A department homepage is an opportunity for units to highlight some of the information most important to that unit in one spot -- but knowing that nothing should be featured on the homepage that can't be found deeper within the site's navigation. Remember that once someone leaves a homepage, they will rely on the site's navigation for direction and that EVERY landing page of your site, really, should be treated like its own unique homepage.

dept templates

If a guiding principle of the English Department is "Study Abroad," consider featuring it on the homepage as well as adding a "Student Opportunities" section to the navigation so that users will continue to find it if they are working through the site's navigation. We strongly advise that you plan for what your homepage content will be first, then let those needs guide which template you choose. All of the UVM templates have designated spots where departments can feature their most up-to-date content while linking to another page for more information.

Rethinking the homepage as the primary entry point:

Question: "Can you put this on the homepage?"

Answer: "Which homepage??" While we all know how important your homepage is as a place to highlight what your unit represents, higher ed web experts mStoner tells editors to rethink its value as the one and only front door of the site and it's main entry point. Many (sometimes most) of the site's visitors are missing your homepage and coming straight via search to other pages of your site. In other words, each and every page of your site is kind of like its own homepage.

"The data suggesting that anywhere from 40 to 70 percent of external traffic lands anywhere but the homepage paints a new reality. Every page is your homepage.

If the traditional homepage is the “front door” of a university’s digital presence, half of your site visitors are walking in the back, climbing through a window, or sliding down the chimney to get inside. -- mStoner"

Read the entire article containing a valuable Analytics tip for seeing which pages of your site are most often landed on. >>