When people visit a community, they want to know what’s new. Your community landing page should be a snapshot of everything that is presently going on in your community.
Don’t waste any space with with introductory text nor large images. Your goal is to show any newcomer exactly what is going on in the community in the shortest amount of time.
Good communities show most of the following on the landing page.
- Latest news. This is content produced by you and your volunteers. It should be content about the community, you have many options here. Aim to publish at least one news post a day.
- What’s new? What are the most recent contributions by the community? This keeps the content dynamic and fresh. People get a sense of efficacy when their post appears here moments after they publish it. It encourages instant gratifications and quick replies from others.
- What’s popular? Social proof, this shows members what others are doing in the community right now. It guides them in their own discussions and highlights activity. Knowing what’s popular helps bond your community around common themes.
- Who’s new? Showcasing member whom have joined encourage existing members to say hi.
- Who’s popular? This can take many forms (featured member, interview, rankings) but showing which members are most popular at any given time provides others with orientation points to aim for.
- Notifications/Replies. In a top bar highlight the notifications you have received to comments you’ve posted. These are actions that need the member’s attentions.
Mumsnet and SK-Gaming are good landing pages.
Your landing page doesn’t need to be beautiful. It doesn’t need to explain what your community is about, nor what newcomers can do. You have about pages and welcome packs for that. Your landing page simply has to show the visit everything that’s new in your community. When this is done well, your activity can skyrocket.