A branding page before the home page of a Web site.
Splash pages are usually graphic-intensive pages that appear before the main home page. Some feature standard graphic format such as GIF and JPEG; others feature formats such as Macromedia Flash that require a special plug-in (which a visitor must download if he or she does not already have one). Some splash pages automatically refresh to the home page upon completion; others require the visitors to click on an entrance button or text link.
While some marketers believe that splash pages are a necessary part of the brand experience, users may not view them in the same light. It is worth noting that very few of the most highly-trafficked destinations on the Web use splash pages.
The phrases “splash page” and “Flash page” are sometimes used interchangeably. While it is true that many splash pages use Macromedia Flash technology, the terms are not synonymous, as some splash pages do not use Flash.
see also: Web Design Tools
Splash Pages: Pros and Cons
About.com (March 3, 2002)
It May Flash, but It Doesn’t Streak
ClickZ (March 14, 2001)
Let the User Skip the Splash Page
evolt.org (September 5, 1999)