Parallax scrolling is a visual effect used in web design—typically built into templates—where backgrounds scroll at a different rate than overlaid content, creating a 3D-type effect. Businesses can use parallax scrolling websites in many ways, but ultimately parallax makes sites appear dynamic; to illustrate the possible applications, we included 20 parallax site examples below.
Building a professional site that incorporates parallax scrolling isn’t always easy. In some cases, it even requires custom coding. With a site builder such as Squarespace, however, it’s as easy as picking and customizing a template using a drag-and-drop editor. Simply add your static background and your overlaid content sections and watch the parallax effect take shape in minutes. Start your free 14-day trial.
Here are the 20 best examples of parallax scrolling websites:
Why it works: Bird, one of the country’s first dockless electric scooter rental companies, incorporates parallax scrolling into the homepage of its website. This gives it a more modern design that is in-line with its branding. As site visitors scroll down on the page, it appears as though the homepage scoots—kind of like a Bird scooter.
Why it works: MasterCraft, a U.S.-based boat manufacturer, incorporates parallax scrolling in a unique way, where images scroll up and over the homepage image as a site visitor scrolls down the page, creating the effect of rising water. Also, by concentrating all site content above the fold, it makes the content feel more important, and thus keeps visitors on the page.
Why it works: Outreach is a sales engagement platform that utilizes parallax scrolling to create a more engaging website. It does this in a pretty simple way; as users scroll, text gradually appears, making the site both informative and dynamic. It’s a very basic application of parallax scrolling, but it offers visitors two key things: engagement and information.
Why it works: Cyclemon, a bicycle company, takes a unique approach to parallax scrolling by creating a site that walks visitors through its product catalog. As visitors scroll down on the page, content unfolds that feels a bit like flipping through the pages of a book. It’s a good example of how businesses can use parallax scrolling to tell a story without being content-heavy.
Why it works: Uchiko is an Austin-based Japanese restaurant with a minimalist, modern flair. It uses parallax scrolling in the simplest way, wherein food images remain static but other homepage content appears as users scroll. This keeps the restaurant’s focus—its amazing food—front and center.
Why it works: Epicurrence, an event for creative professionals, combines its creative thrust with valuable information via parallax scrolling effects. As visitors scroll down the homepage for more information, content appears with a “jump”—a 3D effect that makes both the site and the conference seem engaging and adventurous.
Why it works: Hannibal Buress, a popular American comedian, has a site that features parallax scrolling. This is unusual for a comedian, but it conveys the energy and dynamism of his humor well. What’s more, Buress employs more than images and text on this homepage; scrolling visitors will discover video clips that provide entertainment as well as event details. This fun approach to site design underscores Buress’ personality and encourages ticket sales.
Why it works: Tod’s, an Italian leather goods company, uses parallax scrolling on its homepage in a subtle and elegant way. Unlike other sites that use parallax scrolling to create a gamification effect or to spread out site content, Tod’s uses it to convey a smooth elegance that aligns with its brand. It also allows the company to showcase products as part of a larger brand story.
Why it works: Bite, a toothpaste tablet company, uses parallax scrolling effects on its website to make images appear as if they are jumping off the screen. It achieves this by using static background videos that appear to begin moving as a site visitor scrolls down on the homepage. This playful approach to creative web design produces a more engaging website while also maintaining its branding as a fun, but smart brand.
Why it works: The website for Recreation, a New York City-based restaurant, incorporates parallax scrolling into its site in a simple way: Bright, high-quality images of the space serve as the backdrop to restaurant information, contact details, and menus. The message that follows is simple: Recreation is where you want to be.
Why it works: Plannuh, a marketing company, uses parallax to match the background of its graphics to the background of its site. This makes it seem that images are floating as users scroll, creating the feeling of an engaging comic strip. While that may not seem to align with a marketing company, it makes it clear that Plannuh can make your experience with marketing fun.
Why it works: Baggia, an Italian leather goods brand, uses parallax scrolling to create an interactive 3D effect to introduce site visitors to its product, serving as a virtual product demo. This works as a smart sales tool because visitors get to “experience” the brand’s products better than they would with static images. It also presents the product efficiently without cluttering the site.
13. Space Needle
Why it works: The website for the Seattle Space Needle uses parallax scrolling to provide more insight into what the space needle is and what it offers. However, the site builders knew that visitors would want to have an experience of being on top of the needle, so they added parallax scrolling to create an immersive, almost in-person effect. While video tours are included on the site, parallax scrolling arguably does a better job of showcasing the Space Needle experience.
Why it works: Vince is a clothing brand and online store that uses parallax scrolling effects on its website to create an amazingly dynamic effect where text and images scroll at different speeds. This is a simple application of the technology, but it almost conveys the feeling of sliding on the brand’s clothing—matching the user’s experience to the one portrayed by onsite models.
Why it works: It’s crucial for a web design agency to have a high-quality website, but Tenddo, a web design agency based in San Francisco, went a step further by creating an unusually dynamic site. Not surprisingly, they used parallax scrolling to do so; the effect of isolated objects moving on the screen is both fun and a phenomenal showcase of what the company’s engineers can do.
16. Better Life
Why it works: Better Life, a cleaning product company, takes a “clean” approach to web design with parallax scrolling effects. It does this by using an image of a bathtub on its homepage that has a transparent background. As site visitors scroll, the tub appears to float over modern-style icons that subtly connect the cleaning products’ various applications to the brand.
Why it works: Koastal skateboard company uses parallax scrolling in its simplest form, where text scrolls at a different pace from the static background image. It’s a subtle use of parallax scrolling, but it directly connects with the brand’s focus: sliding or “skating” from one place to the next.
18. Every Last Drop
Why it works: Every Last Drop, an education site about water consumption in the United Kingdom, uses parallax scrolling to effectively tell a story. As site visitors scroll down on the homepage, the site’s illustrations actually move over the background image, making it appear as if it’s an animated video controlled by the visitor. Not only is this engagement fun, but it conveys information in a very memorable and impactful way.
19. Uptown Apts
Why it works: This website for an apartment complex in Miami incorporates parallax scrolling to create a more eye-catching homepage. The effect of text scrolling at a different rate over its background image draws the reader’s eyes to the image. This helps to ensure site visitors actually look at the images of rooms and amenities, as opposed to just quickly scanning the site. After all, the real selling point of the company is its apartment offerings.
Why it works: The web designers at Porsche made a smart design decision when they chose to use parallax scrolling animation for its “Porschevolution” site. While everybody knows the brand, not everybody knows its history. Parallax allows the site’s visitors to “drive” through the history of Porsche automobiles while keeping the focus on the beautiful photos of Porsche models.
Benefits of Parallax Scrolling
Businesses that include parallax scrolling elements within their websites generally offer more dynamic, visually appealing experiences for visitors while keeping their sites uncluttered. Parallax also boosts engagement via interactive features; this often creates more memorable sales pitches, which ultimately increase conversions.
Here are the five main benefits of parallax scrolling:
- Makes content eye-catching: Parallax scrolling creates a quasi-3D appearance that is noticeably different than most static website content. This keeps site visitors entertained and encourages extended site browsing.
- Offers interactive elements: Depending on how parallax scrolling is implemented, it can give the illusion of a website being interactive. More sophisticated applications of it can even create a gamification effect. Users who can interact with site content are more likely to keep browsing and, possibly, make a purchase. This is especially true if parallax is used to create a more dynamic presentation of products visitors might want to buy.
- Effective storytelling: Sites with parallax scrolling can more effectively tell stories by offering unique animation functionality; this enables companies to create comic book-style content that is far more fun to view than static content.
- Increases engagement: By creating a site that is more informative and entertaining, site visitors become more engaged. This leads to more time spent on the website and more web pages viewed.
- Decreases clutter: Parallax scrolling can be used to reduce clutter without reducing the amount of site content. This makes sites easier to read, keeping visitors’ attention and allowing brands to share more information.
- Drive conversions: The visual effects can more subtly direct site visitors to a call to action (CTA). With this kind of direction, CTA clicks are often increased.
Sites that incorporate parallax scrolling are not only visually appealing, but are interactive, allowing them to more effectively tell stories or convey a message. In turn, this improves engagement and, for the right brand, increases sales.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is there an easy way to build a parallax scrolling website in WordPress?
It’s possible to build a website with parallax scrolling in WordPress without web development experience. The best way to do this is by using a WordPress website builder plugin, such as Visual Composer or Elementor, along with a parallax-enabled template. Learn more about the best WordPress website builders.
How do I design a WordPress website?
It’s possible to easily build a WordPress website in just 10 steps. First, select a web hosting provider and get a domain name. Connect your web hosting provider to your WordPress account using one-click WordPress installation. Select and install a theme that suits your business needs. Finally, install a drag-and-drop builder, then customize the pages of your theme. Get the step-by-step instructions on how to design a website in 10 steps.
What’s the best way to build a small business website?
There are two main options for easily building a small business website: with a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, or a drag-and-drop site builder such as Squarespace. For those without technical experience or knowledge, a site builder is recommended. Learn more about how to easily build a small business website.
What are the best overall website design tips & ideas?
Web design is constantly changing and evolving, and while every business should approach web design a bit differently to best serve their customers, there are some great universal web design tips. These include everything from writing site copy that is optimized for search to creating graphics that are designed for both desktop and mobile devices. Get our full list of website design ideas from the pros.
Bottom Line: Parallax Scrolling Websites
Parallax scrolling can be used in web design to create a number of different effects, from interactive and eye-catching content to quasi-animated presentations. Sites that use parallax scrolling not only look more modern and professional, but can hold the attention of site visitors longer, more effectively deliver content, and increase conversions.
However, creating a parallax-enabled site can be tricky on many web building platforms. If you need a site builder that requires no technical experience—but also offers parallax-enabled templates—consider Squarespace. This industry-leading site builder offers dozens of high-quality templates plus a drag-and-drop builder for easy site customization, all for just $12 per month. Start your free 14-day trial today.