About Splash Pages
by Lulu Labs
What is a Splash page, what is it used for ?
Very popular at one point, specially in Québec, the Splash page is an introduction page to a web site. It either serves the purpose of showing a nice Flash animation or a language or specific technology selection.
However, in this new time and age of Web technologies, the advantages of the Splash page are no longer true except perhaps for the need of showing a nice Flash animation more for the benefit of the designer than the actual users. Languages and technologies can now be selected automatically and seamlessly based on the surfers browser specifications. In fact, the majority of Web surfers do not appreciated Splash pages and in more than 30% of the cases will leave the site before the Splash page is even displayed.
Unless the site is about visual arts, cinematography, artistic, music, etc., the rational behind the Splash page is not relevant and represents a lost of times to your visitors who want fast and efficient, direct to the point websites. Do not forget that Web trend surveys have shown that it takes less than 8 to 10 seconds for a visitor to decide if he stays or leave: No matter how nice it is and how well optimised, a Flash animation takes more than 10 seconds to download.
In addition to the above mentioned disadvantages, the Splash page prevents a proper search engine inclusion or good ranking on the search engine.
Too often, some web designers forget one crucial point with Splash page: The entrance page of a website is THE most important page of any given web site. Unfortunately, the Splash page has very little content to offer to search engines which are looking for a minimum number of words which are not met by the Splash page. Some designer in the past and still today, have tried to by-pass this issue by putting words that are invisible to the user (same colour fonts as the back ground). Search engines consider this technique as spam and can blacklist a website that uses it.
The best recommendation we can give: do not use a Splash page.