Why not just send them to a page that either thanks them for visiting and provides an easy way to log back in? I guess you have to think of what people will expect to see. When I log out, I like a confirmation that I’ve logged out … rather than just being shunted to some unrelated page on the site (like the home page). I think your site users would quickly get sick of you if you redirected them to some ad every time they logged out.
The only reason I log out (say from SP) as opposed to closing the current tab) is that I want to be sure I’m logged out (such as when I’ve been using someone else’s computer).
[FONT=Verdana]I thought it was pretty good, because it lets the user decide what to do next. In any case, I would imagine most - if not all - users who log out do so because they’re about to leave the site, so it doesn’t much matter where you take them, as long as it’s quick.
If you are in your Profile on SitePoint and you log out, you are taken to a screen screaming that you are trying to access a restricted page and you get a whole long description of your evil ways - much in bold.
I find that unsightly at best.
My ideal behavior is that when you log out you are left on the current page UNLESS it is a page that requires you to be logged in, which in that case I think re-directing to the Home Page is fine.
But, as I originally stated, that would require a lot of programming logic now that my site has went from 5 screens to 50 screens where 60% of them require you be logged in.
I am thinking that either sending everyone to the Home Page, or possibly taking Ralph’s advice and having a page that clearly states “You are now logged out!” are the most practical solutions.
vBulletin tried to cover as much ground as it could, the best it saw fit. And while it’s a boilerplate with vBulletin what TechnoBear’s showing, there is some truth to what Debbie says.
Related, there are also some websites tricks with this “register to view” message, where they require you to log in or register in order to view certain things (promised land and more), when, at best, all they want from you is your email for spamming.
Also, there are users who’d try to get into restricted areas (if they exist) without having been given the welcome, so you have to be aware of this situation too.
But to quickly address the question of this thread: a “good bye, thank you for visiting, come back soon” page or a “news you may want to read after” page or a “log in to an alternate account” page. There is no definitive answer, it all depends on the website and its purpose and the account type.
Just make sure you have some visible links there to some key pages in your website just in case the user wishes to continue using your website without being logged in. The same page or the home page, just not automatically redirected.