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   ► KBWebsite DesignMS Frontpage   Print This     
  From the June 2013 Issue of Prestwood eMag
Design MS Frontpage:
Building a Great Home Page
Posted 14 years ago on 3/4/2006
Take Away: Rules and guidelines for building a better home page.


Building a Great Home Page

By Mike Prestwood

We all know a good home page when we see one. It is much more difficult to create one. This article describes how to create a good home page.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. First step is to rank the products and services of the web site into primary, secondary, and menu options. The primary options are featured on the home page, while the secondary options might be options at the bottom or side of the home page. The menu options or menu bar would be primary areas of the web site. Entry points that you want featured on every page.
  2. A well designed home page first validates the visitor is at the correct home page. Don't try to be all things to all visitors. Instead feature your primary options on your home page while still surfacing secondary options tastefully. This can be accomplished with a title or subtitle followed by a short description that clearly indicates to the visitor that this is the correct web site.

Company Information

Should you or should you not present company biography type information on your home page? To answer this question, you must ask yourself why visitors will come to your web site. Chances are very few visitors come to learn about your web site. Sure you're very proud of your company's details: when it was established, who was the founder and why the company was founded. However, I doubt many of your visitor care. It's okay to present this type of information, but just not on the home page. Visitors come to your web site because they want something. They either wish to purchase your product or service or they're there to gather information (but rarely about your company). Very few web sites should have company information on their web site. Virtually no web sites should have company info on their home page. On your home page I recommend that you get down to business. Validate the user is at the correct web site by clearly stating your product or service.

Size of Home Page

Should your home page fit within one screen or scroll? And if you choose to scroll how far? If your web site represents one product or service, it's a great idea to limit your home page to a single screen. A single screen being defined as a browser being viewed on an 800 x 600 pixel monitor. That way the visitor has all the options right in front of them.

If your company offers more than one product or service and it's impossible to present your data on one screen, organize your data so the visitor must scroll as little as possible.

What about the rest of the web site?

Obviously the rest of the web site should have the same look and feel as the home page. However, the design is most important on your home page. The rest of the pages of your web site will be either a page of options, content, or a form. If possible, limit your option pages to a single screen. Content and form pages are designed based on their content and it's perfectly acceptable to vary from the format of the home page.


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KB Post Contributed By Mike Prestwood:

Mike Prestwood is a drummer, an author, and creator of the PrestwoodBoards online community. He is the President & CEO of Prestwood IT Solutions. Prestwood IT provides Coding, Website, and Computer Tech services. Mike has authored 6 computer books and over 1,200 articles. As a drummer, he maintains and has authored 3 drum books. If you have a project you wish to discuss with Mike, you can send him a private message through his PrestwoodBoards home page or call him 9AM to 4PM PST at 916-726-5675 x205.

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