It basically depends on the type of audience. If it is a techie audience, such as here at DaniWeb, members like to see different types of articles and tutorials - especially linked right off the homepage. The more content, in the fewest number of clicks, the better.
It may be different for a non-techie audience, however. They need very easy navigation and to be directed where to click. They don't always like a lot squished into a little area because they get overwhelmed very easily.
However, I'm trying to find the answer to the same thing right now. DaniWeb's homepage has links to the latest 3 tutorials, information about the latest code snippet posted, my recent blog entries, a listing of all of the categories and forums we offer, and the latest threads in each category. Think I'm doing it wrong? I, too, am looking for the same answer as Atomica.
I was hopefully add more features to my search engine (aint posting the name, rules of the bored). Then I came up with an idea of a portal. Yet I do not know what to offer.
Thanks for the advice cscgal!
Is it a general search engine or something about a particular topic? If it's about a particular topic, you could post articles and other resources that would be of interest to your target audience. If it is a general search engine, you may wish to follow the guidelines of a portal like excite.com
As csgal said it all depends on the type of audience you have, a search engine would not require a CMS which includes articles and other stuff like that compared to say a tech/game site. Think from the point of view of a visitor not from the point of view of a webmaster as a webmaster I would like to add anything I find "cool" but its quite different as far as a member is concerned. I would suggest use of a simple portal for a search engine.