[your business's name or your site's name]
[List of things the visitor can do on this site, with a brief description of each, no more than 200 words total.]
Hot Page: [title of page on your site you want to feature]
[description of the featured page of your site--good ideas are a featured product or service, feature customer, or featured informational article or whitepaper]
[link to the featured page of your site]
- If there’s a page on your site to which you want to attract more visitors, put a link to it prominently on the homepage along with a descriptive blurb. You can use this to announce new pages added to your website.
- You may want to create a separate "featured" section of the homepage for featuring especially popular informational articles or whitepapers. This will make your homepage seem more useful to visitors.
- Variations of the “featured” page include a “featured client;” a review, in which you recommend products or services relating to you or your site; or an “advice” or “tips” box.
- If you plan on putting a feature on the homepage often, there should be a special section in your homepage’s layout just for featured pages.
- Remember to remove features from the homepage after a few months so they don’t get too stale.
Meet [your business's name]'s Customers
[one-to-three-sentence description of your customer and the case study or customer story]
[link to the case study or customer story]
[link to more customer stories ] Read more customer stories
- It's always a good idea to feature a satisfied customer on your homepage. If you put nothing else on the homepage but a featured customer and a blurb describing what visitors can get from your site, your homepage would be better than a large majority of homepages on the web today.
- If you have a picture of your featured customer, great. If not, try putting in a picture of something related to what you do for them, such as a picture of the product they bought. If they're a business, use their logo.
[Title/Headline Describing Your Story in as Few Words as Possible]
[Date article was posted to site]
[blurb of about one or two sentences (three, absolute maximum) that summarizes the main points of interest for the linked page that has the news]
[link to the page with the publicity article, news story, or press release]
[Top Story 2 headline]
[date article was posted to the site]
[Blurb blurb blurb blurb]
[link to page with full story]
- The heading "News" is optional. If you won’t be updating this section at least once a month, you should probably not use any heading, and just use the story titles as headings instead.
- Including a date is optional—don’t include a date if the news section of the homepage won’t be updated at least once a month. You can include the date of the article somewhere inconspicuous on the page to which you are linking.
- The blurb should make the news sound interesting and maybe even exciting. But it should not risk losing you credibility by being overenthusiastic.
- Variations on the "news" section are "announcements," "updates," or "new developments." Don't confuse this section with a different kind of "news" section that many websites use on their homepages: a list of topical informational articles on a variety of issues related to the main industry. Some websites simply use a newsfeed from a website related to their industry. Here, "news" means announcements of your business's or website's new developments.
Goals of a homepage
Your homepage has to cater to two basic groups of people: those who've been to your site before, and those who haven't. Your homepage should provide first-time visitors with a three-sentences-or-less introduction to who you are and, more importantly, what they can get from you and do on your site. Your homepage should also be a point of reference for returning visitors who wish to navigate the site. Announce news here with blurbs and links to your publicity articles. Announce new pages added to the website. Be sure to clearly separate the content that stays the same, and the regularly updated content such as news and announcements. For instance, put the two in separate columns, give news and announcements their own box, or just put the unchanging content above the updated content.
- Keep it brief. It's OK for your homepage to include up to thirty links to different pages on your site, with blurbs describing each. But don't put entire articles or substantial excerpts on the homepage. Visitors can click on a link if they're interested. If they aren’t interested in a particular article, you haven’t driven them to press the “back” button with a lot of stuff they don’t want to read.
- Your heading should succinctly describe you and the one, two or three most important things a visitor can do on your site. Don’t put up a heading on your page that says “welcome to our site.” This was common in the 1990s, but it is now recognized as unnecessary. People already know what site they’re on because your logo is in the upper left corner (you have put your logo in the upper left-hand corner, haven’t you?).
- Don’t put links to other sites on the homepage, unless you’re getting paid to do so, have a partnership relationship with the owner of the other site, or are required to do so as part of a link exchange or content licensing agreement. It just doesn’t make sense to get people to your website only to send them away as soon as they get there. Links are a valuable part of your site, but they should be on the inside pages. If you want to mention an article on another website in the “news” section, link to a page on your site that describes the article and your reaction to it, and has a link to the article itself at the end of the text—people who are only passively interested in the article will get the idea without having been lost to your site. People who are interested in the article and click on the link to it will arrive at the other website with a better understanding of its importance and context, and having gotten a precious extra minute of exposure to your brand.
- Don’t just talk about yourself. Talk about what the visitor can do on your site, and what he or she will get from it. Don’t say “we sell widgets,” say, “Buy widgets, learn more about widgets, and meet other widget enthusiasts.” You can talk about yourself on your "about us" page--you do have an "about us" page, right?
- Don’t use a “splash screen” as your homepage. A splash screen is when, before showing you the homepage, a website makes you watch a giant logo or other Flash animation slowly move across the screen. Don’t you love watching those logos slowly revolve? Isn’t it worth the wait for the download to finish to see a really big logo in all its multi-perspective glory every time you visit the site? What! You don’t like splash pages? Well, no one else does, either. Don’t put them on your site.
Homepage Template Source HTML
Place this code in the section reserved for the main body of your homepage, and fill in the blanks. It includes no formatting tags, such as tags to produce columns or define text styles. You should probably create columns in your page to place different sections such as the featured page and the featured customer story.
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