What is the first thing that you want people to see in your website? You may want to show some attractive offer, a catchy phrase, or just a heads-up about any required plug-in to use your website to its full potential. The best way to grab attention to this detail before they go on to do anything else in your website, is to include a splash page.
What is a splash page?
A splash page is a dialog / pop-up that appears in your website home page, partially hiding the content of the original web page. You must be familiar with it, right from the days when many websites asked you to install flash player before proceeding further. A splash page can be easily closed by clicking the close button or next button, placed in a user-friendly position in the screen.
History of splash page
The origin of the term splash page is from the comic industry. In comic books, the first page is printed with the title and credits. It is used to capture the reader's attention and to establish time, place and mood. This decorative page is called a splash page. This term entered into the realm of world wide web in the mid nineties. For a brief period, the terms ‘banner’ and ‘burst page’ were also used as synonyms of splash page.
Purpose of splash page
There are multiple uses for website splash pages. It can be any one or a combination of the following:
It can ask the user to sign in or sign up, to use your website. But, exercise caution when you use a splash page for this purpose, since it can deter some users from entering the website at all.
You can show advertisements in a splash page. It can be an advertisement of your own product to promote it’s sales or you can do a paid promotion of some other brand to generate some extra revenue from your website.
It can be used to confirm the suitability of your website for the user. For example, if your website is not child friendly, you can show a warning about it using the splash page.
It can be used to show disclaimers about your product/service or any other information like how long your website will take to load.
The above list is not exhaustive. You can use your splash page for many more creative purposes.
Splash page examples
In this online personal care product store, splash page has been used to ask the user to subscribe to new product notifications. Note that it is optional to subscribe and the user can easily close this pop-up and move into the main website.
In this website of a leading alcohol brand, users are asked to verify their age before entering into the website. Here, it is mandatory for the user to enter their date of birth, and the user cannot skip this step. In addition, the splash page also includes links to legal documents governing alcohol consumption, and other policy documents.
Global brands who have presence all over the world want to redirect their audience to relevant pages according to their geographical location and language. Top fashion brand Zara is asking users to confirm their location and preferred language before they enter into the main landing page. Though the information is auto-detected from the browser, it's better to confirm it by showing an auto-populated form. In case the user is viewing from a region different from their native one, then they can change the location and language as required.
When you build your website, you place so many different components in a neat layout. But, you do not know which component is going to capture the user’s attention immediately. To make sure that the user does not miss the one component that you want them to see first, go for a splash page.
For example, let's say you have an online store in Strikingly. You would have posted numerous products in your portfolio. But is there any particular product that you want to direct the user’s attention to? Then write about it in your splash page. Throw in a photo of that product and your users are sure to get tempted to buy it even before they see the rest of your portfolio.
Can splash pages be annoying?
Yes, sometimes. Particularly, if you are using a splash page to entertain the user while the other components of your page are loading. This used to be the case a few years ago. But today, with advancements in technology and Strikingly to assist you in your website building, there is no lag time in loading your website.
If you are still not sure whether your users would like your splash page or if you think they may get bored of it, you can add an option of asking the user whether they would like to skip the splash page when they visit your site again.This option will be useful especially if you have a permanent splash page with content that is hardly changed. It will also be useful for frequent users of your website, who know your splash page too well and do not want to see it every time they visit.
Making an impactful splash page is easier than ever with Strikingly. Here are some creative ideas to hit your audience with a splash of eye-catching content and up your game. Remember that the splash page design should be minimalist and convey one single idea.
An impressive image
A picture speaks a thousand words. This may be an age old saying, but it holds good even in this digital age. Attractive visuals are essential to make your splash page impactful. Choose an image that will go along with your landing page. It should be something that will soothe the user’s eyes, and at the same time prepare their minds to the mood of your website. Use it as background for your splash page and overlay other content on it.
A nice message
Add text content as per the purpose of your splash page. It can be some mandatory legal information to be shared with the user before they enter into your website. Or, it may be a catchy phrase to promote your product. Unleash your creativity and take your users by storm.
A form, if required
If your business requires it, go for a short form to get user information. Remember to auto-populate details as much as possible. Users love intelligent websites that reduce their efforts. Try to provide options to choose instead of free-text fields, wherever feasible. Most users like to use a mouse rather than a keyboard.
A splash page should have a close button in a location most convenient for the user. This is very important for users to not get irritated by your splash page. In addition, adding a ‘Do not show again’ check-box will add great value for users who visit your website often and are familiar with it.
How to make a splash page with Strikingly
Create your splash page website by following these simple steps in Strikingly.
First of all, sign up for a free Strikingly account.
From the vast collection of templates offered by Strikingly, select any one of your choice. You can make a splash page design, irrespective of the template you choose. For this splash page example, I am selecting the ‘Lavender’ template, to create my music website. Hover over the template you want to use, and click the button ‘START EDITING!’.
Now, it's time to change the default texts. In this example, ‘Download Now’ is changed to ‘Sound of Nature’. Below it, an additional text ‘Get ready to get transfixed’ is added. Go ahead, and change the texts as per what you want your users to see.
Now your website splash page is ready. You can add more components to your website and when are you happy with it, publish it by clicking the ‘Publish’ button at the bottom of the left side toolbar. You will be asked for a url, title and category for your website. Enter details and click ‘Publish Now’.
Having seen the sunny side of splash pages, it is wise to be aware of potential pitfalls. Splash pages are known to have a negative impact on SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Search engines cannot index the flash page like it does with texts. Moreover, if users decide to bounce after seeing your splash page, then it will lower your ranking in searches. Remember, more the time users spend on your website, higher will be your rank.
Using animations and heavy graphics in a splash page may make the page slower in loading and turn off users. And, if your user is on an old browser that does not support these animations, then your effort is totally lost.
Showing animations or videos in a splash page have another down-sid. Long videos may bore the user, resulting in higher bounce rate. Even if you provide a ‘Skip intro’ kind of button, the loading of a video itself can turn down some users. In this fast paced world, who wants to watch a 30 second video before getting on to the landing page.
Splash page websites are sometimes considered bad in design principles. This is because it requires the user to do an extra click. Lesser the clicks, happier the user. But, if the splash page is fulfilling some essential purpose, then an extra click is totally worth it.
To splash or not
So, how are you going to decide whether to include a splash page or not? You can ponder over the pros and cons of splash pages, analyse your use-case, study the mindset of your target audience, list all the things you want to include in a splash page and so on. At the end, just follow your instinct. Put yourself in the shoes of a user and think what you want to see as soon as you hit the url. And, once you decide to go for it, the rest is easy. Strikingly will help you to design your splash page website within minutes!