[map]A Site Structure Pattern from
Patterns for Personal Web Sites

Useful Home Page

A site's home page gets the lion's share of that site's traffic. This isn't because people like home pages; rather, they've learned that when they need to find particular information, the home page is usually the best place to start their search. Home pages that offer little information about site contents frustrate visitors.

A home page is more important not as a place visitors come to, but as a place they leave from. It's the job of the home page to help visitors decide where they want to go.

Therefore, make your home page useful.

Here are some ways to do this:

  • Provide a site overview (Site Map), with links to different sections of the site (Index Pages)
  • List recent changes to the site (perhaps as an abbreviated History Page)
  • Offer a search function
  • Link to your site's most commonly visited pages

If you want to give new visitors to your site a good first impression, create a separate Cover Page.

Keep the size of your home page small; use only Necessary Images. The slower the page loads, the less useful it is.

Last updated 8 July 2003
All contents ©2002-2003 Mark L. Irons