In Web design, a splash page is an introductory page that webmasters may use as a gate between the initial loading of the site and the actual site content. Also called a "splash screen" or a "landing page," a splash page often features high-design visuals and other design aspects that are supposed to attract Web users to proceed further into the website.
Many splash screens include accessible graphics and a few simple on-screen choices that make the site more accessible to users. Many of them contain either control buttons or text boxes, where users can choose to learn more about a company or product, register for a product or service, or navigate a site. In some cases, companies choose to use the splash page as an access gatekeeper, requiring registration information in order to allow Web users to visit the site.
The use of splash pages in Web design has its share of advantages and disadvantages. Splash pages can jazz up a site and make it look better, but, on the contrary, fancy animation or other types of splash page features can cause pages to load slower and can have a deterrent effect on Web users. Some industry experts point to studies that show a lot of users clicking out of the site because they do not like splash pages and they do not want this delay before entering the site. Web designers and project managers have to evaluate all of these issues when choosing whether or not to build a splash page and how to design it effectively.