An interstitial webpage is a page on the Internet that exists between two pages and typically is used to present either an advertisement or some form of notice to the user of a website. When used in advertising, it is often considered invasive and may receive a negative reaction from viewers, in much the same way that pop up ads often do. Many websites will allow users to circumvent these types of ads in some form, often through membership with the site. An interstitial webpage can also be a page that comes up to warn visitors to the website of mature content or to request membership information before granting access to the desired website.
The word “interstitial” refers to something that occupies, or exists within, the space between things; in this sense an interstitial webpage is considered to exist between two other webpages. One page is the page from which a person is coming, and the other page is the one to which a person is trying to navigate. This means that an interstitial webpage comes up between these two and serves some purpose other than providing a page that a person is actually trying to reach.
One of the most common uses of an interstitial webpage is in advertising. An interstitial ad will typically come up as a full page, not merely a pop-up ad or floating advertisement. It will also usually have some form of timer indicating when the person will be forwarded to the actual site he or she wishes to view.
While a number of Internet browsers provide tools that can allow a person to avoid these ads, they are still often viewed as a nuisance by many web users. Many websites that utilize one or more interstitial webpage advertisements will provide users with a way to avoid these ads, often by registering as a member with the website. Even when this registration is a free service, it can often be considered a way to better ensure user loyalty and involvement by users with the site.
There are other uses for an interstitial webpage that may be considered less offensive, though they ultimately function the same way. These often include pages that come up as a warning or notice to a user, such as indicators that a webpage someone is going to view contains mature content, a request for membership information, or a request for age verification before viewing. On many websites and forums, an interstitial webpage may come up to warn someone when a link is directing him or her away from the site. This can help avoid scams involving deceptive links being posted by forum users, which may appear to redirect a person to another part of the site but is actually sending them to a different website.