Create a Pro Looking Hero Image Header

Hanne   212

Updated on April 30, 2021

I'm sure you've seen them around... Those professional looking header sections with a big "hero" image and a title text on top.

All the pros are using this layout on their website. 

But somehow, when you try this on your own homepage, it never looks quite as professional.

Let me show you step by step how to create these gorgeous looking header sections and how to make them look good on desktop AND on mobile. 


The Hero Image Header Section

If you're having a personal brand, you are the most important element of your business. 

Having a hero image header section on your homepage will allow to establish that personal connection you're looking for.

Here are a few examples:

Pat Flynn

Marie Forleo

Ramit Sethi

Amy Porterfield

Chris Ducker

The Keys to Making this Work

1. A Professional Picture

I'm probably stating the obvious here, but if you want the first impression to be a good one, you'll need a high quality image.

Your holiday picture or a selfie will instantly discredit your brand.

2. Photo "Manipulation" For Readability (7:30 min)

Your image needs to be suitable for a text overlay. This might be a white background or you might need to add an overlay on (part) of the picture to allow the text to stand out.

The big advantage of Thrive Architect is that you can accomplish this overlay from within the plugin! No need for photo editing software.

3. Right or Left aligned Text Elements (4:55 min)

There are many different options to align a text on one or the other side of your image but each option has different outcomes on mobile.

Understanding what really happens will avoid some serious hair-pulling later on especially with mobile responsiveness.

4. What Happens on Mobile? (12:18 min)

One of the most difficult parts to get right is the mobile look of this type of headers. 

There are different solutions:

1. Replace the image with a plain background

This approach has two big advantages. First of all, you don't have to worry about readability and on top of that your site will load faster which is always an advantage when thinking about the mobile experience.

In the tutorial we take it one step further and we actually use a solid colored background but without loosing the "personal branding touch".

2. Adapt the overlay for readability

Instead of replacing the image, you could adapt the overlay so that the text is readable no matter where the text is on the image. This allows you to keep the "personal branding" aspect without having to worry about different mobile screen sizes.

3. Tweak the Layout

This is the most difficult option and I don't really recommend trying this... You will never be able to check on all different devices and might run into readability problems at some point.

Now It's Your Turn

How do you like this layout? Are you going to use it on your site? Any other layouts you would like us to build? Make sure to check out our guide on how to create a personal branding website with Thrive Suite, too.

by Hanne  February 11, 2020


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Leave a Comment

  • Great explainer video Hanne. Getting the design right across multiple screen sizes has always been a pain but this is a game changer – especially the editing view for each screen.

  • Brilliant Hanne. I use the ‘Inspect’ option all the time and I never noticed the option to view as Mobile! Totally unexpected bit of learning there. But now I’m off to create my new online celebrity status πŸ™‚

  • Hanne your are my Hero in content creation style, your details selection, colours and images show up a lot. Very smart solution for tablet and mobile view and gradient use. Thanks.

  • Hi Hanne,

    I am really annoyed with you :/

    Yesterday I made up my mind that I am not going to purchase Thrive Architect for my new blog. And now, after watching this video, I have to change my decision.

    I must say I am really impressed with Thrive Architect. Also, you explained everything in the best possible way.

    Btw can you tell me the name of the software you used to make this video?

    Anyways, keep up the good work and have a great weekend.


  • Once again, tremendous tutorial. You do a great job of showing useful strategies for making professional layouts. Keep ’em coming! πŸ™‚

  • Brilliant. I’m floored by the amount of work that went into Thrive Architect. Thanks for doing a great job explaining HOW to achieve these design effects.

  • I love it , how you explain eveything. I learn so much with this kind of post . EVERY WEEK I expect your post salivating like Paulov’s dog waiting for his flesh.

  • OMG this was such a fantastic tutorial, Hanne! It’s probably my favorite one so far (don’t tell Shane lol). Great job – thank you so much!
    Thrive products rock!

  • Excellent! Thanks Hanne. One thing I missed was how you get the different sizes to show up using ‘inspect element’. Can you explain how to find that function?

  • Fantastic tutorial. I love how Thrive Architect has so much control over the various elements regardless of the screen size. The content box alignment recommendation was also super helpful. Keep these coming, Hanne!

    • Hi Chick, agreed. Understanding the implications of different alignement options will help you build good layouts for sure.

  • Thank you for these “how to” videos. It would have taken me a very long time to figure this out on my own. These videos allow me to build pages like a pro using Thrive products. Extremely valuable information. You guys rock.

  • Absolutely wonderful. One thing I’ve learnt is that left and right paddings/margins is generally better left untouched, but top and bottom paddings/margins are generally more mobile-friendly. I love the trick with the additional gradient markers, definitely more elegant than the multi-column approach which leads to all kinds of hair-pulling dilemma!

    • Hi Thomas,

      Yes you got that right for the margins and paddings πŸ™‚
      And definitely columns for this would be a no-no and a big mess on smaller screens!

  • holy crap – amazing – i had this hero idea cobbled together and i was so happy with it (compared to what i had before – and for DIY) but now can’t WAIT to edit and refine – thank you!!

    Is there a basic architect tutorial – couple of times you went very fast like β€œnow we can preview and go back to inspect..) made me feel like i missed on along the way:)

    Thanks again!

  • Hi Hanne, love your presenting style – so clear and easy to follow. Brilliant tutorial and covering a really important feature. Architect is showing how far ahead it is getting!

  • Is there a way to import a new font into Thrive Architect? One that isn’t in Google Fonts but I have the file for on my computer? Thanks for your awesome tutorials.

  • Hi, Hanne!
    Thanks for this instuctive tutorial! Would you mind if I ask to make someone similar for videobackground because I tried few times but seem i make something wrong and video not appear?
    Thank you!

  • Fantastic tutorial as always. IΒ΄ve been looking for this kind of explanation for long and now I think I have the best I could have found.

    IΒ΄m not as skillful as you are with web design and the Thrive Theme tools, but IΒ΄ll definitively try my best to accomplish exactly what I need.

    Thank you so much Hanne.


  • Absolutely thrilled to see this tutorial. Thrive Architect must be the best bit of kit to be seen in the web-building arena for many years!
    I’m sure that you will keep up the good work to keep us inspired!

  • Great value hanne ! One question :
    How could you do that from Pressive ? (Because Homepage is not a scratch landing page and we have to create that from Title Section Content.)
    Thanx Hanne

  • I’m having a ton of issues and I think it has to do with me being computer illiterate, but here goes: why is it that when I align the text to the right on desktop and then attempt to align it center on mobile, it also aligns center for desktop view? I thought they were independent.

  • I hadn’t thought of doing this (ah, I’m such a newbie! But what a great, professional idea! It will instantly add creditably to my website and make it look like I know what I’m doing. Thank you so much for the wonderful tips. I’m forever in your debt. WOW, just WOW, what a difference this will make

  • Thankyou so much! This is the layout and design I’ve been working on for two months! The architect improved my chances of it working correctlyβ€”now I know what NOT to attempt.

  • Excellent tutorial… And perfect timing. I was just doing this very thing on my own site and couldn’t fine tune it how I wanted. Your video explains it perfectly. Thank you!

  • I am not able to place a heading or text/paragraph over the image. It will only let me place it above or below. Can you help?

    • Not sure how I can explain it better than in the video Teena πŸ™

      Make sure to use a background section and to add the image as a background image (so NOT using an image element).

      If you followed the exact steps I go through in the video and it’s still not working, please open a support ticket so that our people can have a look.

    • A professional photo shoot goes a long way πŸ™‚
      If you’re looking for a similar layout with a stock image (like in the video) I suggest having a look at Pixabay . On that site you’ll find free stock images for all uses.

  • Hey Hanne! I’d love to be able to use typekit/ fonts easily in TA – right now, I’m not using Architect much as I use them heavily in my sites.

    I’ve seen comments about it elsewhere, but I was wondering, is it on the roadmap? πŸ™‚

    • Hi Dean,
      It is something we’re talking about but it is not the highest priority as for right now (so I can not give you an ETA)

  • Awesome tutorial, Hanne. Thank you.

    The overall package of Thrive (fast loading times, ease of use, responsiveness and all these amazing tuts) made me switch all my websites from Divi to Thrive.

    You really rock! \m/

  • Hello Hanne, very nice instructions about how to make a stunning header. Thanks for that. At the moment I use for my blog about books the Minus theme. Is it possible to use the method you explain in the video to make a nice header in Minus.

    • Hi Joop,
      Headers are part of the theme. Unfortunately you can not use Thrive Architect to edit your header section.
      You can however for certain pages, such as your homepage, create a custom header with Thrive Architect when you start from a landing page. This header will only be used on the homepage in that case.

  • Hanne! This is among the best videos I’ve seen you guys make. Sorry Shane πŸ˜‰ Please keep them coming…they are incredibly helpful and make the software so much more useful.

  • This is wonderful Hanne, thank you! Question: since this is a Landing Page you recommend, the navigation menu disappears at the top?

    • Hi Roxanne,

      Yes it does. But if you have a theme that allows you a blank page template (like all Thrive Themes themes do) you can actually start from there and keep you menu on top πŸ™‚

  • Outstanding! I now see why you invented Thrive Architect from Thrive Content Builder. Takeaway: While designing pages, TA automatically writes the responsive CSS code for you, instead of having to write it yourself.

    After this video, I am now seriously considering using Thrive Themes as our parent website layout. We currently use Advada. But knowing all Thrive Theme Products, it now appears you have a better method of saving time in design costs. A key component we consider.

  • As always before, Hanna, you have given really useful information with this Hero Header. I would never have thought to try something like this until seeing how easy it is in Thrive Architect. Now I just need to get a professional photograph.

  • Great stuff…. when i try to build a page, the max width and alignment functions do not show up in the “Layout and Position” section

    • Hi barry,
      If you’re looking for the max width for a background section then it is in the first menu (the background section menu)

  • Great tutorial. A question: Is it best to start with a theme or not? I have Pressive but am finding it very hard to adapt it to what I want. Architect is great.

    • Hi Lyn,
      WordPress themes (such as Pressive) and Thrive Architect serve a different purpose.
      Your theme will decide about the layout of your blog overview pages, blog layout, header, footer, etc.
      Thrive Architect is made to edit your content within those pages.
      Even though you can use Thrive Architect to build landing pages (and thus overwrite the theme settings), this is not ideal if you’re having a big site.
      If you’re having a rather small site with only a few pages, you could make them all landing pages and strickly use Thrive Architect, but if you have a blog you’ll need a theme to make it all work.

  • Great video.
    I applied it. But when I want to take the last few steps for the mobile view and tablet view nothing happens. Removing the image and gradeniet removes nothing. Also, I can not customize the context box. What now.

  • Hanne,

    Just when I was starting to think about needing my own hero page, you came along and put together this awesome video.

    You guys continually amaze me with your work and you’re one of the few companies that I’ve bought products from and still read every email you send.

    Two things I hope you can help with, the first you can probably answer in a quick reply, the second maybe put in the back of your mind.

    1. Can you provide a quick table for background image sizes per screen size? I’m going to be taking professional photos and while I don’t think I need the 5k x 5k pixel photos (because they will be overkill) I’d like to know the preferred dimensions for desktop/tablet/mobile to still provide a photo that is sharp for that screen size.

    2. I so appreciate all your answers to the comments. It just endears me more to you guys personally, most companies don’t take the time. I end up reading through all the comments to glean more nuggets and am usually not let down. For example, in these comments you referred to the 8 Tips for mobile. It so happens that this particular post is under the category “Increase your conversions”, which no one would have ever guessed is “mobile” (although it’s certainly related). I’d like to recommend you guys to create several other categories, like “Good Website Design,” and “Everything Mobile”, etc, and differentiate your posts along those lines as well. One other thought in this vein, how about a “entire website from scratch” series where you start with TA and a theme (say pressive or storied) and show how to setup the home page, landing pages, blog, etc. This way a complete noob would have a full walkthrough soup-to-nuts on setting up a site. I’m sure you guys already have so much content you have the series already done, just putting it concisely in one place would be helpful to your audience. (imagine an email “just starting? go here…” to all your buyers)

    At any rate, I so appreciate everything you guys do.

    Your friend,


    • Hello Richard,

      Thank you for your message!

      1) My general recommendation is to keep images at 1920×1080 if they are meant to cover an entire background area as in this case. Of course, there are screens with greater resolutions than this, but file size increases dramatically with increased dimensions and I think it’s just not worth loading a huge image for the few visitors who will be seeing your site on a 4K screen. We are working on a techincal solution for image scaling, by the way. The goal is that you can load large images and your site automatically scales them to each appropriate screen size.

      Until we have this, I recommend 1920×1080 or smaller. And you can use the same image for each device size. It’s ultimately better for performance if you load just one image and let the browser scale it down on smaller devices.

      2) You’re absolutely right about our categories. The current category structure was set 2 years and hundreds of posts ago and it’s in need of an update. We’ll be revamping it soon. πŸ™‚

      • Shane my friend, so sorry it’s taken me so long to respond to your reply.

        1 – I can’t wait. You guys are great, I love everything you do and I know you’ll ace this one. (can I replace things like wp smush? what about css/html minify/compress – that would be another great tool to bundle so a second plugin isn’t needed and doesn’t end up messing up the page – I know css/html is a different thing from the image tool)

        2 – thank you sir!

        as always, I’m a great fan (and user) of your work. Can’t wait to see what you do next!


  • You folks are really geniuses. Thrive Architect really hits it out of the ballpark. The more I learn the more I am amazed. The desktop / tablet / mobile view feature is really inspired. Thanks so much!

  • Hanne, not sure how best to reach you with a big advice ask!
    Can you suggest new Templates for Affiliate Marketing with the New Thrive Architect in mind!

    I am not sure how to locate these, where I could find best templates, landing pages etc.
    I have RISE and am a full Membership

    • Hi Cebuan,

      If you’re a full member, have a look at the “members only goodies” you can find them in the membership area (there is a link in the sidebar).
      In there you’ll find content templates we made especially with affiliate marketers in mind.
      You can also check out the “review” set of landing pages which you can find in the templates cloud.