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Transforming your Website with Parallax Design

If you run a business, you will be more than familiar with the importance of having a website to promote your product or service. More and more people choose to find what they are looking for by typing the required search term into Google and clicking on the websites that best matches their query. Attracting people to your website relies a lot on search engine optimization (SEO) – the process of using techniques to enhance the ranking of your website on search engines. However, while appearing on the first page of Google will help you generate a lot of traffic, it is the look of your website that will make people stay. This is where parallax design comes in.

Regardless of how good the content of your site is, if it is not suddenly appealing visually to a visitor they will simply hit the back button and move on to the next website on the search results. It is the look of a website that helps visitors stick around for that little bit longer and helps turn clicks into conversions. You have to make your site look better than your competitors so that they keep coming back for more. To do this you need to embrace parallax design. This effect suits best for single page websites because you’ll have all the information in one page without using extra clicks.

What is parallax?

Before we get into parallax design and why it can have such a positive effect on the look of your website, let me take a little bit of time to explain what exactly parallax is.

The word parallax is taken from the Greek word parallaxis, which translates to mean “alteration”. The definition of parallax in the English dictionary is “the apparent displacement of an observed object due to a change in the position of the observer.”

An easy way to understand how parallax works is to focus on an object at close range and then look at it through just one eye at a time, keeping the other one covered while you do so. You will notice that a perspective shift occurs when the object is viewed from a slightly angle, the position of the object changing in relation to vision of the background.

Parallax has been used in mathematical terms for centuries, with astronomers using various techniques to judge the distance of celestial objects and seafarers judging position by measuring the distance between objects.

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Parallax in web design

Parallax in web design has been around for a few years, but has never been quite as popular as it is now. The parallax techniques used in designing and developing websites are much different to those relied upon by astronomers and come from a method known as parallax scrolling.

Parallax scrolling was first used as early as the 1940s to simulate motion by making background images move at a different rate to images in the foreground. The techniques then evolved and took on graphical adoption in the in the 1980s, when 2D computer games became popular. The much-loved arcade game Moon Patrol, in which viewers controlled a buggy travelling over the moon’s surface, was one of the first to feature the side scrolling affect to make the buggy appear as it were travelling at speed across the terrain.

Today, these same principles are being applied to websites to day, with parallax scrolling used to create the illusion of depth.

Web designers and developers use a range of techniques, incorporating elements of HTML, CSS, graphic design, JavaScript, and jQuery to give a website moving images and seemingly live backgrounds.

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How parallax design can benefit your site

With many people now using content management systems such as WordPress, Drupal and Joomla to create websites, web designers and developers have created themes and templates that can be used give your website the parallax effect. Assuming you are not familiar with how to create a parallax themed website from scratch yourself, these templates offer great benefits, allowing you to customise the overall look to suit your requirements. If you would prefer something highly creative and unique, then there are plenty of web designers out there that can come up with a design that could really give your site the edge on your competitors.

Parallax design can benefit your website in one simple way: by making it look better than everybody else’s.

A functional site with a vertical or horizontal scrolling background will look much better than a basic static home page, and users will find it is a much more pleasurable experience when navigating. Online consumers are a pretty loyal bunch and tend to stick with a site once they find one that they like. By utilising parallax scrolling, your site is instantly transformed from one that is forgettable into one that becomes a must visit.

Parallax design is a hot, but still emerging, trend in web design, stay ahead of the pack by giving your site an ultra-modern appeal.

Examples of Parallax Website Designs

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Author: Alex Gaslang

Alex Gaslang - I currently work at Byte Technology as their content writer. Most of the topic i write is all about tips and tricks on web design. If you want to see more of my articles, you can visit our web design minneapolis company.