What’s On Your Front Page?

What’s On Your Front Page?

Yes, I know I'm supposed to be writing more tutorials. Been kind of busy with real life, medical concerns and some other stuff. I'm actually writing today a personal rant and I have to admit that it's really an opinion piece.

I'm trying to figure out why WordPress MultiUser site admins place adverts on their home pages of their sites. To me, this makes no sense what so ever. The purpose of the front page is to draw the casual visitor into the site, not send them away. There are tons of threads on the mu support forums asking how to list the most recent posts, what blogs have been updated recently and those posts or blogs that admins want to highlight. Those lists are there hoping to draw in the visitor into their site to see what folks are writing about. But yet seems like nearly every mu install I look at, there's an advert up there hoping to earn a few cents for the admin.

Now I don't have a problem with adverts. We all know something has to pay the bucks when it comes to servers and bandwidth and your time that you invest into the site. I just personally feel that this isn't the way to go though. Sure, let's put adverts on the sitewide tag pages or display them to folks coming in from the search engines. I don't have a problem with that and considering that those types of views and clicks earn better than the average click, I say go for it. But when I have a random visitor drops onto the front page of my mu install, I want to draw them in, not send them elsewhere.

Take a look at WalMart for example. Sure, there's a banner currently for Always Infinity across the top of the site and another one embedded within the content. But what happens when you click on the advert? Instead of getting sent to another site, it drops you into a page within the WalMart site.

Home Depot as a rotating image banner highlighting sales on their site. Ditto with Starbucks.

Would you rather have those few extra pennies or a decent blogger who may earn you more down the road?

Just a thought.
-drmike

8 Comments
  • Dr. Mike's Steak Dinner
    Posted at 16:49h, 17 October Reply

    Filled With Mu…

    Continuing on with the series of WordPress MultiUser tutorials, two new ones have been added to the WPMuTutorial site:Who’s Your Mu Buddy? – Why having a WPMu peer may be a good idea.What’s On Your Front Page? – A personal……

  • IndieLab
    Posted at 08:40h, 18 October Reply

    Great post and I completely agree. We don’t have ads on the IndieLab.org front page, but you’ve got me thinking that I should think about some kind of promotional banners leading into the site a little further.

    I think (unfortunately) some new MU admins are so pre-programmed to putting ads on their WP single install version blogs, that they naturally bring that into MU as a matter of habit.

    Just as MU is a completely different beast than WP single install version, admin-ing an MU installation is just as different.

  • Dr. Mike Wendell
    Posted at 17:10h, 18 October Reply

    Thanks for the response. What got me started on this was viewing a mu install with *7* different advert displays. I think that’s a bit much.

    Yes, you need to generate revenue or at least pay for your hosting. I have one client who says if it will pay for a cup of starbucks everyday, she’s happy.

    I’ve always thought that squarespace.com had a great layout for their home pages. In fact, we’ve swiped a lot of ideas from them to use on our own installs.

  • Andrea_R
    Posted at 18:29h, 18 October Reply

    I think seven different ad spots is a bit much on *any* site.

    (although I do tend to see a group of 125x ads as one block)

  • Maria Bellis
    Posted at 16:34h, 21 October Reply

    I think it seems odd to put ads on your home page – at least if done in an ‘in-yer-face’ manner,

    Not only will it offend some visitors, but it makes people less wiling to link to the site.

  • rese
    Posted at 00:33h, 23 October Reply

    great article,,
    nice to know u..
    bookmarks before..=)

  • Curtis
    Posted at 17:05h, 02 November Reply

    ok, i’ll admit, i had adverts on my front page. but it’s cuz i’m poor. i offer a lot of prizes and stuff – cash – and i needed a way to pay for it. Once I started giving stuff away, my users expected it. Plus, I’m a hosting novice, so I didn’t know any better at the time. Once i got those paypal notices, i got greedy. in my defense, though, i do it so that I can improve my users experience. I’m working on a theme upgrade – and I am theme-design retarded – that doesn’t include the ads.

    but it’s shown my users how to make a little dough for themselves.

  • Marce
    Posted at 00:12h, 05 December Reply

    Great article !

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