View Full Version : Homepage Usability Issues.

01-12-2007, 11:40 PM
I've been having some inner-struggle lately with how to compose a homepage for a new website of mine. Normally, I'd have a a couple of paragraphs introducing what the site is about, about the site history/background itself, and then have some quick links to some articles below.

However, I've recently been discussing this with a business mentor (almost strictly a browser online, not developer) and he had a suggestion: Don't lead into the site whatsoever. Meaning, don't sell the site on the homepage by listing a bunch of facts about who made the site, what it's about, etc -- just start offering facts and information related to what the site is about.

He was saying that if your site was about training puppies, then start on the very first line on the homepage breaking down the top 3 training tips, and then lead into other articles underneath. He said the about page should be the about page, and the site should sell itself.

For example, my sites homepages have been:


A intro blurb, some complimenting content.

What my mentor said, and what I believe I should have:


This format is great. No fluff, no crap. Straight to the articles, with even more information underneath leading to the forum.

Anyway -- just information for people to consider.

01-13-2007, 07:05 AM
Heh... and you pick my sites as examples?

For me, the content shapes the homepage. For the golf reviews site, there are no like reviews yet. So I really do not have any content to share. Eventually, I do hope to share like either a random review or a top review on the homepage. Additionally it is hard to pick content for the homepage as it is geographically based. I do not know what region my visitors hale from when they visit the homepage so showing a random review from California when they live in Idaho isn't going to be useful at all. So mostly I consider it a unique situation.

For other sites, where you have large amounts of content, you want to definitely link to all that content on the homepage. I do this on my literature site with a 260 link author menu on the homepage. You know what people are coming to look for, give it to them as quickly as possible.

On other article driven sites where new articles are added on a regular basis (this site, my garden site). The new articles get top billing. This is for two reasons. 1, the articles are new and do not have accumulated backlinks yet, not as much as older articles anyways, and so need the extra boost. 2, it helps your repeat visitors find the newest content. #2 is also why you list the most recent forum posts on the homepage.

You can also look at blogs, which put the most recent post at the top of the homepage.

Additionally, many ecommerce sites will put featured products or new products on the homepage to drive sales.

01-13-2007, 09:38 AM
Normally I target the toughest keyword on the homepage. So for this reason I usually have a couple of paragraphs as a small intro that targets the keyword using all the usual SEO. Otherwise, with everything else going on on the page, it's easy for the keyword to hardly feature.

The other thing is that users arriving on the homepage may not be looking for specific information, but perhaps just a site that generally covers the topic. For example, if I do a search for "classic cars" then the search is general enough that I will probably land on a homepage and it would be nice if the site told me a little bit of what it's about. However if I do a more long tail search for say, "1962 Jaguar e-type" then I'll probably land on a sub page and expect to see specific information about that car, so having the intro on the homepage isn't a problem anyway.