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Welcome Home! How to Design a Successful Homepage

article by: Lindsey Fair

In the fall I held a 'Coffee and Tea on Me' session called 'Welcome Home! What Should be on Your Home Page to Make People Return'. During that session we discussed 10 tips for a successful homepage. The attendees found these tips very easy to understand, and fairly easy to implement as well. The tips were:

  1. Keep it changing (daily if possible)
  2. It should load fast enough for your target market, but don't worry about the rest of the population
  3. Make sure it's search engine friendly
  4. If your visitors need a plug-in such as Flash to view your homepage, make sure that there is a detect and option for visitors that don't have that ability
  5. Keep it Simple
  6. Ensure that the page speaks and directs to the overall sites purpose
  7. Collect visitor information
  8. Even if your home page is very creatively designed keep the navigation simple and standard
  9. Test it against usability factors such as different browsers, different platforms, etc.
  10. Make sure to check it yourself often.

These 10 tips will give your site a great start at making a successful homepage, but how do you make your site stand out among the thousands out there? An article I read on (How Consumers and Experts Rate Credibility on the Web), shows that 46.1% of people look at the overall look first to decided whether or not the site is worthwhile, valuable and credible. So not only should your homepage follow the tips above it should be inviting, unique and eye catching.

Lindsey Fair is a project manager and partner with Inter Kingston Web Design, Founder of Market Me, Co-Founder of the Kingston Young Entrepreneurs Group, and Immediate Past President of the Kingston Junior Chamber.