Splash Pages

There are many websites out there that have a splash page when you arrive on the site. For those who don’t know what a splash page is, a splash page is a landing / intro page – the first page on a website that visitors see.

What’s on a Splash Page?

A splash page usually has very little information on it. In many cases, splash pages have a flash movie or something animated. Other items that may be displayed on the page are the company logo, options to accessing the site e.g. some times offer a flash and an HTML option, information required to access the site e.g. browser requirements, technical requirements, language options, contact information, etc.

Splash pages have become very popular and they can be a great way for a website company to show off their skills with something fancy, with a flash movie or 3D animation.

Pros of a Splash Page

  • It provides the user with the option of viewing the site in different formats. HTML can be faster than flash sites. Some people’s browsers don’t support flash or some people just don’t like flash as many flash sites can be associated with slowing load time, so giving the visitor the option can be really useful.
  • As mentioned above, splash pages can be a show off of one’s work. It’s guaranteed to be seen, so if you want the visitor to see something fancy when they arrive on the site, splash page is the way to go.
  • If your site contains sensitive content, a disclaimer or warning cannot be missed if clearly displayed on the splash page. This can also protect and warn visitors.
  • A splash page is a great place on the site where you can give a message that can’t be missed. Maybe you’re running a special, have something important to announce or just have some news worth mentioning, then a splash page is the perfect place to do it.
  • If your website is quite complicated, then a splash page may be a good place to give a user-friendly run down on how to use and navigate the site.
  • A splash page can be useful

Cons of a Splash Page

  • A large number of people find splash pages annoying. If a visitor gets annoyed, you can lose the visitor, so think carefully when choosing to implement a splash page.
  • Because of the lack of text and information generally on a splash page, your websites home page can miss out on being optimised for search engines.
  • By implementing a splash page, you are creating one extra step for your visitor for them to access the site – this can be annoying and off putting for visitors and potential clients.

When should you use a splash page and when shouldn’t you?

It’s completely up to you as it’s your website at the end of the day.

We do not recommend splash pages to our clients. If we are building a website that is for alcohol or a website that contains any other form of sensitive content, we would recommend having a splash page whereby the visitor has to specify their age and that the Terms and Conditions have been read and agreed to – this is standard procedure on most adult or sensitive content websites. If you think your website provides a form of sensitive content, it’s worth comparing or checking competitor’s websites to see how they manage their websites and possibly checking into the legalities relating to your subject matter.

We like to use splash pages on websites that we are in the process of developing. For example, if a client comes to us for a website and we are busy with the website development, there’s very little harm in having a splash page up with their logo and email address should anyone land up on their website and want more information or want to be contacted when the site goes live.

It’s a matter of preference, so go with what you want, but take the pros and cons mentioned above into account.

Visit Smashing Magazine‘s article on splash pages where you can find more detailed examples of splash pages as well as more pros and cons.