what is padding in web design?

By Noah Britton on 24 June 2020

Padding is something that makes your life more comfortable.

A well-padded chair is much nicer to sit on than one that does not have padding. A well-padded bank account puts your mind more at ease than one that is lean. A well-padded website, like the ones we create at thrive.design, is easier to read and nicer to look at.

Wait. What?

Let us explain.

Why your website should be padded.

What is padding

What is padding?

Simply put, padding is the “white space” in web elements.

When you look at an element on a page, whether it’s a button or a text box, your eye is more comfortable if it knows where to look. The blank space is what helps the eye focus on what is important.


This spacing is needed to keep all the page elements separate from one another on the page. It also allows visitors to easily identify the elements they need to interact with to accomplish their mission.

See Related: What Is A Lightbox In Web Design?

In practical terms, good padding looks something like this.

Padding example #1

There is plenty of space surrounding the content in each element on the page so our website visitors know exactly where to click for what they want.

Bonus: What Is A Wireframe?

Why is padding important?

So why is padding so important? Let’s take a look at this next example.

Padding example #2

While the two circled elements aren’t exactly the kind of elements we showcased in example number one, they are cramped text boxes that need more padding in order to make them easier for visitors to read.

It’s great that they are clearly hyperlinks, with the traditional underlining to signify it. But! (And this is a big but.)

You can’t easily read the addresses!

Imagine if those address elements were treated like the “The Process” and “The Price” buttons on our homepage.

How much easier would it be for the eye to take in the information website visitors need to navigate to French Creek Reservation?

Bonus: Web development vs Web design – What’s the difference?

Final word.

To recap: Padding is the internal space in web elements between your content and the border of the element. That’s it. It’s that simple.

As simple as it is, it is also one of the most important things to think about when designing elements. Without it, your visitors are likely to get confused or frustrated. Your page will look disorganized and unprofessional.

You will lose business.

So take some time today to review the elements on your website. Do they have adequate padding?

Thrive Design is a customer-centric web design agency from SeattleContact us today to find out how we can elevate your business online! Find us on Clutch, UpCityLinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

Category: Web design seattle

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Noah Britton

Hi, I'm Noah Britton, the founder of Thrive. I have 19 years experience running my own website agency, 11 of those years with WordPress. This post may contain affiliate links that give me a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase a recommended product.