You’ve probably run into more than your share of splash pages as you wander around the internet. You click on a link to a website and a page pops up that may have a short film, slide show or other animation. It contains the site name in bold, impossible to miss font. There may also be a chance to choose how you want to view the website and information on the specs necessary to get the most out of the site. This is a splash page. At one time, these pages were very successful, but they are becoming less so. Let’s explore the pros and cons of including a splash page on your website to determine whether having one will help or harm your business.
Pros of Splash Pages
Splash pages have many positive benefits:
They Give Attention to Special Announcements
If there is breaking news you find essential for your visitors, a splash page can make sure everyone that visits gets that message. They can highlight a new product, tell visitors of upcoming special events or changes.
They Load Quickly
With one graphic or animation, the company logo and a short message, the page is quick to load. This is great to let people know what they are looking for is coming up shortly. If the rest of your site is graphically intensive, this can help keep people around until the main site loads.
They Help Separate Mini-Sites
If you have a website that serves more than one purpose, a splash page can make navigation easier. For example, you may be a freelance writer who has information regarding what you offer on many different pages. Rather than have someone have to sift through what is where the splash page can help you make things easier for them.
Cons of Splash Pages
Can Be Annoying
An estimated twenty-five percent of people who click on a URL and get a splash page become so annoyed that they leave immediately. You can be losing potential clients if your page is causing visitors to leave.
Not Search Engine Friendly
Search engines don’t like splash pages and are not likely to index them. This makes it harder for people to find you during general searches. Again, you could be losing out on potential sales because you can’t be found in the search engines.
They Are Old-School
At one time, splash pages served a vital function because they made it possible for visitors to make choices that enhanced their viewing experience. With the advances in technology, many of these options are no longer necessary.
Can Be Repetitive
This is particularly the case for splash pages that don’t have a “Skip” option. When someone is a regular visitor to your website, it can be annoying to have to watch the same splash page every time they visit. This could annoy them enough to have them looking elsewhere for the same content.
The original reasons for splash pages no longer exist to the extent they once did. No longer is there a need to give visitors an idea of how best to view a website or what they required in computer specs to play a game or view media. Responsive web design allows for the same viewing experience across many devices. Graphics have advanced to the point where they aren’t as dependent on the highest quality specs. Splash pages still have a small place on the internet, such as the times when you have a major announcement that is important for your visitors to receive. They can also be helpful if you are an artist with a portfolio site. But for the majority of website owners, splash pages can create more problems than they are worth. In the end, it is your final choice to make.