Besides actual content, the home page is the most important aspect of any website. In order to attract traffic to your site, you need to guarantee that your home page is enticing enough so that users will want to explore the rest of your site. Creating the perfect home page is no easy task, but with the right tricks it will have a lasting impact on your site’s overall success.

Similarly to how you would judge a person, most people will decide whether or not they like a home page within the first few seconds of seeing it. The question is how can you form a positive first impression with your users? The most crucial step is making sure your page can load in a relatively quick amount of time. That means covering your home page with multiple high resolution images, automatic videos, gifs, or even large bodies of text can disrupt one’s ability to get to the home page quickly. How many times have you closed out of a page because it was taking too long to load? The same policy applies to your home page. If any of these items are not essential to introduce users to you and your company, remove them from your home page in order to make sure that it will load for everyone, regardless of internet speed.

When it comes to the home page, most people come to the conclusion that they need to fit in as much information as possible in order to inform users why they should explore the rest of the site. Information is good, but too much can be a bit overwhelming. Having too many links in your navigation bar is a common problem. Remember that the navigation bar is essentially a digital map that shows users how to get to certain pages. Cover the map in too many landmarks, and suddenly the map becomes difficult to read efficiently. Limit the number of links in your navigation bar to ensure that exploring your website isn’t an overwhelming task.

Of course no one is going to take your page seriously if you don’t treat it professionally. Remember the idea that people can judge another person or site within a few seconds? That idea should be the first one that comes to mind when you’re designing the layout of the page. Is the color scheme bright and jarring, or cool and relaxed? Do you have any professional certifications listed on the home page? Do you have a clear and concise description of your company and what it does?  How big is the header, and does it make users trust the legitimacy of your site? Assuming you’re building a business site, these questions are important if you want to hook users into your site.

Content content content. In an earlier blog article we discussed how important it is to maintain a strong online presence by producing content on a regular basis. Your home page should not be your main source of content, but it should essentially make a proposition to whoever visits it about why they should continue reading or stay on your site. In a brief paragraph or two, your job is to sell your website. Explain the ins and outs of your website, but if you explain too much you might drive users away due to information overload. Finding a happy medium can be challenging, but by constantly editing the limited content on your home page you should be able to make the sale that much easier.

Creating the perfect home page is critical when designing a website. The home page is the first page that people see when visiting your site, so its effectiveness to communicate your message as well as demonstrate your ability to entice others must be perfect.  It’s the primary page that search engines locate first. These are a few tips that you should keep in mind when creating any home page, regardless of what content is actually on your site. If you have any other tips or tricks that you can think of, feel free to leave them in the comments below!