Web Page, Landing Page, Splash Page or Website?
What's the difference and which one do I need?
September 7, 2018 by Erin Braxton
The other day I was on a call with a new client. We were discussing the design aesthetic of their new website. Or so I thought. The client kept using the term "landing page” during the conversation. When I corrected her letting her know we’ll be working on the full website, she simply asked me, "What's the difference?" Realizing there was some terminology confusion, I thought, "Good question."
A lot of people don't actually understand the differences between a web page, landing page, splash page or website. So I wanted do a post to break it down. For all of the entrepreneurs, small business owners and people who have or need to be on the web, understanding the differences can set you up for success when hiring a developer or simply marketing for your business.
Often used interchangeably, and incorrectly, people commonly mistake a landing page for a fully functioning website. They may say they need a splash page, when they really need a landing page. And overall, they fail to understand that a fully functioning website can contain all of these types of pages.
It’s sometimes funny to me when I have clients and potential clients throw out their need for simple landing pages or splash pages because they think by phrasing it this way, their project will cost less. Sure, it takes less time to design a splash page than to develop a complete website. But not being able to properly communicate your actual needs, when you need them, can cost you even more money in the long run. Plus, you may be left without the proper online tools needed for your business.
So what's the difference? I’ve created a simple infographic for you to skim at a glance. Then I’ll go through each, individually, with a formal definition and example.
What is a web page?
a page of information on the internet about a particular subject, that forms (a part of) a website (Cambridge Dictionary)
Think of a single web page like a page in a book. It can stand alone, and you can pull information from it, but it is part of a bigger collection of pages...a book. Whenever you get to an address on the internet, it is likely a web page. The page you're reading this article on right now is a single web page. A blog post, but a page. The page that you landed on when you searched for that product on Amazon is a web page. There are all types of web pages and they serve all kinds of purposes. Home pages, product pages, blog pages, contact pages, etc. While they appear to stand alone, they are typically connected by the same root domain (YourCompany.com). The following are all individual web page URLs:
While each of these are pages for the same company, with the same root URL, they all serve different purposes within the entire website.
Home Page Example
Product Page Example
What is a splash page?
The page of a Web site that the user sees first before being given the option to continue to the main content of the site. (Webopedia)
Splash pages are a great way to add a nice, modern design aesthetic to your site. These pages give you the ability to quickly show amazing imagery and creative that highlights your brand or product. It also should leave the visitor with no question on what the site is about. When visitors arrive on your splash page, they should immediately know if they want to go on and get more information or simply bounce off to another website.
Splash Page Example
What is a landing page?
sometimes known as a "lead capture page" or a "lander", or a "destination page", is a single web page that appears in response to clicking on a search engine optimized search result or an online advertisement. The landing page will usually display directed sales copy that is a logical extension of the advertisement, search result or link. Landing pages are used for lead generation. (Wikipedia)
Landing pages are created based on strategy. This very specific type of web page is typically used to capture lead information...or email addresses. Most often, landing pages are used to offer something of value in exchange for an email address. Examples of uses can be promoting eBooks, free webinar downloads and other valuable information that appeals to the targeted visitor.
Lead Page Example
What is a website?
If you made it this far, great. This may seem like a silly question, but it's not. Understanding these differences can really influence your online business success.
a group of World Wide Web pages usually containing hyperlinks to each other and made available online by an individual, company, educational institution, government, or organization (Merriam-Webster)
Think of a website as the whole enchilada. Remember earlier in the article when I referred to a web page as a page in a book? The website is that book.
A website is not just a home page or a landing page, but every type of page you need to run your online brand or business, connected to a unique root domain (YourCompany.com)...and, connected to each other.
So...if you're on Amazon's home page, and you have a question, there is a link to their contact page, or their FAQs page, or another related product page. Make sense?
As your website grows, you will likely find the need to incorporate different page types.
Understanding the types of pages you need on your site is essential to building a successful online environment for your business or brand. Remembering that your website is a living, breathing tool, that requires time, commitment and patience, will allow you to grow it in the right direction, over time. Hopefully this article was helpful in explaining the differences in web pages and how to use them.
Either way, I'd love for you to share any comments or questions you may have below.
And like I always say...quit getting ready to get ready, and just do it!