I’ve been having a big debate with myself for a few weeks. I’ve asked Mike’s opinion, and he raised the same concerns I had myself, but now I need to come to you guys.
Over there at Christine Tremoulet Photography, when you go to the root of the site (the main index page), you get a splash page. Personally, I freakin’ HATE splash pages. But it is there so that the search engines have something to read, since they can’t read Flash. Then you go into the portfolio if you choose the icon on the left, and you wait for the Flash to load and you get to see pretty pictures with music playing. This portion of the site is all good – it needs a photo update this week, but it is good and isn’t going away. Or you can choose the blog, the center icon. Going to the blog, you get to see all the latest and greatest photos, plus various posts and so forth. Good, good.
But I hate the splash page. And Google really likes blogs. So I’m considering moving the blog to the root of the site. If you were a first time visitor, you would go to the URL and see the blog right away. There would be a lovely option to get to the portfolio, which would then take you to the Flash portion of the site that currently exists. But you would get to see the latest and greatest photos right away when you first hit the site.
People don’t like extra clicks. I am well aware of this.
However, I am concerned that if you go right to the blog, it won’t look professional. (Not that the page with all that text at the bottom looks professional – if I don’t put the blog at the root, I am redesigning that splash page.) If you were (are) a bride or groom looking for a wedding photographer and you landed right in the blog – with a user-friendly interface and an option to get to the portfolio, the contact form, pricing – would you think it was an unprofessional site? Or would you be thrilled that a photographer wasn’t giving you a splash page for a change? Since the splash page – thanks to the Flash based websites – is really the industry norm it seems.
What would you think?
UPDATE: I should have included a link earlier to Holritz Photography – I’ve been considering doing this to my own site since October while talking with other photographers at the ShootQ training in Austin, so I was amused when Amber & Nathan launched their new site in November. Their layout is different than what I have in mind, but it basically is set up the same way.