Create an Effective Home Page


Because Web site visitors see the home page first,
it’s vital that you pay attention to content and appearance.

Summarize the contents of the Web site so visitors know what to expect as they tour through it.

Include a site map and add hyperlinks to your major content catagories.

Highlight key content sections and provide links to them.

Show the most important content at the top of the home page because visitors might not scroll down to the rest of the page.

Make sure the home page is easily accessible. Don’t overload it with content.

Think like a visitor: Design the site so it’s easy to navigate and content is easy to find.

APPEARANCE

Use your company logo, but keep it small and in a consistent location. If you don’t have a logo, consider hiring a designer to create one.

Design your pages to attract the eye to the entire page, not just a single part of it.

TECHNOLOGY

Prepare the site for search engines. In addition to submitting your site to the most popular ones (like Yahoo and AltaVista), add the special HTML codes that tell search engines how to deal with your Web site.

Make sure the entire site is able to load quickly even over a slow Internet connection. In general, pages should take less than 15 seconds to download over a 28.8 Kbps modem.

Source: Adapted from N ew Webmaster’s Guide to FrontPage 2002: The Eight Steps for Designing, Building, and Managing FrontPage 2000 Web Sites, by Jason Gerend and Stephen L. Nelson. Published by Redmond Technology Press, Redmond, Washington, www.redtechpress.com .

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