BEST PRACTICE: Home Page Right Column


By Matthew J. Adams
Jul 25, 2012

The introduction of the online giving button onto CMS home pages serves as a good reminder to review a couple of best practices for the right column of your home page.

The home page is designed to have a welcome message in the left-hand column, so large amounts of information in the right column, serve only to add to the visitor's cognitive load and confuse your visitor's eye. Here's an example of a right column that contains too much, poorly organized, content.

Don't get trapped into thinking that you have to place something in addition to the giving button inside that column; it's not wasted real estate. Sometimes having whitespace can  draw attention to something very important.

Additionally, having that space routinely blank will definitely alert readers when something is placed there.

Finally, whatever you place there, please make it left-justified. It looks better and helps your reader's eye follow the logical pattern established by the left-hand welcome and left-justified giving buttons.

At the bottom of this article are some examples of using the right-hand column for promotional purposes.

Of course, if you'd like an opinion, be sure to email a screenshot to the user group.

Quick Links & Icon Links

If you prefer to include a short list of quick links, keep the layout simple and left-justified.

Promotional Image

Sometimes, it is preferable to advertise an important lecture or welcome message from the chair. In that case, use an image that is 220 pixels wide.

If possible, keep your text about the image inside the image, either right- or left-justified. If that’s not possible, please keep your text left-justified.