Home page

A home page or a start page is the initial or main web page of a website or a browser. The initial page of a website is sometimes called main page as well.

Website home page

A home page is generally the main page a visitor navigating to a website from a web search engine will see, and it may also serve as a landing page to attract visitors.[1][2] The home page is used to facilitate navigation to other pages on the site by providing links to prioritized and recent articles and pages, and possibly a search box.[3] For example, a news website may present headlines and first paragraphs of top stories, with links to full articles, in a dynamic web page that reflects the popularity and recentness of stories.[4] Meanwhile, other websites use the home page to attract users to create an account. Once they are logged in, the home page may be redirected to their profile page. This may in turn be referred to as the "personal home page".[5]

A website may have multiple home pages, although most have one.[6] Wikipedia, for example, has a home page at wikipedia.org, as well as language-specific home pages, such as en.wikipedia.org and de.wikipedia.org.

Website structure

The majority of websites have a home page with underlying content pages, although some websites contain only a single page.[7]

The uniform resource locator (URL) of a home page is most often the base-level domain name, such as https://wikipedia.org. Historically it may also be found at http://domain.tld/index.html or http://domain.tld/default.html, where "tld" refers to the top-level domain used by the website.[8]

If a home page has not been created for a web site, many web servers will default to display a list of files located in the site's directory, if the security settings of the directory permit.[9] This list will include hyperlinks to the files, allowing for simple file sharing without maintaining a separate HTML file.

Browser home page

A home page also refers to the first page that appears upon opening a web browser, sometimes called the start page, although the home page of a website can be used as a start page. This start page can be a website, or it can be a page with various browser functions such as the display of thumbnails of frequently visited websites. Multiple websites can be set as a start page, to open in different tabs. Some websites are intended to be used as start pages, such as iGoogle (now defunct), My Yahoo!, and MSN.com, and provide links to commonly used services such as webmail and online weather forecasts.[10]

History of home pages

In the early days of the World Wide Web in the first half of the 1990s, an important part of web pages belonged to students or teachers with a UNIX account in their university. System administrators of such systems installed an HTTP server pointing its root directory to the directory containing the users accounts. On UNIX, the base directory of an account is called "home", and the HOME environment variable contains its path (for example /home/my_username). The URL of the home page usually has the format https://example.edu/~my_username/.[11] Thus the term home page appeared and then spread to its current usage.

A personal home page historically has served as a means of self-portrayal, job-related presentation, and pure enjoyment, giving way to professional advancement and social interaction.[12] Owing to the rise of social media sites, personal home pages are no longer as common as during the mid-late 1990s and early-2000s.

Other uses

A personal web page is also commonly called a home page, although such websites can contain many pages.[13] These kind of personal portals were especially popular in the earlier era of the World Wide Web. Examples of such services include: My Yahoo!, iGoogle, My Excite and My Lycos.[14]

A home page can also be used outside the context of web browsers, such as to refer to the principal screen of a user interface, frequently referred to as a home screen on mobile devices such as mobile phones.[15]

See also


  1. "Home Page as Landing Page examples - Smart Insights Digital Marketing Advice". 2014-05-23. Retrieved 2016-07-01.
  2. Campbell, Jennifer (2014). Web Design: Introductory. Cengage Learning. p. 76. ISBN 978-1-305-17627-0.
  3. Jakob Nielsen (12 May 2002). "Top 10 Guidelines for Homepage Usability". nngroup.com. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  4. Kalbach, James (2007). Designing Web Navigation. O'Reilly Media. p. 106. ISBN 978-0-596-55378-4.
  5. Bell, Gavin (2009-09-17). Building Social Web Applications. "O'Reilly Media, Inc.". ISBN 9781449379414.
  6. Schwerdtfeger, Patrick (2009). Webify Your Business, Internet Marketing Secrets for the Self-Employed. Lulu. p. 151. ISBN 978-0-557-04901-1.
  7. Campbell, Jennifer (2014). Web Design: Introductory. Cengage Learning. p. 94. ISBN 978-1-305-17627-0.
  8. Boyce, Jim (2011). Windows 7 Bible. John Wiley & Sons. p. 318. ISBN 978-1-118-08127-3.
  9. "How do I enable directory listings for a folder on my Web site?". tigertech.net. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  10. Schofield, Jack (7 November 2013). "iGoogle: what are the best alternatives?". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  11. "Creating Your Home Page | Computer Science & Engineering Help Pages". help.cs.umn.edu. Retrieved 2016-07-01.
  12. Weibel, David; Groner, Rudolf; Wissmath, Bartholomaus (2010). "Motives for Creating a Private Website and Personality of Personal Homepage Owners in Terms of Extraversion and Heuristic Orientation". Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  13. Crowder, Phillip; Crowder, David A. (2008). Creating Web Sites Bible. John Wiley & Sons. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-470-37259-3.
  14. Yahoo! to the Max: An Extreme Searcher Guide, Randolph Hock
  15. Staff, Verge (2013-09-16). "iOS: A visual history". The Verge. Retrieved 2016-07-01.
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