Website Killers Part 2: Splash Pages

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This post has stuff about religion. My perspective has changed

Splash pages…you know, those intro pages on websites that usually have some type of animation and an “ ENTER WEBSITE ” button at the bottom. Every band website in the world has one. Some even have four. You’d think with so many websites doing it that it would be nice to have one on your site too. Think again.

The intention of splash pages has generally been to set the mood for your website, inform users of the type of software that will be required, or even for blatant advertisement. But these good intentions just don’t hold up when you’re trying to make a website that is a pleasure to visit.

Imagine bringing up Google in your browser but before you could get to the search box you had to watch a 30 second Flash animation about how cool it would be to search using Google.

First off, it’s not what you expect. You came looking for a specific resource—contact information or a product you want to buy, for example—but you don’t find that resource, instead you are greeted with a “hey look at the resource you want to find, you can find it when you’re done looking at it.” It’s a very confusing message.

Secondly, it’s annoying. Every time I go to the Solid State Records website I have to jump through a bunch of hoops before I get to the actual resource I was looking for—tour dates, downloads, band website addresses.

Last reason is that it’s no good for search engines. You’ve got to have real content on a page for Yahoo to check you out. If all you have is a Flash animation there really isn’t much to go on.

As always, you need to question why you want something on your website. Are you doing it just because it looks cool or because it will actually add value? You should only add something if it adds value.

Merry Christmas!