Optimizing First Pages

A first page is the page a customer sees when they access your site. The home page isn't always the first page for customers. First pages also be a landing page, which a customer accesses through a search engine link, a partner site link, or an email link. Here are some quick tips for optimizing first pages:

Let's look at these tips in more detail.

You should analyze your traffic to find what the most common first pages are for your site. You might expect that your home page is the most common first page, but instead discover that a landing page from another site or from customer emails is the most common entrance point for customers. The most common first pages are the pages that you want to optimize.

The first page must be the fastest page for your entire web presence. If pages do not load within a few seconds, most new users click away to another site, rather than wait for the page to finish loading. Some of the recommendations for first pages are different from those for site pages, because speed is more important than maintainability for first pages.

Because the browser cache is empty on arrival, you should include CSS and JavaScript inline, depending on your expected traffic scheme. Including CSS and JavaScript inline reduces the number of HTTP requests and makes the initial page load very fast, but it means that there are less reusable components. For this reason, inline CSS isn't recommended for general site pages.

You might also want to reduce the number of graphics or JavaScript on your page to improve the page loading speed. The number and type of features that you include on your first page depend upon your type of web presence.

Match Your First Page to Your Presence

The features you include on your first page must be tailored to how your customers find you and what they need from your site.

Related Links

Tools for Improving Site Performance

Techniques for Improving Site Performance

Testing Site Performance

Optimizing General Site Pages

Make Fewer Smaller HTTP Requests

Reduce and Reuse Scripts

Reduce URL and Page Size

404 Errors and 404 Pages

Performance and Stability Coding Standards