Home Page Planning Checklist

This list doesn't weight the importance of elements by order—in fact, it's alphabetized specifically to avoid promoting any elements over others. (We're tricky like that.) Make sure that one way or another you address all the following elements in relation to your home page's design:

checkbox Copyright information
checkbox Creation or revision date
checkbox Easily identifiable and consistently displayed navigation links or buttons
checkbox Home page icon or logo that can be used throughout the site
checkbox Important information displayed above the fold
checkbox Informative page title in the body of the page
checkbox Informative titlebar text
checkbox Intentional emotional effect or theme created via words, colors, layout, font, and so forth
checkbox Logo or other identifying graphic, such as a family crest or departmental code, that can be shown on subpages and linked to the home page
checkbox Opening page “hook” to catch viewer's interest (home pages generally vary at least slightly from subpages) and  use of “you” text to draw visitors attention
checkbox Privacy policy
checkbox Quick loading approach (It's true—gigantic images make extremely poor backgrounds, and you really don't need to show 90 pictures on your home page)
checkbox Site has a clear purpose
checkbox Subheads break up long text (if necessary)
checkbox Text links display along the bottom of the page
checkbox Upper-left corner is put to good use, preferably with your logo
checkbox Visitors know what steps they can take next beyond clicking the Back button (remember to appeal to all potential audience personalities)
checkbox Your identity or your organization's identity