Have you ever wondered “What should go on my homepage?” From what I hear, this question keeps people up at night—and today, I’m going to answer it.
I think a homepage should be a hub for the important areas of your website. It should give a preview of all the places that matter, providing insight into who you are, what you do, and why visitors should care. The idea is to connect quickly (with ideal clients) on many different fronts, and make it easy to dive deeper into your site and learn more.
Before I start, some disclaimers:
- This is geared towards service-based businesses and will be slightly different if you’re selling products.
- All of this depends on the content—which is why content should come first. We first have to know what needs to be said, in order to make informed decisions about what goes where.
- The order I’m suggesting is flexible; there is no specific order it has to be done. You want there to be an understandable hierarchy on the page, but this is all impacted by your business, goals, audience, and of course, content.
Okay, let’s go…
What Should Go on a Homepage:
At the tippy top, you’ve got the header, which has your logo and branding and a navigation menu. The navigation menu is essential—make it easy for viewers to find what they need. Don’t use more than 7 items in the menu or you’ll risk cluttering up the area. A hamburger menu is nice (especially on mobile) but listing out short, meaningful link names (at least on desktop) is preferred.
2. Hero Area
This should be an introduction—a quick way for people to realize where they are, and what you’re about. I suggest a positioning statement (around 10 words) that introduces who you are, what you do, and why it matters. A hero area usually has text and an image, to make it more dynamic and interesting, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You could also include an additional paragraph of content if you want to explain more.
3. Services Lead-in
What services do you provide? This doesn’t have to be every single service, but some highlights will help show people that you have what they need. This might require you to think more about what you do, what your ideal clients really need, and how to break these offerings down into the most beneficial format. If you prefer, you can provide a more general statement about what you do, and then detail the industries you work for. A button should lead to the services page (or industries page) so they can read more.
4. Work / Portfolio
If you are a creative, we want people to be able to access your portfolio or work samples from the home page and to see some of your work. This will further reinforce that you are the professional they need! A small sampling of your recent or best projects, which then link to pages (or case studies) about those projects, is ideal. If you have visuals for the projects, that’s great. If you’re a writer and don’t have visuals, there are still interesting ways to display these projects: logos, icons, or a title in a unique font or graphic. Here’s more on how to handle your portfolio.
As people scroll (and people do scroll!) you’ll want to provide a brief about you. It’s just a paragraph, hopefully alongside a picture of your face (or an image of your company). The idea here is to get people to realize you’re real. It helps them get to know you a little better and feel more comfortable. This links to the about page.
We definitely want to show visitors that other people think you’re great! If you have a few powerful testimonials, the home page is the perfect place to share them (and then hopefully link to a page with even more).
7. Media / Press
You might want to build further credibility with logos of partners or memberships, awards you’ve won or places you’ve been featured. Some creative professionals want to have this higher up on the page, and that’s fine too. I see it as icing on the cake.
8. Blog Posts
If you’re blogging and have recent blog posts, lead into them here. This engages and establishes credibility. Plus, interlinking pages is good for SEO!
9. Calls to Action
In most cases, I like to use a primary and secondary CTA.
- Opt-in / Free report / Download / Email Sign Up. This is for the people who want more information or want to stay in touch, but aren’t quite ready.
- Free Consult / Buy / Call. This is for the people who are READY to take action.
A footer can reinforce your branding and include another way to access the navigation. Depending on how many pages your website has, you might link to all of them. We want people to have multiple ways to get where they need to go. Repetition is key. Also include a preferred way to contact you, your social media links, and a link to your privacy page, which helps you comply with GDPR and CCPA. If you don’t have a privacy page, WordPress gives you one for free.
Consider your homepage an overview of your entire website. When you use this approach, your homepage may be the only page they need to decide to take the next step.
As of today, this is what I think a homepage should include. Yet one of my favorite things about WordPress web design is that it’s always evolving. So are best practices and user preferences. As a WordPress designer and developer, I stay up-to-date so you don’t have to.
Want a WordPress website that has all the right things? Let’s talk.