How to make a good homepage
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What's the best time to make your home page?
• • • Most newcomers to web design tend to start with the homepage,
but with experience we all gradually learn that the right time is:
- After you've understood what your visitors are looking for.
- After having done some research and chosen your keywords and phrases based on the everyday language of your readers.
- After creating the other pages of your site.
- After you have organized your pages and content, linked them together and tested them.
Having done the above your homepage will be easier to create, it will have a better use of the relevant language, and will be a proper summary of and introduction to the rest of your site.
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The purpose of a homepage
- To let visitors know where they are. Your site name can do this.
- To clearly present the choices you offer. So that visitors can find the information most relevant to them as quickly as possible. Your menu tabs and links can do this.
- To show how your site is organized, which helps your reader feel comfortable.
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Common elements and good practices for a homepage include:
- A logo or header that illustrates the subject or your brand
- A one sentence punch line that explains exactly what your site is about.
- Clearly named and well grouped menu tabs.
- Your most important content - products, information or services - with images, short descriptions and links to the pages with more detailed information.
- A footer with some important links or information, or a simple mention of where the visitor is.
- Explain what makes your site unique on your homepage. If you have a unique product, service or point of view, mention it here. If you merely repeat what is elsewhere on the web there will be no reason for your visitors to stay long.
- Name your tabs so that your readers know what they will find on the pages linked to.
- Use meaningful* images and graphics, with moderation, to make your site visually appealing, but more importantly easier to understand. Remember that visitors to websites, especially when they come for the first time, scan, rather than read.
- Feature your best and most recent content on your homepage.