1. Technology

Splash Pages: Pros and Cons

What is a Splash Page and Should You Use One


What is a Splash Page?

Splash pages are an introductory page to your Web site. They typically offer one or two of the following features:

  • graphic or logo
  • animation or flash movie
  • choice of how to enter the site (flash/no-flash, etc.)
  • technical requirements (browser, version, etc.)

Splash pages can be very popular, especially for designers, as they are a way to show your skills in Flash and other technologies on a single page. But before you run out and build your own splash page, you should consider all the pros and the cons.

Pros to Splash Pages

  • Splash pages are fast loading, they get all the information up quickly on the first page without scrolling.
  • Splash pages ensure that your readers see your animation or flash, at least once.
  • They are a great way to show off your best work, like a portfolio.
  • Splash pages allow your readers to choose the site technology that fits them.
  • You can then use your server logs to see what the breakdown is of your actual customers.

Cons to Splash Pages

  • The usability of a splash page is completely flawed. Your readers come to your site to enter it and a splash page prevents that.
  • Many readers don't like splash pages - and in some studies 25% of visitors left a site right after seeing a splash page.
  • Splash pages break search engines. Since many splash pages only include a flash animation there isn't a lot for a search engine to optimize on. And if you add content to the page in comments you can be penalized for spamdexing.
  • The animation can be repetitive. Readers who have seen the flash don't often want to sit through it again, but if you forget to include a "skip" option they will have to.
  • While the flash movie or fancy animation may look really nice, the impression they make may be one of pretentiousness rather than detailing your skills.
  • If you submit your splash page to a search engine, the JavaScript codes that move customers to the next page may prevent the search engine from adding any page on the site.

My Opinion of Splash Pages

I find them annoying. I don't like to link to them, and I don't feel that the benefits of choosing the site that works best for my browser outweighs the annoyance. I personally, wouldn't recommend them. But once you've reviewed all the pros and cons, you should make your own decision.

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