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Recently I was involved in a discussion where someone argued that home pages don't make sense and they shouldn't even be called home pages (the hyperlink to an homepage should be something else).

I completely disagree as I think an home page is a very important reference point in a website navigation. It gives the user a reference point in the navigation structure. The keyword "home page" is actually widely used and users recognize it and I don't see why use another thing.

Still I would like to hear others opinion about the home page existence and name. Should a website or other hypermedia content start somewhere else? should it be named differently? What should an home page be?

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    Did this person suggest any alternatives? – Matt Obee Nov 10 '14 at 10:51
  • yes, in this particular case having the about as initial page and replace the link home page with about. – WhatIsTheUniverseUx Nov 10 '14 at 10:53
  • What 'doesn't make sense' with homepages? People are fine to have whatever opinions they want, but if they don't back up their opinions with any evidence - or even any solid reasoning - then all they have is a subjective opinion. And everyone has one of those. You don't implement anything that anyone wants; you implement things based on reasoning, research and evidence. – JonW Nov 10 '14 at 10:58
  • @JonW Yes, of course, but still I think there is always margin for discussion. Although an home page is a well settled thing it doesn't mean we can't discuss it. Else we may also fall in an absurd radicalism thinking we allways have the best ideas.If we didn't discuss things we would all still believe earth was flat. – WhatIsTheUniverseUx Nov 10 '14 at 11:01
  • The discussion is part of the reasoning process. But people just saying "I don't like {thing}" and just leaving it at that isn't helpful. However this site is a Q&A site, not a discussion forum, so we need a specific question that can be answered. This post is a bit discussion-y so may not be suitable to this site. – JonW Nov 10 '14 at 11:04
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The answer to this question really depends on your website architecture, your users search habits and many more factors (including: SEO, SEM campaigns, user journeys, etc).

Having said that, I suggest you read this article: "Myth #17: The homepage is your most important page".

Even though you "completely disagree as I think an home page is a very important reference point in a website navigation" there are many statistics and articles challenging the importance of the homepage.
I think this article can give you new, interesting viewpoints about the existence and importance of homepages.

Of course, even if there's evidence this is no dogma: you can read it critically and jump to your own conclusions.

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    Thank you for the link. I am not so worried with SEO, SEM at this stage but with user experience. I don't argue as well that it's my most important page in terms of content. I argue that it's existence as such is important in a navigation structure. It gives you a reference point, a cognitive anchor on the strucuture. – WhatIsTheUniverseUx Nov 10 '14 at 13:05
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I recently conducted a few usability studies and 2 of 4 people clicked the logo in the upper left corner to reset everything they were doing and get back to the "Home Page" one of them didn't even realized he had done it when I asked him why he clicked the upper left corner of the page.

I don't think it is necessary to call it "Home" but I do think that having some sort of logo / branding in the top left corner that goes to a good starting page is key.

This is how you get back to the Apple home page...

apple home page logo

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