For years, usability experts like Jakob Nielsen have recommended that organizations remove clutter from their homepage. However, many synagogues prominently display today’s date—either the Gregorian date or the Hebrew date—on their homepage. Do visitors really need to know that today is the 24th of Adar? One might argue that adding the date makes the website feel current, but it does nothing if the events calendar is empty or if the homepage still announces last year’s High Holiday services.
One possible exception is if the homepage has a yahrzeit list and the Hebrew date appears with it. Even in that case, though, the date is not the important part; the names (and memories) of the loved ones are, and the design and typography should reflect that.
Speaking of homepage clutter, I was surprised to find recently that a major Jewish community has a notice on the top of its homepage—in a bright orange box, no less—announcing that “this site is under construction.” I wish the designers went for broke and included an appropriate Geocities-era image with the notice.