Let’s assume you have a website. If you don’t have a website, why are you reading this? Get outta here! Go enjoy some cute kitten gifs! Still here? Read on… If your website happens to have a slideshow on its Home page, stop what you’re doing right now, and get rid of it!
First Impressions Happen on Home Pages
What’s wrong with slideshows? Why are they so bad? In general terms, slideshows on pages other than the Home page can be made to be acceptable. However, Home pages function a bit differently from the rest of the individual pages on a website.
Most of the time, a visitor’s first impression with your brand and your website will occur when they land on your site’s Home page. The role of your Home page should be to quickly grab the attention of that website visitor, and then to briefly state who you are and what you do. While a slideshow might initially seem like a good way to achieve this goal, it’s typically not the most user-friendly experience for your website visitor.
Home Page Slideshows Are Bad
As a quick introduction to your website and your company, a Home page slideshow fails in two ways:
- Most slideshows display one slide at a time. After several seconds, the second slide slides in, then the third, and so on. A slideshow that operates on a timer like this forces the website visitor to view or read a slide’s content at a predetermined pace. If your slides slide too quickly or if they slide too slowly, you risk damaging the user experience for your website visitors.
- Some slideshows have navigation controls, which typically take the form of “Previous” and “Next” buttons and/or pagination links which allow the user to directly jump to a specific slide without scrolling sequentially. These navigation controls require user input to function. And by requiring user input, you’re forcing your website visitors to take action in order to view content that is currently hidden.
It only takes a few seconds to make an impression when somebody visits your website’s Home page for the first time. Eliminate the risk and eliminate the frustration by removing the slideshow altogether.
Remove your Home page slideshow, and try these alternatives instead:
- If you still want to wow your website visitors and make a bold statement visually, try using a single large image, video, or animation. Instead of forcing your website visitors to view content slide-by-slide, compress your messaging into one single impactful visual component. Don’t forget to add a call-to-action!
- In those situations where you are unable to narrow down your content to a single visual component, try a grid of smaller images instead. This concept shares the concept of having multiple image components, like a slideshow, but you eliminate the risks involved with slideshow timing issues and forced user input.
- You might ultimately discover that your Home page needs little to no photo or video content at all. If you already have very strong messaging in place, just go with that. Don’t force-feed unnecessary visual content to your website visitors. Effective messaging can sometimes stand on its own.
If you’re ready to get that slideshow surgically removed from your website’s Home page, or if you’re ready for a full website redesign, we’d love to lend a hand. Just fill out the short form below or give us a call at 804-577-8679!