I've learned a great deal as a web designer/developer at KPS Web Solutions and top of my list has to be how important it is to have a quick loading, well designed and laid out landing/home page.
You must remember that your homepage is the first impression a new visitor gets when they come across your web for the first time. It's also usually the page that is most visited and so receives the most traffic on your web site.
Your homepage serves three key purposes, all with equal importance:
1. To attract and captivate visitors
2. To educate visitors on your brand
3. To encourage visitors to view other pages on your website
Below are five of my personal tips on how to achieve these goals:
1. Avoid design by committee
This actually applies to all your pages and is extremely important in the design world in general. Design is subjective and therefore the more opinions involved in the decision making process, the more likely your design will end up a bland compromise that pleases no-one. To combat this my advice would be to assign one (or two) trusted team members who have a clear vision of the website's overall goals. Said team member(s) should be given free reign to liaise with the designer and sign-off on various design and build stages.
2. Establish your identity
Making a statement about who you are as a company is among the most important things you can accomplish with your homepage design. Too many times, a homepage is designed with too many goals in mind. Good homepages immediately introduce what the company does and why it matters. The layout clearly provides paths to additional pages and “call to action” buttons which can lead to conversions.
3. Keep it above the fold
When a web designer uses the phrase “above the fold” they're referring to the part of the homepage that is immediately visible in a browser before any scrolling has taken place. Huge logos and oversized navigations are two of the main culprits for pushing useful content down the page. As tempting as it may be to display your newly designed logo in all it’s full size glory, remember this will have a direct impact on the amount of important content your website can display above the fold. This is true not just on the homepage but every other page too!
4. Fonts and colours
Studies have shown that generally speaking sans-serif fonts and dark text on light backgrounds are the easiest to read. At KPS Web Solutions we encourage our clients to display the real meat of their content with these two principles in mind.
5. High quality and high resolution imagery
In order to convey a professional and trustworthy brand image, it is extremely important to use high quality images. Simply put, a quick snap on your mobile doesn't really cut it when it comes to web design in 2016. Choose your homepage image carefully, pick an image that embodies your brand's vision or encapsulates your spirit. Inspire your visitors to want to learn more and use your imagery to sell the dream.
In conclusion, by following these principals your homepage will really stand out from the crowd. But don't take my word for it, check out some of the latest website's we've designed for our happy clients on our Portfolio page.