one of the best home pages I’ve ever seen

Your home page is the most important part of your website.


People give your website maybe thirty seconds before they decide if it’s a fit or not.

Recently, I was compiling a list of super amazing blogs. And I must have looked at about a hundred. And some of them, I didn’t include because I couldn’t figure out what on Earth the blog was about. I went to it. Browsed. Scratched my head. Browsed some more. And left. Done.

The confused mind says, ‘no’.

If your home page confuses people it will kill the effectiveness of your website. Your home page is the ad for your website. It’s the invitation to your party. It’s the well kept path to your house. It either brings people closer – or repels them away.

So your home page needs to be crystal clear about three things:

  1. Who it’s for.
  2. What the problem is that you solve.
  3. What the result is that you’re offering.

But clarity isn’t the only thing to think about. There’s also the tone of it. And it’s easy to get it laser focused and . . . too hyped up.

Here’s a mantra to think about: cool idea, warm tone, hot offer. The core idea of what your work is about should be cool. People should hear it and say, ‘What a great idea!‘. The tone should feel warm, human, welcoming and safe. And the offers you make should be hot. People should say, ‘Damn! That is a hot offer! How could anyone say no to that?

So, you want your homepage to be clear but also compelling and warm.

I’d like to show you one of my favourite examples of this.

Carrie Klassen is not only a colleague of mine but someone I really deeply adore.

Her marketing work is amazing, quirky, beautiful. I’d say it’s authentic – but that is starting to feel like such a buzzword.

I wrote these words for her website a while back:

“I have a confession. I’m a marketer (for hippies) and sometimes I sort of slam designers in my workshops. They’re lovely people, but many of them don’t really get marketing. And here I am endorsing a designer and writer. Why? Carrie is brilliant. She draws you in with warmth, honesty and quirk. She tells good stories. Her marketing isn’t pushy – it’s welcoming. I recommend her constantly to my clients when they wonder where to go for great design and writing. Carrie is to marketing what warm sweaters, mulled cider and toboggans are to winter days.”

I invite you to check out the little four minute or so video I did guiding your through Carrie’s website below. And I encourage you to drop her a line and say, ‘hello’ to her if you’re struggling with your home page. She’s brilliant and kind.



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About Tad

  • Kim Tanasichuk

    I think you’re right Tad – Carrie does have one of the best home pages I’ve seen too :)   Intuitively it makes me feel like any hesitation/anxiety is released, that she has the best of intentions, and that she’d just feel like a wonderful support to anyone’s business. 

    Yet also – both of you – lovingly frustrated with you marketers!  See, I got into web design because I loved the creativity of it.  I see my strengths are really being a vessel, to be able to create what my client’s envision, and to support them, to honour their ideas.  But now connecting with you two, I just have so many more questions now.  The biggest one is, how can I combine what my clients are drawn to about my work – flexibility in design, intuitive, easy to work with – with these marketing things?  I slightly resist it (because I want to make sure I hold strong in who I am) but also am so curious and want to embrace this.  So many questions I want to ask!

    Finally, I have two fun thoughts –
    1.  I need an excuse to go to Ontario to meet this lovely lady in person!
    2.  Is there a informal conference we can create – like a hippy marketing convention for the marketers/web designers/graphic designers, etc?  Perhaps a beautiful natural setting, so we can step away from our computers and connect over a fire or drumming, some good food and lots of laughs?

    Thanks you two – I feel changed and challenged by both of you…. and that’s a good thing.

  • what this makes me think is how much fun it is to work in partnership with you on sites. more fun and such good things come out of it!

  • You mean I don’t have to know everything myself and I can work with great people like you? ;)  Yes, it is fun.  It feels like now I’m questioning everything I’ve done up to this point and looking at it in a new light.  We’ll talk more…lots of questions arising and feel I need more understanding so I can keep up :)

  • Oh, Kim, there are SO many ways to do things. SO many roads leading to the same place. There are a million formulas and a million ways to make them original. I know a little about how you work with clients from our chats and what Tad has shared – supportively, nurturingly (I know that’s not a word, but you know what I mean) and intuitively, generously and kindly. THAT is how you shepherd. And it’s beautiful. 

    My design philosophy is that a successful website FEELS like the business it’s representing. It’s where the conversation starts. If your clients come to you because they like your style, then it sounds to me like you’re already doing everything right.

    But I’d love to meet you in person at last if you make your way to Ontario, and if talking shop is the way we make your flight a tax deductible business expense, then I’m all for that. 

  • What a kind note you gave :)  Yes, absolutely – many roads leading to the same place.  On the one hand, what marketers have taught me is how nice it is to have an overall plan, and the writing…so helpful to have someone to help with the writing and help the client get focussed.  But on the other hand not all clients want the marketing stuff because it doesn’t feel like them, or they don’t want to spend the time.  

    Yes, not at all diminishing my work because I have many happy clients and I’m happy with it up to date.  But I think because I don’t naturally have marketing bits inside – like I don’t have a sales letter liver or cold call kidneys – I’ll learn from yours, Tad’s, and others marketing bones to evolve my business.  Hee hee, marketing is body parts metaphor…

    Plus, Tad’s last couple of referrals know way more about marketing than I do, so the question is very timely – how I can I put my spin on the marketing-y bits.  A work in progress :)

    Tax deductable trip?  Love that idea.  Let’s see what life unfolds! 

  • Simon Paul Sutton

    Great video Tad as always so simply explained and has made me realise my hompage needs some attention and I produce videos and do not have one on the site yet. Thank you x