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.
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.