A home page, index page, or main page is a page on a website. A home page usually refers to:
- The initial or main web page of a website, sometimes called the "front page" (by analogy with newspapers).
- The first page that appears upon opening a web browser program, which is also sometimes called the start page. This 'start page' can be a website or it can be a page with various browser functions such as the visual display of websites that are often visited in the web browser.
- The web page or local file that automatically loads when a web browser starts or when the browser's "home" button is pressed; this is also called a "home page". The user can specify the URL of the page to be loaded, or alternatively choose e.g. to re-load the most recent web page browsed.
- A personal web page, for example at a web hosting service or a university web site, that typically is stored in the home directory of the user.
- In the 1990s the term was also used to refer to a whole web site, particularly a personal web site.
A home page can also be used outside the context of websites, such as to refer to the principal screen of a user interface, which is also referred to as a home screen on mobile devices such as cell phones.
The first website was created by Tim Berners-Lee, who is known as the inventor of the World Wide Web. Its address was http://info.cern.ch/ and serves as an initial home page with links from which one can view other web pages detailing information on hypertext, how to create your own web page, and explanations on how to search the Web.
A website's home page is often used to provide a dashboard-like view of other pages—directing visitors to key areas of the web site. It is often viewed as a chance to market products or promote an image.
A web site's home page will typically be used to:
- Explain what the web site does and who it aims to serve
- Help guide the users in finding what they want
- Simplify the search for important site information
- Emphasize web site content
If a home page isn't specified for a web site, many web servers will default to display a list of files located in the site's directory. This list will include hyperlinks to the files, allowing for simple file sharing without maintaining a separate file.
Mobile device home page (home screen)
The home page of a mobile device, often called the "home screen", serves as a useful way to organize applications stored on a smartphone. For example, when the iPhone is first unlocked, the user is brought to a screen that is customized based on personal preference.
Since a home page is used to allow a user to have immediate access to their most used page, mobile devices integrated that quality in order to make a fast, easy, and user-friendly way for users to access their applications in an organized manner.
A changing concept
The home page has become increasingly complex. It used to just be one page or screen that was shown when the internet/device was launched—now a user is shown various sites as small thumbnails. These sites are automatically added to the home page based on the websites that the user frequents.
The iPhone, for example, allows this more complex home page to be utilized. Once the iPhone is unlocked, you are able to use up to 14 screens as a home page.
Home pages are very customizable. A user signing in on Google's Chrome browser has access to bookmarks, themes, extensions, and applications from any device. The user can also set the preference for the browser to open to a specific website.
|Look up home page in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Example home page: Tim Berners-Lee's home page