Homepage: Create a clear path for your site’s visitors

Consider both user objectives and business objectives when developing the content and layout for your homepage.


For some visitors to your website, the homepage may be the first time they’ve heard of your organization or event. Your homepage should provide context and help visitors quickly understand if they’re in the right place. Briefly explain who you are, what you do, and — if it isn’t clear — who you serve.

Once you’ve signaled to visitors who you are, establish a clear path for them to follow. To identify the path or paths users should follow, consider why they may be visiting your site (user objectives), and what actions you hope they’ll take (business objectives).

Identifying your audience and goals to develop a site strategy »

In many cases, the user objectives and business objectives for your homepage may overlap or be the same. If an element on your homepage (or your site, for that matter) doesn’t support either one, consider whether that element is truly necessary.

Who are you, and what do you do?

An effective homepage communicates a clear purpose. Your headlines, images and layout should support your purpose or main message. Make it easy for first-time visitors to understand who and what your site is for.

Why are people visiting your website? What do they want from you?

A good homepage creates a satisfying user experience, providing a clear path to the information or actions your visitors are looking for. Help your visitors find what they need.

What do you want visitors to do while they’re on your site?

An effective homepage provides a clear and easy route towards the action you want visitors to take. Don’t make them work for it, or they may go elsewhere!

Looking for inspiration?
See sample homepages in the WashU Web theme »