This is a repost from 7/23/07.
The average online user spends anywhere from five seconds to 15 seconds to get an impression about a homepage that is new to them. Most of the time a user will determine that a website is useless to them by the content on the single page, and leave - never to return.
Keep the focus on a single goal. Whatever the goal of your website is, that is what the focus of your homepage should be on. No matter what type of content you want on your homepage, if it isn't related - somehow - to your goal, it's pointless. Your viewers are going to be - most likely - skimming through the content of your homepage, having different messages and content can be confusing and easily convince a viewer that the website is "not beneficial" to them.
Don't lie. Don't write what you think people will want to read. Write what you have to say and leave it at that. There are only a few, select readers who will see past the baloney on your hompage - everyone else will click away with a feeling of being scammed, or worse.