Why does everyone insist on putting the home button first?

Example of a Website Navigation Bar

Here’s the navigation bar on my website.

It seems as though every time I give a draft home page to a client for the first time, they say “The home button needs to go at the beginning/top of the navigation.”  Why do people think that?

Usually they say that’s what “everyone else” is doing.  I have a theory about that.  Thousands of business owners are building their websites on WordPress.  I actually use it most of the time now for my clients, as well.  But when you set up the WordPress software, you usually start with the home page, so that ends up being the first one in the menu.  You do have the ability to change it around, but most people don’t.

See, what I learned about good web design is that you put the most important menu items first – the ones that you really want people to see.  For instance, Products, Services, or Menus in the case of a restaurant.  In this way, you’re guiding people through your website to see what it is you have to offer, and then eventually how to contact you.

Most people will enter your website through your home page, so they don’t need to see the home page button first.  Put it at the end, where they can go back to it if they so desire.

At the same time, I’m not a fan of leaving the home button out of the navigation bar completely.  That doesn’t make sense to me either.  Unless your home page is completely useless!  After all, some people do enter your site from other pages.  If your site is well optimized for the search engines and someone is shopping for widgets in Boston, MA, they will be taken directly to your widgets page in the search results.  They may want to check out your home page while they’re on your site.

So there you go, my theory on why a home page button should be the last one in your website’s navigation bar. Let me know what YOU think!

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