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The home page of your website is the most important page in terms of grabbing the attention of your viewers and making a positive impression. Your home page will vary depending on whether you have a blog or a topical, personal, promotional, or e-commerce oriented site, but there are a few basic principles that should be followed for every home page. The following tips are a guideline to creating a home page that will captivate your audience and ensure repeat visits to your site.

responsive home page design example
Responsive Home Page Design

A good home page—at least above-the-fold content—should download in less than two seconds so your viewers will not lose interest and move elsewhere. The ideal width of your home page should be optimized for about 960 pixels (perhaps even 780 pixels to accomodate older, 800-pixel-wide displays) with a responsive design that can accomodate viewport widths as low as 620 pixels. For readability, continuous lines of text should contain no more than 10 to 12 words per line. Fixed layouts are easier to code, but a liquid layout allows your home page to be viewed well on larger and smaller screens, so you must weigh the pros and cons of each when deciding which to use. Some web designers even develop simplified versions of their home pages and internal pages for mobile device users. Frames can create problems with search engine indexing, and they should be avoided. If your home page uses a logo, it should be placed in the upper left corner. Site search can be provided by a search box in the right or left corner of the home page, with a submit button called "Search" or "Go". Your home page should include a link to the About Us page, as well as a link to contact information, called "Contact Us".

Whether you are designing a news or informational website or promoting a product or service, your home page is the gateway to your site. It sets the tone for your website and will be viewed more often than any other page. Understanding your audience and updating your home page in keeping with current style trends and browser features will lengthen the lifespan of your website and ensure that it will not be lost in the shuffle.

home page template for a personal portfolio
Portfolio Home Page Template

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