HTML and CSS Reference
cart right away. And because search is one of the preeminent ways users navigate a site, make sure the search
box is prominently displayed on the front page.
Amazon and Google are two examples of sites that get this right. You go to Google to search and that's what
you do on Google's very first page. Amazon's is a more complex site, but it lets you start shopping right away
without even logging in. Sites that get this wrong are a lot less common than they used to be, though I do
notice that musician and artist sites are disproportionately fond of entry pages. I suspect they view it as art in
itself. Maybe that makes some sense for them. For the rest of the world, though, move the content upfront.
Visitors arrive for the content, not to admire a beautifully orchestrated entry page.
In the short term, the simplest way to support this is to set up a mod_rewrite rule that automatically transfers
visitors from the entry page to the real front page—that is, the page users used to go to after clicking on the
entry page. For example, this rule in .htaccess redirects from the root to realcontent.html:
RewriteRule ^/$ /realcontent.html
It does not use an [R] , so the change is transparent to the end-user. The redirect happens exclusively on the
It doesn't take that much longer to go in the other direction. Move the real home page from its old location to
the root of the filesystem. Then set up a redirect so that anyone going to the old home page is redirected to the
root of the site:
RewriteRule ^realcontent\.html$ / [R=301]
This example specifies a permanent redirect code so that bookmarks can be updated.
Finally, search for all links that pointed to the old location and update them with links to the root.