By Monica Pitts
Construction website trends are following many of the same trends in other industries with their own special flair. I just completed a deep dive reviewing 55 websites from all over the US. Here’s what I found…
Pretty much the same navigation on EVERY site.
Navigational creativity is lacking at the moment. Simple buttons and a left-aligned logo no more than 1.5 inches tall…is that enough of a trend for you? Lack of creativity isn’t all bad though. Almost all the sites followed the normal pattern for navigation, which will make their visitors feel at ease getting from place to place.
- Navigation links are most frequently on a short light-colored bar at the top of the page (62%), over half have drop-down menus.
- Pretty much every logo is between 1-2 inches tall and 1-2 inches wide and resides in the upper left corner. Like 90%.
- Sticky nav – that’s our technical term for navigation that stays put at the top of the screen even when you scroll – is pretty popular. 67% of sites are rockin’ it.
Big Ol’ Hero Images with Text on Top
Big hero images are on trend. They have been for a while, but they’re getting bigger. (A hero image is just a fancy way to say big pictures at the top of the home page).
- Most sites have at least 75% of their home page screen, if not the entire screen, dedicated to imagery with words over the top of those big ole’ images.
- Close to 50% have a video for their hero image – and over half of those had professionally produced videos with drone footage and featured workers.
Boxy Call Outs, Big Text & Icons Add Interest
Most sites are well-designed without a ton of fluff; minimalist designs are pretty common. However, there are still some very fancy sites out there both from a design and functionality perspective.
- Most sites (65%) used big, bold headers to call attention to sections of a page.
- Fonts tend to be sans serif (meaning without serifs, so like Arial instead of Times New Roman).
- Boxes are coming back in style. 45% of the sites we reviewed added boxes around elements to call attention to the content.
- Over half of the sites had icons and subtle animations on one page or another to add interest.
Increased Attention to Detail on Interior Pages
Most sites have a rockin’ home page. And design quality overall is on the rise. Most pages have a header image that takes up between a third and half of the screen.
- Over half of sites have a unique header image on each page with the title of the page on top of the image.
- Most sites (67%) have a page dedicated to each service.
- About half of the sites used lots of images and a creative layout for their services pages.
- Extended functionality is lacking on services pages; only 22% showcase featured projects.
EVERY site is using black and grey. Not surprising how many are red. I mean, if you’ve ever been to an industry trade show before you’re acutely aware of construction companies’ infatuation with red.
- The majority of construction sites have light backgrounds with dark words over the top. But a fair number (around a third) are rocking dark backgrounds.
- Footers are mostly dark (77%) bit navigation bars are usually light (60%).
- Fairly monochromatic sites with pops of color are on trend. Sites tend to use grey, black and one more color in their color pallet.
Professional Prolific ORIGINAL Imagery
Companies are investing in professional photography. And damn does it look good. Over 60% of the sites were bursting with awesome photos and less than 30% of sites used stock photos.
- Over 80% of the sites used images as backgrounds in their site to accent information.
- 80% overlaid their images with colors (when the color is see-through and you can still see the image) and/or text.
- 90% of imagery (not in the projects section) is photos of projects and completed work.
Social Icons in the Footer
It’s worth mentioning that 80% of the sites reviewed had social media icons in the footer. Every site with social icons had a Facebook page and most had Linkedin. About half had Instagram and Twitter. Very few had a social media feed on their site.
Not many blogs to be found…over 65% of the sites didn’t have blogs. Of those that do blog there isn’t a pattern for how often they post. It’s evenly distributed between weekly, monthly, quarterly and hardly ever updated.
Robust Projects Sections
Almost all the sites I reviewed had at least some kind of projects section. The majority shared a main page with images that allowed people to sort by industry and click to view more information about each project. Smart idea. That helps drive traffic to your site and shows people how successful you are!
Most commercial and heavy highway construction companies have at the very least a careers page linked from their top main site navigation.
- The majority share a paragraph about company culture, show available jobs and the ability to apply online.
- The majority just have one page dedicated to hiring and link out to another system to share job listings and collect online applications like Applicant Stack, Workday or Applicant Pro.
SSL certificates are a staple. Cookie compliance is not.
Almost every site we reviewed has an SSL certificate. So that’s a positive. And over half were built on WordPress, my personal favorite system.
- Only a few had cookie compliance popups or notifications…so that’s bad.
- Almost 90% had Google Analytics installed. WINNING!
- Around 40% had a search feature on their site.
The most important trends for you to review are those of your closest competitors. Their sites will help you understand what’s normal for your area and business type. You want to be as good as they are – or even better, right? View graphs and photos for this article at MayeCreate.com.
Monica Pitts is the founder and Chief Creative Officer of MayeCreate Design. She spends her days constructing a marriage of form and function; creating art with her design team to grow businesses through websites and online marketing. Monica considers herself an artist, marketer and web dork with the ability to speak geek and English.