What is a Hero Section on a Website

Written by WordPress Enthusiast & Technology Writer

April 24, 2023
What is a Hero Section on a Website

The hero section may be the most important part of your website. It’s gone from a design trend to a crucial part of a WordPress website and provides lots of key benefits for the type of website. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to create a well-designed hero section on a website. In this post, we’ll explore the question what of is a hero section, why you need it, and see how to create the best hero section for your needs.

The Bold Beginning of Your Website's Story: Hero Section

The hero section is the first portion of your website that displays. It provides the first impression of your website and informs your visitors about the style and quality of your website. It needs to build your credibility, show what you can provide, the benefits of working with you, and where visitors should go next.

The hero section must be impactful, yet simple and clean at the same time. It’s the section where visitors decide if they will continue on your website. This means the hero section has a huge impact on your visitors and does more work than just about any other section. Any page can have a hero section, but it’s usually found on the homepage or the landing page. Not every page needs the hero section.



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What a Great Hero Section Needs

The hero section should include several elements. All of the elements should stand apart from each other and be easy to understand. First, we’ll see an example that uses all of these elements and then we’ll discuss the elements in greater detail. I’ll provide tips along the way.

The main elements include:

  • Background
  • Heading
  • Subheading
  • Benefits
  • CTA
  • Navigation

How to Design a Great Hero Section

The hero section needs to include all of the elements we’ve discussed while promoting your brand and standing out from the crowd. With the work it must perform, it’s easy to see why it’s called a hero.

Hero Section Example

We can look at the Verpex homepage to see all of these elements in action.

Hero Section Example
  1. We see a background image with an overlay to give the hero section some style.

  2. The heading message is in large text and provides clear information about the site.

  3. A subheading provides a supporting offer above the message and shows the site’s branding.

  4. Benefits are placed within short blubs that include icons.

  5. The CTA is a button that stands out and provides an offer.

  6. Navigation is in the header above the hero section. In this case, the header isn’t part of the hero section, but you can include it in the hero section if you want.

This hero section takes about half the screen on a desktop. The main image elements are placed on one side and the text is placed on the other. It’s short, simple, clean, clear, and effective.

Let’s dig deeper into each of these elements.

Image or Background

An image, video, or background color or pattern helps the hero section stand out from the rest of the website. This isn’t the main focus. Instead, it gives the hero section some texture with branding elements. It can be muted with an overlay, so it doesn’t get in the way of the other elements, placed to one side with the text on the other, etc.

Be sure to only use high-quality images or videos. The quality of the images and videos will demonstrate to the visitor the quality of the products or services. It’s best not to use stock photos since they’ll show people that are not associated with your business. This will come across as fake and hurt your credibility. Only use photos, illustrations, animations, or videos that are relevant to your message.

Examples include photos or videos of the products in use, Illustrations or animations that demonstrate the products or services, the results of using the product or service, a demonstration of performance, people discussing the service, or something that supports the CTA.


The heading is a simple and short sentence to create a short description of your website or mission. It’s a statement that informs the visitor what to expect. Create a powerful headline that captures attention and informs the visitor of what to expect from the website. This tells them why they’re here and is the main element that can keep the visitors from clicking away.

To create an effective heading, try to think of a powerful one-liner that would draw you in. It shouldn’t be vague. Don’t use your company’s tagline, your product, your service, or your company’s name. The heading should convey your message to your audience. Focus on the audience rather than your company, your products, or your services. Only use jargon if it’s a highly specialized website.


A subheading is a secondary message. It allows you to expand on the message in the heading. It can be long or short and can provide more information about your services or products. These details can expand on the heading or expand on an offer. This is a great way to build trust, define expectations, or expand on the benefits of using your products or services.


Benefits provide a simple list of why visitors should work with you. The list should be short and only include the highlights. Keep it free of jargon and make it easy to understand. It gives the visitor a list of what to expect and what they will gain from your products or services.

Call to Action

Every hero section needs a strong call to action. The CTA is simply what you want the visitors to do next. This is usually a button that links to your main offer or your shop. It can provide a discount or some other type of incentive. Other options include an email sign-up form, a contact form, registration to a course, a number to call, a form to get more information, a link to download an app, a discount, a free trial, and lots more.

It’s best to focus on a single large CTA. You can include two buttons for simpler CTAs, but this should be used sparingly. For example, you could provide a button to your shop or product, and a second button for more information or a free trial. Be sure to keep them simple and clear. Use colors that stand out from everything else. Make the CTA obvious and make its message simple and easy to understand.

Everything else should lead the visitor to the CTA. Without a strong CTA, your visitors won’t know what to do once they’ve seen your hero section. They’ll have to search for a way to get what your hero section offers. This can leave them frustrated and make them move on to the next website.

Main Navigation

The navigation can be placed within the hero section or separately. When the main navigation is placed within the hero section, the navigation menu should stand out and be easy to understand. If you want the menu to remain on screen, it’s often best to lock it within the header once the user scrolls past the hero section.

If navigation is separate, it can sit above the hero section in the header, or at the bottom of the hero section and lock into place when the visitor scrolls. Navigation can also sit vertically on one side and remain in place, or be attached to the section under the hero section and locked into place when the visitor scrolls.

Other Elements

There are lots of other elements that you can add to your hero section. Keep in mind that the hero section shouldn’t be cluttered. Other options include:

  • Email form – place a small subscription form at the bottom or somewhere out of the way of the main CTA.

  • Contact information – this is great if you have a physical location or contacting you is the best CTA.

  • Social media follow add a few social icons to the navigation menu or somewhere small so it doesn’t take the main focus.

  • Social proof – add a short testimonial or a star rating near the CTA to build trust. A small slider is great for multiple testimonials.

  • A second CTA – this can be a second button so users can get more information. Use this idea sparingly.

Hero Section Layout

The layout of the elements should work with the background. It’s best to use an overlay or place the main focus of the background image on one side with the text and CTA on the other. For backgrounds that are colors or patterns, you can place the text and CTA in the center, or on one side and a form on the other. The hero section should take the full width of the screen, and a large vertical portion of the screen or the entire screen.

Once you’ve decided on your elements, layout, colors, fonts, etc., be sure to ask several people you trust for their opinion. Run A/B tests to make improvements. Test every aspect of every element and make the changes that bring the highest conversion.



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How to Build a Hero Section

Many WordPress themes include hero sections in their design. Page builders, such as Divi and Elementor, include tools to create them easily. You can also build your own in Gutenberg or by installing a plugin.

Create a Hero Section with Gutenberg

You can easily create a hero section for any page using the Gutenberg editor. First, create the page and then click on the plus icon. Search for Hero and select the template labeled Header with Hero Image.

Create a Hero Section with Gutenberg

Next, add the title, and the background image, change the colors, and adjust the settings. You can also choose the logo, the tagline, and the navigation menu, or delete the header and move those elements to the hero section. The block for the hero section includes lots of settings including the background, focal point, overlay color, overlay opacity, typography, padding, minimum height, and advanced settings.

Add elements in Gutenberg

Add more elements by clicking the plus icon and inserting them where you want. Add columns, buttons, a slider from a plugin, etc.

Add more elements by clicking the plus icon in Gutenberg

More Hero Section Patterns

You can find lots of free premade hero section patterns in the WordPress repository. There are several hero section patterns in many genres and styles. To find them, go to the WordPress website > Download & Extend > Patterns and search for Hero Section.

More Hero Section Patterns

To use one, hover over the pattern and click Copy.

hover over the pattern and click Copy

Click on the pattern if you want to see a larger version of the pattern and choose the size you want. If you log in, you can add it to your favorites. Choose the size you want and copy the hero section.

Choose the size you want and copy the hero section

Once you’ve copied it, paste it into the page where you want to use it. Now, change the text, links, colors, and images to your own and you now have a new well-designed hero section with very little effort.

well-designed hero section

Hero Section WordPress Plugins

You can also create a hero section with plugins. The advantage of using plugins is you can get features that are not readily available in WordPress. For example, you can add a slider, animations, and other effects. Many include drag-and-drop builders and templates to get you started. Here are a few plugins that are great for creating hero sections.

Slider Hero with Animation, Video Background

Slider Hero with Animation, Video Background

Slider Hero with Animation, Video Background creates all kinds of hero banners and sliders with images and videos. Create a text carousel, CTA buttons, animations, motion typography, and more. The pro version adds even more features.

Hero Banner Ultimate

Hero Banner Ultimate

Hero Banner Ultimate adds background colors, images, or videos to create hero banners. It includes 4 layouts to choose from. The pro version adds more layouts, gradients, and lots more options.



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Ending Thoughts

That’s our look at what is a hero section on a website. Hero sections are one of the most, if not the most, important elements of a website. They not only provide a great first impression, but they also lead visitors through your call to action. Adding a hero section is easy with any of the methods we’ve mentioned here.

A well-designed hero section is a crucial element in creating an engaging and effective website. It can make or break the first impression of your visitors and impact their overall experience.

However, it's equally important to ensure that your website is hosted on a reliable and high-performing hosting platform. A good hosting service can provide fast loading speeds, reliable uptime, and advanced security measures to support your website's growth and success. So, invest in both a top-notch hero section and a reliable hosting service to take your website to the next level.

We want to hear from you. Have you added a hero section to your website? Let us know about your experience in the comments.

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