Photo of the communal noticeboard in the Vaudois village of Vich

You need an About page for your website

You will find this advice in may other places, but it bears repeating: you need an About page for your website.

Websites come in many shapes, sizes and flavours, but no matter how groundbreaking or stylish your site is, there are some basic universal rules you should respect. If the organization’s logo appears somewhere towards the top of the page, clicking on it should take the visitor to the homepage. And somewhere on the page there should be a link containing the word About – About, About Me, About Us, About Our Work, etc… – that leads to your About page. It doesn’t need to be at the top of the page – it’s quite common now for it to be found in the footer – but anyone who goes looking for it should find it easily.

At the time of writing I’m still working full-time at the Ecolint Alumni Office (where you can find the About link just beneath Home). Just today I clicked through to the website of an alumna who had registered with us. I spent perhaps five minutes browsing her site without managing to get a clear idea of the service she was offering. An About link and page could have easily solved this problem. I spent much longer on her site than would an average visitor.

It may seem old-fashioned and not something required by a modern operation – a bit like including a fax number in your contact details – but the About page is part of the global language of the web. It is where your visitors go to find out where they are and whether where they are is where they want to be.

A website without an About page is like a village without its information board. Most of the people living in our village have probably barely noticed it, standing off to the side of the central bus stop. But for the occasional first-time visitor, lost tourist or passing hiker, it’s a most welcome resource. Make sure your village (and by village I mean website) has its information board (and by information board I mean About page). Your visitors will be lost without it.

Photo of the communal noticeboard in the Vaudois village of Vich

The About page in Vich.

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