Your Homepage

Your homepage is your daily listing of events in order of popularity. It is the landing page for a huge amount of traffic, and that thing they say about first impressions - “you don’t get more than one” - is especially true for your site given the options for nightlife/entertainment media that your target audience has available.

So it’s essential that your homepage showcase a well-curated, visually appealing list of the best of what is going on in your city that day for your audience. You want the most in-the-know, “culture forward” influencer in your scene to get to your homepage and think, “Whoa, couldn’t have done it better myself. These people get it.”

Daily Listings Scan

Every single day, someone on your team should scan the first 25 listings on your homepage for quality issues. After scanning the events happening today, do the same thing for the next 5-7 days. For example, when you come in on Monday, check the first 25 listings for Monday-Sunday of that week. This is the most crucial of all the scans, because it sets a good foundation for quality events the rest of the week. Then on Tuesday, do quick scans of Tuesday-Monday. If done every day, the process shouldn't take much more than 5 minutes (maybe a little longer on Monday). Most people look for events today, or in the week to come, so this covers the bare minimum of making sure your site has the necessary content to appeal to your audience immediately.

Read below for a run-through on the kinds of things you should be checking for when scanning your homepage event listing.

Top of the Top

The three events at the top of the homepage are the most immediately visible. You want to ensure that the top 3 events:
  • Are at known, well-attended venues (not Joe’s Crab Shack on the corner or a small club aways out of town)
  • Have good artists attached (though not all events will be music events, the majority will be)
  • Are the BEST things to do of the daily list (Pearl Jam is not halfway down the page with Local Loud Garage Band at the top - even if they are decent)
The fourth listing is always a repeating event, such as a Happy Hour every Thursday, chosen randomly from the top of your repeating events. Because they are chosen randomly, all repeating events should appeal to your target audience (“Family Fun Fridays at the Bowling Alley” probably doesn’t belong*).

The list continues below with additional top events in reasonable order of awesomeness given the above criteria. All mainstream or unique underground events are listed because you’ve established strong content management practices that ensure you have uncovered everything that is going on.

Curating your homepage isn’t a science. And it is not always going to be perfect. But you should ALWAYS be trying to make it perfect. Your users can go to Facebook, your alt weekly, OhMyRockness, or a dozen other sources to find out what they can do tonight, but your unique value to them is that you show them EVERYTHING they can do in such a way that reflects their taste.

For info on how to ensure your organically-driven listing is given the proper soil to grow in the right direction, we have this guidance that covers event promotion and includes popularity settings.

*In order to exclude certain events from the daily listing, you can set it to a category that does not display in your “default” (homepage) shortcut.

DoLA's Appealing Homepage

Visual Appeal

Even if your listing is for a great event, no one will pay attention to it if it looks like a hot mess that a robot spit out. You spent time and energy not only curating your listings but also designing your site to make it look good and representative of who you are. Every day, your listing either visually complements your design or detracts from it.

Key things to look for that your users will notice:
  1. Event Card Images 
    • Do they have text behind them that obscures the event title? 
    • Are they the same color as the listing text so the title is unreadable? 
    • Are they blurry? 
    • Do they look like a child’s fingerpainting you wouldn’t put on your refrigerator even if it were your own child’s? 
      • = Make sure your team prioritizes changing out these images for better ones! Check out this image guidance.
  2. Event Titles 
    • Are they super long so that users won’t bother reading them or short and sweet?
    • Do they accurately represent the headliners and what is compelling about the event?
    • Do they include extraneous characters or info? (“!!!!” is not going to get users more excited and “@10pm” is in the event info elsewhere)
      • = Checking over titles for the daily listing should also be part of your team’s regular content management strategy. If automated titles are an issue, check out this article on requesting scraper fixes.
  3. Popularity Votes & Tastemaker Icons
    • The top event only has 5 votes?
    • No Tastemaker icon on the second event and 4 on the event below it?
    • It looks like no one ever is active on your site?
      • = The appearance of user engagement is important and will inspire more engagement. Don’t have a lot of active users? Set up lists that are set to autovote on events. Lists can be thematic or seasonal or be attached to a popular media outlet that previews upcoming events in comments.

Additional Homepage Notes

Your holistic homepage experience includes the navigation and footer sections in addition to your event listing. When considering how your users experience the rest of the homepage, consider the following:
  • Latest: Your Latest dropdown should feature recent, relevant posts so your users get in the habit for checking it out for the latest Giveaways, lists, blog posts, etc.
  • Featured Stuff: The links under “Featured Stuff” in your search flyout should be of interest to your audience and showcase the diversity of the content you provide.
  • Shortcuts/category links: Under the “All Events” dropdown in the “sticky” navigation bar, you can feature relevant filters for events. Each of those filters should be in a category of interest that contains several events (instead of “Comedy” linking to an empty page because you have yet to setup scrapers for comedy clubs).
  • Footer: Check out the “Top Searches” to remove any weird terms as well as the other columns to ensure the links work and content is well-presented.


Show your love for your scene by setting up processes that ensure your listing is the best that it can be. Every day. Because your listing is the core of what you offer your users and has huge value!

For inspiration on how best to set up workflow processes, check out our Asana articles.