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Also, I always use ALT text on the logo -- something like:
<img src="logo.gif" alt="Clicking the XYZ logo from any page on this website will take you directly to our home page...">
I also use a "Home" text link as close to the upper right corner of the page, (e.g.- at the left of a horizontal navigation bar or at the top of a left-column group of navigation links).
To make things as easy as possible for the user, I also place a "Home" link at the bottom of each page so users will not have to scroll up to find a link or use the BACK button.
I suggest using all three:
1. Logo in upper left corner as link to home page
2. Top of page "Home" text link
3. Bottom of page "Home" text link
I just want to add that the "home" link might benefit from being called something else, unless of course your website is about homes. Google for example calls their home link "web".
Every page on your site gives that link a vote for it's anchor text.
It would make sense then that in the more metropolitan areas, where there are a higher number of advanced users, it would be safe to make the assumption that most of them would know this but in the more rural or smaller metro areas, it is not a safe assumption.
Yep, those of us out here in fly over country seem to always be on the short end of the stick. I've heard rumors the big city folks even have indoor plumbing, gasoline engine vehicles and schools that go way past the 6th grade.
FWIW, I've earned my living online for several years running now and I've never thought to click on a logo here at WW, Yahoo, eBay, etc. to return to the home page - until I read this thread. But since I live out here in the backwaters, I guess I have a good excuse.
If I want my visitors to be able to return to the home page, I provide a "Home" link and put it where they expect it.
When appropriate, I even use an old technique from the stone ages and put "Click Here" links on the site from time to time.
There is an exception, however. I encourage all my competitors to avoid "Home" links. And while you're at it, I encourage all my competitors to assume your visitors want to see your cute video automatically upon visiting, along with whatever whizbang bells and whistles you can come up with.
[edited by: WiseWebDude at 9:37 pm (utc) on Sep. 5, 2007]
I find that irrelevant. The question was whether the main logo of a site need to contain a link back to the homepage (the way webmasterworld's logo is linked), and do visitors care?
Actually that was NOT the question.
The question was if you need a link OTHER than a logo link.
And the answer is: DUH! - of course you do.
Plenty of visitors click on the text link to our home page which doesn't say home but instead is the primary keyphrase that our website is about. Because the "home" link is located at the top of our menu on every page, I guess visitors just assume that its the home link, and after they have clicked it once they probably know where to click next time.
Linked logo to home has been standard since Yahoo first did it in 1995
Actually, I also did this back in 1995 - not because of Yahoo, but because it was logical along with a home page button graphic. As I recall, I used what was then around version 3 of PhotoPaint to make the old company logo on a 486/25 system that weighed appreciably more than a hay bale. ;-)
I have read through a lot of less than kind remarks about users in this thread, but keep in mind, not everyone is as technically comfortable as you may be and moreover they are the ones who butter your bread. It is always best to make and keep such people happy.
Always make the user experience as simple and intuitive as possible and you can never go too far wrong.
With pages getting longer as designers slowly stop trying to put everything and the kitchen sink above the fold, that home link becomes less important however.
For my sites, I link to the home page with the logo, in the top toolbar, in the footer, and in the drop-down box on the right, along with the other basic site pages. Why make people search for it?
I've always said that there are many more dumb people in the World than smart people, so if you want to broaden your market to reach more potential customers/users, dumb down your web site. It's worked for me!
In other words, and I realize this is a flawed example, but think about the Windows UI. They give you the option to use key commands to do many things, such as saving a file. Just because "everybody knows" that control+s will save your file doesn't preclude removing the option from the File menu, nor getting rid of the alt-access keys.
I work with people every day who have basic to advanced computer skills, yet many of them readily ask "how do I do that again?" when I instruct them to save a file. And a lot of the more computer-savvy people I know either do not know or do not choose to use the key commands to save a file. Likewise, some people simply find it more intuitive to click a "home" link than to click the site logo, especially when you consider that the "home" link will ALWAYS take you "home" whereas there is definitely a small chance that clicking on the logo will get you no-where.
While there are (informal) design standards and conventions on the web, they're like the Pirate's Code--more like guidelines, really. There are still many, many, many, many web sites out there that don't do things the way everyone else does--that includes linking the logo to the home page. This includes a lot of newer, CSS-based "web 2.0" sites where the designer may have put the logo as the background of a DIV layer--there's no physical image to click, unless you add JS to the div's onclick, and then you're relying on JS controls which may or may not be present.
So the bottom line is, I feel like linking your logo to your homepage is great, but I doubt it will ever truly be time to remove the "home" link from somewhere on the page.
Depending on the audience of the site, I may feel safe just putting the "home" link in the footer, but usually it goes somewhere at the top of the page or at the top of the navigation menu.
After four more years of learning I am amazed how easy it is to fall into that same trap of assuming everyone knows what I do. Like another poster here I use a family member as a reality check. I am constantly amazed at what the wife doesn't know in relation to website lingo/jargon, navigation, and usability. (Or inversely, how much I take for granted is common knowledge.) I asked her about the logo/header link and she gave me a blank stare before saying, "Why would I assume that?"
True, but a lot of people have only just gone online recently, and the majority of the world still isn't online.
It can't do any harm to have a discreet text link somewhere saying "front page" or "home page" or something like that, especially if you have people coming in from Google results rather than your front page.
If it isn't a "home" link, then I quickly get annoyed that I have to actually look for one.
Huh? Since when is the home page not
I don't put "home" on any of my sites. If visitors don't know that www.example.com is the home page, they'll probably think "home" is a link to a real estate website.
"Home" links are tacky. Use your site's full name or at least one keyword from the home page title in your header/footer links. The first link in a header or footer many surfers expect to take them to the home page; the absence of "home" doesn't confuse them.