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How to Add a "What's New" Page to Your Web Design

Aug 17, 2007
By visiting a number of sites, you'll probably be quick to notice that many of their web designs include "What's New" pages or sections within other pages of the website design such as the home page. These sections are becoming increasingly popular among web designers as they're an easy way to keep the content of your website's design fresh and informative. These sections are frequently complimented by "What's New on This Site" sections or pages, which also allow for fresh content, and keep visitors interested in returning to the site to find out what's happening.

It has been proven through the number of visitors and other traffic statistics that any pages that highlight their newest additions to the site will experience increased traffic - likely due to a great deal of returning traffic. Even if there are links to the different parts of the site where the changes will have occurred, having those changes stand out on the home page or with their own pages increases their visibility, creating greater interest through the larger number of people who notice that something new is available.

Remember that just because the amount of traffic increases on your site, it doesn't necessarily mean that the number of unique visitors to your site has increased. It could mean that you are generating a large number of return visitors. This is great if you want to ensure that your buying customers don't forget about you. It helps to make certain that when your clients think about the type of product or service that you sell, you'll be the first business that comes to mind. This is among the best kind of marketing that you can achieve.

So how do you know if a "what's new" section is for you? Consider the following "qualifications" that would make your site design a good candidate for a "what's new" section or page.

* Your content is always being updated, changed, or altered in some way * Your site contains a very large number of different pages

If your page consists only of a main page as well as reciprocal links or perhaps a guestbook or feedback form, and perhaps a few small sub-pages, then a "what's new" page is likely more work than it's worth, because it won't offer much real benefit to your visitors.

However, with many pages, or pages that are constantly growing or changes, this section will be a wonderful way to flag what's new so that the visitors can head directly to the fresh stuff that they're looking for, without having to search through the site - or simply give up before finding what they're looking for.

However, remember that even if your site doesn't change too much, as long as it's large enough, you can still use a "what's new"-type section to highlight the sub-pages that are most popular on your site. If anything, this will provide a much easier navigation through your site. Simply change the name of "what's new" to something more practical, such as "Popular Pages" or "Featured Pages".

Remember that the main point of a "what's new" section is just to make the lives of your visitors easier as they navigate your site. A web user simply won't search a full website to see if anything just happens to be new. Nor will they look for very long to find what they want if they haven't found it in the first couple of clicks. Therefore, use this as a tool to keep your visitors satisfied with the ease of navigation of your site.

Within the "what's new" section, you can write whatever you want, but the important thing is to make sure that whatever you say displays the latest changes, additions, features, or information offered by your site. Remember that your visitors aren't going to use the "what's new" section to its full potential, but will simply use it for what attracts their attention the most. It's just a quick way to "get there".

A what's new section is great for those people who have found your site, and those who intend to return. It makes the site much easier to use, and is very pleasant to see upon landing on the home page. Just make sure that your site is large enough to make it worth the effort.
About the Author
Mark Nenadic
Mark is the director and face behind FifteenDegrees-North, where you will find articles and resources to help with SEO,
marketing and Web design.
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