What Is a Splash Page and When to Use It

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Look over our checklist and find out what a splash page is and why you may want to use one on your website. Learn how to understand if the page is a good thing or bad thing for your business. Also, discover signs a splash page is not for you and get examples of why you may need to use one.

what is a splash page

What Is a Splash Page and When to Use It

As the internet has evolved, it has become a major player in the business world. Basically, if your company does not have a website, you may not do well because people expect every business to have one. The good news is that you can customize your website to work for you. It is a sales opportunity and store in one, and a website can make sales 24/7.

With the development of business websites has come the development of many tools you can use on your website to make it more effective. One such option is a splash page. While a splash page is not right for every situation, it can be a great way to make your website stand out and to provide visitors with important information. Let's take a look at what a splash page is and how it is used.

Splash Page Defined

You may be asking, "What is a splash page?" Well, a splash page pops up before a visitor gets to your home page or whatever page they are navigating to. It should not be confused with a landing page or a squeeze page. It is not collecting information. Rather, the goal of this page is to provide information. Plus, visitors can easily move on from the page with one click.

Splash pages are minimalist in design. They do not usually contain a lot of information. Instead, they typically have a very specific message to get across. You are not using this page to bombard the visitor. It is more of a gentle way to inform them of something. While this page will usually have a specific purpose, some websites use them as a welcome page.

It is important to note than some splash pages do collect information. These are often pages that require age verification for legal reasons. However, the page does not collect personal information. In fact, it often involves just clicking a button to provide an answer.

The History

Splash pages are nothing new. They were once quite popular, but then search engines began penalizing websites that used them, so they fell out of favor. In the beginning, when the internet was new, splash pages helped ensure users had a good experience when visiting a website. They allowed users to choose an option to help them view the website better. This might have been a choice of a language or an operating system.

The problem with splash pages was they added bulk and slowed things down. This is why the search engines didn't like them. Search engines also went through changes. The new algorithms looked at the value of websites, and such pages provided no value, so they dropped a website's ranking.

However, some industries continued to use them for very specific purposes. For example, if the website contained adult content, then the user would be asked to click a button verifying that he or she was of legal age.

Today's splash pages are designed better. They are easier to move past and do not slow down the user’s experience. The pages offer something of interest to visitors and are more useful than before. They are also friendlier overall, making them better accepted by search engines and users in general. In some cases, though, they just do not work, so splash pages are best used with caution, even today.

What Makes a Good Splash Page

what is a splash page: what is a splash page

If you are going to use a splash page, then you need to make sure that yours is a good one. The hallmark of a good page is that it offers something useful to your visitors, but beyond that, there are other characteristics that a good page has. If you are designing your own splash page, then it should have the following three characteristics:

  • Simple design
  • Clear mission or goal
  • Prominent exit link

Sticking to these three basic ideas can ensure your splash page is functional and doesn't chase away your users. In addition, you have to be very careful about the design. Make sure to have it designed by a professional. Ensure that it works properly and does not slow down the user experience.

The goal is to have a page that enhances the user's experience. It must be fast and easy to navigate past. You need to test it and stay on top of any comments your users leave about it. Make sure that you pay attention to how having the page affects your website traffic. Sometimes a splash page just doesn't suit certain websites, so be aware of that.

How They Are Used

There are many ways to use a splash page. It all depends on your website and your niche. It is about providing visitors with something useful, whether that is important information or just a hello. Here are some ways a splash page may be used:

  • Provide an age disclaimer
  • Welcome a visitor
  • Announce a sale
  • Provide a warning
  • Let visitors know the website has sound
  • Give users an idea of what the site is about
  • Provide information on required software, browsers or plug ins
  • Draw attention to an update
  • Alert visitors to an important deadline
  • Allow users to select the language
  • Select a view mode

Generally, if you have something you need visitors to know before they enter your website, you can use a splash page to provide that information.

How Not To Use a Splash Page

As with most things, there are ways you can use a splash page that won't be beneficial to your visitors or your business. Here are some faux pas to avoid as you incorporate a splash page into your website:

  • It should never open the website in a new tab or window. You want the splash page to lead visitors into the website. Visitors will be wary of a new tab or window, which is obtrusive and off putting.
  • It should not be flashy. Visitors to your site do not want to be struck in the face with a page that is loud. Carefully chose the colors you use and the overall design to ensure it is welcoming.
  • It should not be hard to move away from. You should make it clear and easy to get from the splash page to the website. Don't hide the button they need to click or make it hard to figure out what your visitors need to do to move on.

Above all else, you should only use a splash page when you need one and when it benefits the visitor.

How To Know You Need a Splash Page

Not every website needs a splash page, so how do you know if your site could use one? There are a few signs that your site could benefit from one. Here they are:

  • You have different versions of your website and want to direct the visitor to the right one.
  • You sell an adult product or another regulated item that requires age verification.
  • You want to ensure visitors know about something specific, such as a sale.
  • You need to warn visitors about something that will affect their experience.
  • Your site requires a specific plug in or browser to work properly.

Beyond these reasons, you may find other legitimate motives to use a splash page, but it is highly advised that you make sure such a page will be beneficial to you and your visitors.

Signs Your Splash Page Isn't Working

Using a splash page when you don't need one could result in a loss of visitors because splash pages are often seen as annoying and obtrusive. If you are not providing visitors with quality information, they will just leave and go somewhere else. There are plenty of other websites where they can get the same information or products as they did from your site. Never forget this because using a splash page the wrong way can really hurt your overall business success.

Here are some signs that your splash page is doing more harm than good:

  • You are getting less traffic.
  • You are getting customer complaints.
  • Your website responsiveness has slowed.

If you notice a negative impact on your website and business after you start using a splash page, then you probably should remove it. If the issues don't occur until after your splash page has been operational for a while, then consider changing the design or even doing a poll to see what the problem is. The issue may not even be related to the splash page.

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The Bottom Line

Splash pages were quite popular in the 1990s when the internet was new. They fell out of favor with the search engines, but they are currently seeing a resurgence. Newer, sleeker designs help to make the pages better and keep them more in line with today's internet user experience expectations. While splash pages can be beneficial to some websites, they are not for everyone. Make sure that you really need one and that it will benefit your users before having one installed. The takeaway here is that splash pages are great for some niches and not so much for others, so they should be used with caution until it is known the impact they will have.