A splash page is not evil

Splash Page
The page of a Web site that the user sees first before being given the option to continue to the main content of the site. (…) A splash page is sometimes referred to as a splash screen. Webopedia: splash page

Although splash page are often considered as useless and best avoided at all times, I think there are situations you can’t really do without one. Especially in countries with several official languages, the language on a home page can be a sensitive thing. A home page in one language may native speakers of the other language feel treated as second rank visitors — not really a good start for a productive visit to your site IMHO. For this reason, I personally would avoid a home page in one language with a link to the alternative language(s) in multilingual countries.

Especially in a multilingual country (Belgium for example) splash pages are widly used for a language choice. Apparently, those companies don't want to favor one language over the other. Let's face it: if splash pages are really evil, why are Apple, Ferrari, Coca-Cola and the Europian Union using them for Belgium?

As long as they are functional and fast-loading (no Flash!), a splash page can be the best solution for a multilingual site when you want to treat visitors who speak different languages equally.

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