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In my language, we use "startsida" (literally "start(ing) page") for the first/starting page of a website, but when I google "start page" and "starting page" in different contexts, I don't get very many hits. So I check various dictionaries, and find that they all give "home page" as the translation. I'm confused though, because in my own language, we also have "hemsida" (literally "home page"), but this is usually used in a much broader sense, to refer to a whole website. So, now I'm wondering:

  1. In English, does "home page" refer exclusively and unambiguously to the first/starting page of a website?

  2. If the answer to question 1 is no, so that there is a confusion in English usage too, between "homepage" and "website", is there another word or phrase that I can use to refer unambiguously to the first page only?

When I check monoloingual dictionaries, they corroborate the use of "home page" for the first page, but then again, monolingual dictionaries in my own language do the same – that is, they claim that the Swedish word "hemsida" is used only for the first page, which simply doesn't concur with general usage.

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    You should do a search for Homepage vs Landing page. It seems that much of this terminology is still being defined.
    – EllieK
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 18:06
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    Yes, homepage is most definitely the first page of a website. It is the page after the domain name, like dot com, dot net. dot fr, dot eu etc.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 18:11
  • @EllieK-Don'tsupporther Haha, now I'm even more confused, after having taken your advice! ;) I guess you're right though, that there is still a bit of defining left to do...
    – Gerda
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 18:37
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    Gerda, Basically, homepage, the first page of a website, is not at all ambiguous. Of course, it would be the first page on a website. Page three of a website cannot be a homepage.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 18:49
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    The confusion probably stems from the early days of the Internet, when all the vocabulary was new and confusing. Back then, many people ignorantly used the word "home page" interchangeably with "web site", like, "Does that company have a home page?" where they clearly mean "web site". Your language probably borrowed the phrase "home page" during that period before English speakers corrected their usage. Very few English speakers under 80 make that mistake anymore.
    – gotube
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 19:14

1 Answer 1

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A website may comprise of many 'web pages', but the 'homepage' of a website is the first page. It is the page you would land on if you typed the short, basic URL of the website (eg www.bbc.co.uk). Other pages of the website may have their own, longer URLs (eg www.bbc.co.uk/news). Normally a website will have a link to return to the homepage (sometimes styled as a little house icon) on each subsequent webpage.

Bear in mind that new technologies have changed the way that websites work, and some technologies allow content to be accessed within a single page. This may skew some people's view of what a homepage is.

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  • Thank you! But considering the last sentence of your answer, would you say I could just rephrase, and say "the first page of the website" or something like that instead, to make absolutely sure there's no confusion?
    – Gerda
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 18:47
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    @Gerda When it comes to technology and explaining it to the masses, there is no guarantee that everybody will understand. 'Homepage' is the correct term. If you say 'first page' that may clarify it for some, but confuse others. Think of it this way - is the front cover a book the 'first page'?
    – Astralbee
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 18:48
  • What a great comment! You're right, of course. So, I guess I'd better just stick to the official way and hope for the best :) Thanks again!
    – Gerda
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 19:11
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    @Gerda Who exactly would be confused? You can use an apposition, too: The homepage of a website, its first page, blah blah blah. Now, I have provided two appositions. The other one is under your question...
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 19:28
  • @Lambie In answer to your question: anyone really. If I wrote the equivalent of "You will find more information on X's homepage" in Swedish, many people reading it would think I meant 'X's website', and probably be a bit annoyed, because they'd want to know where on the website they'd find the information.
    – Gerda
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 20:54

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