Should websites have intro splash pages?

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Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Back in the 1990s, it was popular for website to have an introductory page, or splash page, commonly featuring animation (and sometimes even sound). Heading into the 2000s, these became increasingly rare, as companies started to rebel. In 2003, a survey suggested that 80% of website visitors find splash pages annoying (opens in new window).

Companies now know that as a marketing tool, a website should help the visitor get to their goal as quickly as possible, whether it's finding information or completing a transaction. Having a splash page will only get in the way of users trying to achieve their goals.

At Webdragon, we strongly recommend that our clients avoid splash pages, for all of the above reasons. Splash pages also interfere with search engine optimisation (SEO), forcing search engines to go past the first page of a site to find any meaningful information.

The home page of a website should include an overview of the key tasks and information that is available to visitors, with obvious links for how they can access their goals. Anything that gets in the way of this is wasting not only the time of visitors, but also the time and money of clients.