to give you a link. Video is awesome too and there is no reason you can’t also offer a discount for the first visit if they opt-in to a list. So, then you would simply have a video and an optin form similar to the last example in the article. Just my 2 cents.

      • Sean Bestor

        Great insight, Ginger Coleen! I know at LeadPages we have a video as our first fold focus, and it’s one of the highest-converting landing pages out there. Having the opt-in close to the video (or whatever is on the first fold) is key to getting some serious conversions.

    • Thanks for bringing that up Matthew. There are other actions / information that a local business website is expected to (and should) provide on the home page: location, hours, phone number for example. I think a local business that made signing up for a free report or their newsletter the primary focus of the home page would not find the same success as a software or information based business. I’d love to see a LeadPages template designed for service based local businesses.

      That said, I do think that moving away from sliders is equally important to local businesses. I have never been a big fan of sliders.

      • I actually would love to see Lead Pages start helping the local marketing industry more as well. Its a good idea and we / they could probably benefit greatly from it.

  • I’m going to nitpick on the usage of a specific word, but sliders do not use Java. They use Javascript.

    Java is to Javascript as car is to carpet.

    • Sean Bestor

      True point, Alan. That’s a good catch, and it does make a difference. I’ll go back in and change that up real quick.

  • RedNan

    All interesting points.
    My concern is convincing small business owners of the value of a landing page type ‘home page’. These people barley skated into a web presence other than Google Places or Facebook! And sign-ups? “What would they sign up for?”, says the client.
    Yes, I know this is bottom feeder web ownership, for from corporate, but…

    • Sean Bestor

      That’s a fair concern to have, RedNan. I’ve worked with a ton of small businesses in my time, and I’ve always found one thing to be true: You get what you put in.

      Small business owners know this better than anyone else as they’ve put blood, sweat and (a lot of times) tears into their product. And I realize small business owners may not have expertise in web marketing. That’s completely understandable and I agree with that 100%.

      But I also know this: The proper resources and experts are out there to help create that masterful web presence. We’ve made it a mission of ours at LeadPages to do just that with our high-converting templates. So I think the ability to have a great home page is always there. I’d love to hear your thoughts on some successful small business sites you’ve seen!

  • OK, so instead of sliders, use static image with opt in or do you think video would be more effective?

    • Sean Bestor

      Good question! It depends on what you’re offering. If it’s one product or you have a video that can accurately and effectively convey your entire product/service line, then a video can be a great idea (we do that on our LeadPages home page).

      For other scenarios, the static image is a solid option. My best advice for this question would be to test the video layout against a static image to see what your audience responds to best. Listen to them and they’ll let you know what works best for you!

  • Thanks Sean. I just had a news site built with a slider. You’re already having me regret it. Would you recommend anything different if the entire site is a blog and it’s not action focused? Maybe something like the BBC website? Or CNN? One big article at the top perhaps?

    • Sean Bestor

      Hey Marc! Glad the post was convincing for you. However, never feel bad about a design decision. That’s how you end up creating new stuff, so don’t feel any regret at all.

      You read my mind, though. The BBC is one of my favorite news-style layouts. It follows that waterfall (Pinterest) layout and lends itself to a lot of continuous scrolling habits. That’s a good one to model after, but I’d be interested to see your site as it is now, too!

  • Awesome post. You’ve just helped me decide about my current theme’s slider and helped me fix a big SEO issue–Multiple H1 tags… awesome stuff. Thanks for doing this for free. Love this site!!! 😀

    • Sean Bestor

      Awesome, Michael! Glad I could help. Our goal with the blog is to provide free insight into things most people make you pay for, so I’m glad you stopped by and read the post!

  • Kim Scott

    I love the look of this! I have not used sliders for a while in the traditional sense, but I have been using them. I am sold on this hero look being the way to go. (yeah, another reason to redesign my website…again! lol) My concern is that since it is basically a landing page, and I always hear that a landing page should not have ways to navigate past it, how do you reconcile the two? It drives me bananas when I am revisiting a website and their home page is a landing page with no way out unless you opt in (which I already did several visits ago). So then I usually type in nameofwebsite.com/blog just to get past it and hope they actually have a blog page set up. I am also concerned because I read not too long ago that Google hates websites where the home page has very little words, it was actually recommending using 1000 words…haha…which is not going to happen on mine! But it caused a bit of an argument between myself and the other person involved on the site because I argued for the less-is-more approach.

    • Sean Bestor

      Hey Kim! Gotta love the website redesigns 🙂

      I don’t think I’ve ever heard the rule of a landing page being locked in terms of multiple folds. Your first fold should be able to generate leads, but the following folds should be supplementary information that fuels an opt in, ending with yet another chance to opt in. That’s the format LeadPages and a whole host of other sites tend to use.

      Regarding home pages, Google likes a good text-to-HTML ratio, but what they look for is a home page that doesn’t generate a high bounce rate. Keep the bounce rate low and you should be generally well off.

      • Kim Scott

        Awesome! Thanks. Yes, unfortunately there are several “experts” out there saying that a landing page should not have an “out”. They don’t even think it should have share buttons! I just think that is bizarre.

  • I wish I would have read this article before I signed off on the final draft of our website rebuild…. Doh!

    • Sean Bestor

      No worries, Laurie! It never hurts to test your (assumedly) current version of a home page with a slider vs a static hero style format. What does the signed-off version of your rebuild look like?

      • We don’t try to drive traffic to the home page. We have always tried to drive to internal pages but have realized that specialized landing pages or lead pages are what we need to be doing.
        We use a third party inventory management software to book our events but we have had trouble with the SEO. We are reworking it as a WordPress site in hopes of gaining some SEO value from an integrated blog.
        Here is the home page template we are working on:

        • Sean Bestor

          Excellent realization! I know we at LeadPages found that 5% of web pages generate 95% of the revenue, so focusing on specialized landing pages is a great call.

          I took a look at your template, and I definitely think you could still work with that by simply switching out the slider with a static page or perhaps a demo/intro video with an opt in box somewhere in that first fold. Nice work on the site, though! Let us know what you do going forward.

  • Excellent article, I can think of several sites that could benefit from your guidance, right now!

    • Sean Bestor

      Thank you so much, Diane! I’m glad you enjoyed the article. I’m a curious sort of fellow, so what are a couple of these sites you have in mind?

  • mrrobbo

    Although I havent officially launched http://www.easyplannerapp.com I’m convinced the slider needs to disappear in favour of perhaps the attached image

    • Sean Bestor

      I like the product, mrrobbo! I agree you should perhaps abandon the slider, and I think you’d really benefit from a design layout like Evernote or Spotify (hero layout with a one page design). Let us know what the final site looks like and how it performs!

      • mrrobbo

        Hey Sean; Added the new image am playing around with the image and will make it taller; Here it is http://easyplannerapp.com/

        • Sean Bestor

          Awesome, I like it! The height you’ve got now looks great because you have the visual cue to scroll down more (the icons) right above the fold. I bet you could experiment with text on the right side of your image and see how that goes. Overall, I dig it!

  • Interesting discussion, Sean. I’ve been experimenting with different slider combinations along with various parallax templates to get a powerful look that also tells a story. Your personal site is a real inspiration. Some of the newest sliders, Revolution, Showbiz etc, work well across mobile platforms and actually are more responsive than some static designs. That being said, they will obviously have a load time to deal with, and probably won’t convert as well. If your goal is leads and conversions, putting your call to action front and center via a hero layout is probably the best way to go. If you need to tell a story, I would argue for something different.
    It’s an unfortunate truth that ugly, text laden, narrow, web 2.0 style web pages still work really well with Google. I hate it when my biggest competitor in search has a page right out of 2004, complete with ariel fonts, tiny graphics, and an ancient email signup box stuffed on the narrow sidebar, yet it rockets them to first or second position on the Google page. As someone who loves great web design, that simple fact really frustrates me.

    • Sean Bestor

      Thanks, John! I’m humbled beyond belief that you hold my personal site in such high regards.

      Web design is tricky though, isn’t it? Different templates can and layouts can convey entirely different meanings through their abilities and inabilities in certain areas.

      I like how you’re experimenting with different ideas to see what works best, but I would still argue for a hero layout even for a story. From a writing and narrative perspective, the beginning of a story always has one starting point. The slider was invented for the sole reason of showing multiple things, which dilutes the start of a story. On my personal site, the word switch in the first fold was a custom-built aspect that still fits the overall story, which is a rare exception to the overall rule.

      I hear you on “ugly” sites working with Google, though I think sometimes it’s for different reasons than their inherent attributes. Sometimes those pages have such link history equity or great inbound linking (or other hidden attributes we can’t see) that explain the meteoric rise they enjoy. But it’s a great lesson that shows the importance of testing for your audience.

      I hope you can share with us your experiments on your own home page! I’d love to see the results each test yielded.

      • One of my favorite hero sites is Lewis Howes. They did a masterful job with the photography, call to action, and taglines. The new site from Jeff Walker is also hero based and works well. Thanks for an inspiring article, and a new definition. Will definitely be moving in this direction with a new personal site.

        • Sean Bestor

          Yes! And Lewis is part of the LeadPages family, so it’s great to see you enjoy what he’s done with our templates! I’m glad the article helped you out, John.

  • As co-owner of a highly successful SEO and Marketing agency, I disagree. Sliders are not the issue, the issue is how they are being used and if your website truly calls for a slider. Some do, some don’t. Turning the header area or “above the fold” area into a lead generating machine can backfire just as much as a slider on a website that should not be there. I have seen site with sliders that caught my own attention in a great way, and some that have not.

  • Keef Ward

    Changed my life.

    • Hello me old fruit, small world eh? 🙂

  • Nice, I will give it a try. But… you have a slider on home page, below the video (for testimonials). Sooooo… its better to use them down the page or simply do not use them??!

    • Sean Bestor

      Hey HelpALocalBusiness! I’m glad you’ll give it a try, as I really do think it’ll benefit those who used sliders.

      You bring up a good point, but the slider we have on our site is different from what I’m arguing in this post. The sliders I’m talking about are the ones that take up a majority of the first fold and end up not converting. The slider we have on our home page is there for a couple reasons: It’s out of the first fold, it’s optimized so it doesn’t hurt SEO and it isn’t designed like a banner (the testimonials slide on the white background so it doesn’t look like the typical rectangled image). You COULD use them down the page, but I caution doing it unless you have dedicated designers and coders that can make it work! Make sense?

      • Makes perfect sense, thx Sean. Anyway, I think I’ll split A/B and watch over results.

  • I am sure that the informative you shared through your post is useful for people.

    • Sean Bestor

      Thanks, Akshay!

  • stijn swinnen

    Interesting idea. Man of my sites use a slider and based on the nature of the website, I do indeed see some mixed click through performance. I will sure try to have some of them changed and compare the results.
    Though, many of the examples shown have one clear goal: get extra users, sign up etc… In case of more complex websites like a portal or e-commerce website, I do see the benefit of sliders, in case they are well integrated in the website.

    • Sean Bestor

      Hey, Stijn! I agree, sliders do see mixed click through performance, which is why I suggest a static, bigger image in the first fold. We shoot for consistency with landing pages, and this option should be more consistent.

      Regarding the sliders still being of use, I’d refer you to the response I gave Chris early in this thread. I think these sites would still benefit from a static image!

  • I can definitely see how sliders would detract from the type of websites exhibited in your post but my company is a home improvement contracting company and our homepage slider’s “next” and “previous” buttons are consistently the highest clicked link on our homepage. Our customers are coming to our site to get inspiration of what we have to offer in terms of improvement to their homes and they want to see images. Our slider has been a great tool to showcase some of our different projects. I have each slider linked to a dedicated page related to that particular service.

    So I wouldn’t dismiss sliders altogether… they work for my company’s website.

  • Karyn witha Y

    Just re-designing my website http://www.moretas4less.com.au and now I’m really glad I decided not to opt for a slider!! Thanks for the great article, love th examples

  • Personally, I believe that sometimes, like a Presidency, we can think ourselves better than the average person without even realizing it. We can fall into this we-know-it-all trap. Now that may not be the case here, they may care, but that does not mean they are not wrong and that that may actually be the case.

    Sometimes, just sometimes, we need to step away from the analytic’s for a while, step back from the geek and realize it true, some websites need a slider and, some do not.

    We are monkey’s here sometimes. We follow the so-called “sage advice” of those we trust, and sometimes we forget that they are human…and can be dead wrong.

    When it comes to a slider, EVEN ON A HOMEPAGE, think it through, does your message, presence and theme actually scream out for one? If it does, use it, if it does not, leave it alone. But please, do what you think is best not what Lead Pages and Mr. Valk think and feel….

  • Titus

    Do you actually have a hero template or are these just examples of how we should/could customize our leadpages sites?

  • Informative article, thank you. However, what about for transactional eCommerce websites that want to deliver the customer to their desired product to buy in as few clicks as possible? Most visitors to my site are already converted, they just want to buy and leave. Do you still think I should have the hero layout before the product layout in the case of a new customer (Which may slow down the 90% of regular transactional customers)?

  • I was really interested in this article, although had to agree with Alan Chavez, 😉 we have been in beta for a few weeks now and are just adding the last finish touches and removing the last few bugs before we launch our new baby, I emailed this to the other developers and partners, as I have been umming and aaaring about the slider on our home for a bit, think the point has been made well though, Tomorrow it may be toast and maybe just in time. thanks for this..



  • Kerri

    Ok, you’ve sold me on the non-slider option, but I have a question. I have different styles of the one product (art prints) on my site, so I’ve used sliders in the past to show the different styles and looks of the products I sell – which appeal to different tastes. How can I best display these options without using a slider?

  • DavidBlaise

    Part of the appeal of a slider is that it appears to keep things fresh and moving. What do you recommend for sites that get a lot of return traffic? How often do you need to swap out the static hero image to keep it from becoming stale?