Learn how to set up any page on your WordPress site as the home page that visitors will see when they visit your website …
Typically, most sites have a front page that serves as the virtual ‘front desk’ of your business and greets all visitors who arrive via the front door.
The home page of your site is important because it is generally the first page a visitor sees when they arrive on your site if they type in your domain name on their web browser, or navigate to your website from a search engine or directory listing.
The main page can also serve as a landing page to attract your visitors’ attention, provide information to visitors about who you are, what you do and also to help them find their way to other important sections of your website.
In a traditional website, the main page and its content are normally ‘fixed’ to a designated home page file (e.g. www.mywebsite.com/home.html), so if you want visitors to see different content on your front page when they land on your site via the main URL (i.e. www.mywebsite.com/), you would normally have to edit the content on the page itself, or log into your server and modify file names.
WordPress makes everything easier for website owners, especially for site owners don’t want to mess around with stuff like editing web page code in server files.
By default, WordPress acts as a ‘blog’ and presents a changing list of recently-published posts, with the headlines and first paragraph or two of the content visible for each article published, and links to separate post pages where your visitors can then continue access the full article (e.g. ”click here to read the full article” …).
With WordPress, however, you have the flexibility of creating as many pages as you want and then specifying which of these pages you want designated to be the main page of your site.
Better still, you can also replace the home page of your website as often as you like, without touching the content, simply by creating a number of pages you can choose as the site’s home page, and then selecting the one you want to display as your home page.
This feature is very handy to have. For example, you may want visitors arriving on your site via the front page to:
Watch a video presentation
See a ‘splash’ page before continuing to the rest of your site
Promote a new ‘book of the month’ each month, or ‘product of the month’
Promote seasonal information (e.g. a ‘Season’s Greetings’ themed page as the new year approaches)
View different product categories on your e-commerce store catalog at regularly-spaced intervals (e.g. daily), or special occasions (e.g. themed events happening in your area)
View information on ‘split-test’ sales pages (create two or more sales pages with similar content to test different page elements, e.g. headlines or a video, pricing and discounts, different font sizes, etc., then show one version on the home page for a certain period of time and then run the other version for the same amount of time to see which page ultimately results in better conversions)
Or even land on a ‘pre-launch’ page if your site hasn’t officially gone live yet!
In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to create a static WP home page.
How To Make A WordPress Page Your Home Page: Tutorial
Web developers often refer to the “home” page as the main page where visitors can go to learn more about what your website has to offer or the starting page where they can navigate to other sections.
On the other hand, the ‘homepage’ (one word) is the actual page or file visitors go to when they click on a link to visit your “home page” (two words).
WordPress lets you select any page on your blog as the ‘homepage’ and assign it as the main page of your website (i.e. your “home page”).
To easily create a static home page in WordPress go to your navigation menu and click on Settings > Reading …
In the Reading Settings screen, change the following:
Front page displays: select ‘A static page …’
Front page: Click on the drop down menu and select the page you want to set as your Home Page (choose any page listed in the dropdown menu)
Click the Save button after selecting your options to update the settings and set your new home page …
After saving, click on Visit Site (tip: right-click and select ‘Open Link In New Tab’ to view the homepage in a new browser window without leaving your Reading Settings screen) …
The page you chose in Front page displays > A static page should now be showing as the home page of your site …
You can choose a different home page for your website as many times as you want, just by repeating the above steps and selecting another page …
Your newly-chosen page will be instantly assigned to be the new home page of your site …
When you specify any page to become the homepage of your site, WordPress reassigns the domain root to become the URL of your home page.
What this means is that if you select the page with the following URL your home page:
The above page will automatically be assigned the following URL for as long as it remains the site’s home page:
If you type the ‘old’ URL of the page you have now specified as your new home page into your web browser, WordPress will direct you to the home page.
Also, if you choose another page to be the static home page, WordPress will reassign the old home page back to its original URL …
Congratulations! Now you know how to set any page in WordPress as a static home page.
"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com
This tutorial explains what WordPress widgets are, how widgets work, and how widgets can help you customize and extend the functionality of your website or blog.
There are so many benefits to choosing the WordPress CMS platform for building and managing a web site. One of these is that WordPress makes it very easy to add content, enhance your website and rearrange the layout of your site without requiring any web programming skills.
WordPress gives you the ability to quickly and easily add, remove, and rearrange various types of content from your site’s sidebar menu (or header and footer sections too, depending on what theme is installed on your site) using widgets.
This article explains how widgets work, why they are great for non-technical users and how widgets can help you add functionality to your web site.
What’s A Widget? An Overview Of Widgets For Newbies
(Widgets help make managing and using WordPress easy!)
A WP widget is a self-contained module of code that performs a specific function, such as adding a form, or a text box or list item to your WP site.
WordPress is written using a scripting language called PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor). Normally, in order to add features and functions that will enhance the functionality of a website, you need to learn how to script PHP code.
Now … don’t worry if this all sounds like geek speak. As you are about to discover, widgets are perfect for non-techies.
Widgets eliminate the need to know how to program code or manipulate PHP code to customize their sites.
(WordPress widgets help you manage many features and functions on your website without the need to touch code!)
Widgets were originally developed to provide an easy way of giving WordPress users to control aspects of their WordPress theme’s layout and functionality.
In simple terms, a widget lets you do things like:
Easily insert, edit and delete features to areas of your WordPress site without touching any underlying code, and
Rearrange how various elements display on widget-enabled areas of your site (e.g. the sidebar, header, footer and other areas) using drag-and-drop technology.
Here are just some of the many functions you can add to your WP site’s sidebar menu (and headers and footers and other areas, depending on the theme you have installed) using widgets:
pages on your site
blog post categories
menus displaying only selected pages
links to resources
links to your recent posts
RSS feed items
shopping cart information
display widgets from external sites (e.g. Facebook friends)
administrative forms (e.g. login, register, etc.)
In other articles, we provide an overview of plugins and themes; what they are, what they do, how plugins and themes can add loads of new functionality to WordPress and even drastically alter the entire design of your website or blog.
As you will soon discover, WP themes affect where widgets work on your website and some plugins also come with accompanying widgets that can help further enhance your website or blog’s performance.
Most WordPress themes support widgets and provide widget-ready sections on your site where you can add widgets to.
Normally, this is going to be in your theme’s sidebar, but depending upon the theme, widgets can also be in the header section, the footer, and even below your content.
It all depends on the theme that you have installed.
For example, the WordPress theme shown in the screenshot below has only one widget area for the theme’s sidebar …
(Some WP themes only have a single widget area)
Below is the widget panel of the above theme, where you can see that the theme only includes one widget-enabled area …
As you can see from the above, the only place where you can add widgets to your site using the theme shown above is in the site’s sidebar section.
In contrast, the theme shown in the screenshot below contains a number of different widget-ready areas …
Below is an enlarged image of the widget section of the above theme, so you can see how many widget areas are included in this specific WP theme …
(Multiple WordPress widget areas)
As you can see, with the above theme, you can add widgets to the sidebar area of two different page templates (Main Sidebar and Showcase Sidebar) and 3 different Footer areas (Footer Area One, Footer Area Two, Footer Area Three) …
(Some themes let you add widgets to your site’s footer)
Where Do I Access My Widgets?
The Widgets section can be easily accessed inside the administration by going to Appearance > Widgets …
This opens the Widgets area in your web browser …
The Widgets area displays a list of all the widgets you have available.
The right-hand section of the window displays your “active” widgets …
(Activate or deactivate widgets using drag and drop)
Available widgets can be made Active or Inactive using drag & drop.
Widgets dragged from the Available Widgets section to widget areas like your sidebar, footer, etc. instantly become active and available on your site.
The Widgets screen also includes an Inactive Widgets section that lets you remove any widgets that you no longer want on your site. Inactive widgets retain their settings.
By default, your site already comes with several pre-installed widgets (e.g. widgets for displaying your pages, links, posts, post categories, adding text, adding RSS feeds, adding tags, adding a search box, etc …) and active widgets.
These widgets are available right out of the box in your default WordPress theme and display items like Search, Recent Comments, Meta, etc. to your site visitors …
(By default, your site already comes with several pre-installed widgets)
Sometimes, new widgets appear in your Widgets area whenever new WordPress plugins are installed on your website or blog …
(Installing WordPress plugins can sometimes add new widgets to your Widgets admin area!)
Widgets Features: Drag-And-Drop
WP widgets are great because you can easily insert, activate, deactivate, reorder and delete them all from your Widgets area using drag and drop …
(Rearrange widgets on your WordPress site using drag & drop)
Drag and drop technology lets you easily reconfigure the order of your website’s widget-enabled sections.
For example, take a look at the image below. In this example site, the widgets have already been configured to show the following:
An opt-in form,
A click for support banner, and
Click to call sales buttons from a widgetized plugin …
(Widgets control how certain features appear on your WordPress site)
If we could peek inside this site’s Widget area, you would see that these features display on the site in the same order as they were arranged in the site’s active widget section …
If we change the above widgets in the Sidebar Widget Area using drag & drop …
(Drag and drop to rearrange widgets in your widget area)
The widget features have now been reordered in your sidebar …
This instantly changes the layout of the site’s sidebar. Note in the screenshot below that the click to call function (3) is now at the top of the sidebar menu, and the contact us image button (2) can now be found above the newsletter subscription form (1) …
(Widgets are really easy to use!)
Pretty cool, huh?
Let’s go over some other things about using widgets that are also worth keeping in mind about:
Widget Management – Previewing Widgets
Depending on the WordPress theme that you have installed on your site, you can also manage and customize widgets without making actual changes to your site, so you can be sure that you like what you have done before committing any changes to the live website.
You can do several edits and adjustments to your widgets in preview mode, like inserting, deleting and reorganizing your current widgets to any widget areas that your theme makes available, and see all changes in real time. If you like what you’ve done and click the “Save and Publish” button, your changes will then be instantly updated and reflected to your site visitors.
(Widget management – work in preview mode or configure widgets on the fly!)
Widget management is a valuable feature of WordPress. You can work in preview mode inside the WordPress Theme Customizer screen (Appearance > Customize) and see how your widget content will appear prior to publishing any changes you’ve made (to avoid making errors), or change your widgets on the fly using the Widget editor screen as shown previously.
As we’ve explained earlier, with WordPress you can quickly and easily reorder how content is displayed in areas of your website or blog, like sidebars, footers and navigation menus with just a few clicks of your mouse, using drag-&-drop technology …
(Rearranging sidebar elements with widgets can improve visitor experience)
In the screenshot above, for example, you can see that we have easily rearranged the sidebar by switching the search and testimonial sections. As you now know, this was easily done by dragging and dropping the widgets into different positions inside the sidebar widget area.
Reorganize sidebar elements using widgets to improve your site’s user experience.
Now … what about the widgets themselves? Can the widgets be customized instead of simply added, removed and rearranged?
With many traditionally-designed websites, you would need to edit code in the web templates to rearrange the layout, make unique customizations to features on page elements like user registration areas, or just add features like a nested list of pages, or a dropdown menu of your site categories, an archive section, customized menus, links to recommended resources, a list of your most popular posts, the latest user comments, a section displaying image banners, client testimonials or survey results, RSS feed content, video thumbnails, social media buttons, and more.
While some widgets are “fixed” in the sense that they provide little to no customizing options, other than to add an optional title to the widget as shown in the example below …
(Some widgets provide users with little to no configuration options)
Many widgets provide additional options that allow you to further customize things. This can include things like making certain types of information hidden to your site visitors but visible to registered users, displaying additional forms, fields, or information, specifying sizes of sidebar images, videos, etc. and more …
(Many widgets offer configurable options!)
As we have just seen, widgets require no coding experience or programming expertise to use. Most widgets can be added to your WP website simply by activating a plugin and then dragging and dropping the plugin’s related widget into your Active widgets area.
For some useful tips and tricks to using widgets, see these detailed tutorials showing you how to use a number of different widgets in WordPress to improve the effectiveness of your web site, plus lots of great tips on how to get the most out of WordPress using widgets:
Hopefully, this post has given you a better understanding of issues that can affect your website and how WordPress can help you improve your business online. To learn more about using the WP platform please see our related posts section.
"Learning WordPress has been a huge stumbling block for me. I've been looking for something that covers absolutely everything but doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Thank you so much ... you have just provided me with what I have been looking for! Truly appreciated!" - Tanya
Learn how to make your WordPress site or blog legally compliant and how to shortcut the process using legal page creation plugins …
Is your WordPress site legally compliant? Do you know if you are breaking any laws, or contravening the Terms of Service (TOS) of any third-party companies whose services or products you do business with?
Internet laws and regulations were designed to protect the rights of consumers and apply to anyone who markets, sells or promotes goods and services online. Every website owner risks being sued for not following compliance laws. Feigning ignorance about the law will not protect you from being slapped with a legal notice.
New laws introduced in 2014 that regulate how businesses promote advertising on their websites clearly state that if you promote anything on your website for material gain, then you must follow certain disclosure guidelines to prevent enforceable orders being issued against you by regulatory agencies, such as the BBB, or Better Business Bureau. Do a search online for “The Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program,” which regulates behavioral advertising across the internet to learn more.
(Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program – BBB)
The new laws affect various online business categories, including:
Any form of advertising, e.g. Google AdSense
Google Analytics (or other analytics software)
You could also be inadvertently leaving yourself open and vulnerable to expensive litigation.
In this guide, we discuss why it’s important to have a compliant website and how to quickly and easily add all necessary legal pages to your website.
Does Your Website Comply With The Law?
Disclaimer: We are not lawyers and we are not providing legal advice. You must do your own due diligence and consult legal experts about the best way of ensuring that your website fully complies with all legal requirements pertaining to your business.
Why It’s Important To Make Your Website Compliant
Are you at risk? Consider for a moment what could happen to your business in the following scenarios:
A person suffers a heart attack after they use your online workout program.
The skin cream you promote as an affiliate gives a number of users allergic reactions.
You’ve told your subscribers that you will not sell their information, but you haven’t spelled out exactly what you’ll do with the details you’ve collected.
Someone copies content from your website and publishes it on their site.
There is no statement on your site letting visitors know that you’re an affiliate for the product you’re endorsing that you may receive a commission if visitors decide to buy through your link.
You have not spelled out the terms and conditions of your refund policies.
Someone claims your testimonials are false and tries to sue you as a result.
You did not disclose in a product review that you were given a free copy of the product.
Your website includes adult-related information and you didn’t take sufficient measures to keep underaged persons from accessing it.
Consider now these documented case studies of costly compliance breaches:
A CPA Marketer failed to provide adequate disclaimers telling online users they would have to give up personal information (including credit card details to complete an offer they were promoting. Cost = $390,000.
A social networking app developer received a massive $800,000 fine for collecting personal information from mobile device address books without the owners’ knowledge and consent – including storing private details about children.
Facebook’s Terms Of Service does not allow users to scrape Users IDs. Many internet marketers gambled that they could get away with it and lost. Their accounts were shut down, resulting thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
An independently-conducted study by Brad Geddes of SearchEngineLand, showed that, of a couple of hundred websites chosen at random, more than 90% were breaking at least one of Google’s policies, more than 65% were breaking at least two of Google’s policies, and more than 40% were in breach of at least three of Google’s policies. Although the website owners could technically be sued by Google, more than likely what could happen, is that they would be issued with warnings or lose access entirely to the Google program they had violated, which could result in loss of income (e.g. AdSense or AdWords).
Can you see how a business owner can easily become exposed to the risks of non-compliance?
Regardless of whether you are a:
CPA (Cost Per Action) or PPA (Pay Per Action) Marketer
Adult Content Publisher
Freelancer, Coach or Consultant
Online Seller Of Any Product Or Service
It’s vitally important to ensure that your website is fully compliant with the law.
Compliance With Third-Party Services - ToS, Policies, etc.
Compliance with third-party companies terms and policies is important.
You are obligated to let your visitors know that your website complies with legal requirements and recommended guidelines. This not only improves trust and buyer confidence in your website, it’s also required by most companies you will do business with.
Google requires websites to display legal information if using their products and service. This includes Google Analytics …
(Google Analytics – Policy Requirements)
Making money online with your blogs using Google AdSense display advertising …
(Google AdSense ads policy requirements)
And even promoting your products via Google AdWords …
(Google AdWords – Policy Requirements)
If you plan to sell information products using companies such as ClickBank, JVZoo, or other established merchant sites, you are required to add legal pages before your products can be approved for sale …
(Policy requirements product vendors selling through ClickBank)
The Federal Trade Commission also requires you to display clear disclaimers and disclosures to visitors, especially regarding the use of product testimonials or endorsements …
(FTC – consumer guidelines and regulations)
FTC Regulations – Ensure That Your Site Is Compliant
FTC regulations governing how business is conducted online were introduced in March 2012. A quick search online will easily reveal that many websites are still unaware (or choose to flaunt) these requirements. As documented on their website, this often ends up with the FTC making an example of businesses and prosecuting website owners in an effort to get other businesses to comply.
If you plan to do any kind of business online, therefore, it’s best not to take chances. Even if your business is not physically located in the U.S. it’s best to protect your business interests by ensuring that your site complies with FTC regulations.
There are many resources websites for businesses that can provide guidelines on how to structure disclaimers and disclosures to help your site meet FTC requirements. We provide additional references and links to resources to a number of these at the end of this article …
(You must word your disclaimers and disclosures correctly to avoid running foul of the law)
Don’t Forget Social Media Applications
If you plan to create social networking applications for your site, you will also be required to provide sites like Facebook, Twitter, and many others with access to various legal pages …
(Social networking apps also require compliance)
If you are unsure as to whether you are breaking the law, and/or Terms of Service policies and guidelines of companies like Google, Facebook, etc., then it’s best to assume that you most probably are.
If you are considering promoting services or products online as an affiliate marketer, or making money online with Google AdSense, ads for eBay or Amazon products, or driving visitors to your site with Google AdWords, etc., then find out exactly what kind of legal information you are required to include on your site to comply with their Terms Of Service and policy requirements to avoid having your accounts shut down.
If you’ve been wondering whether “borrowing” a Copyright Notice is Copyright infringement, then it’s best to take proper precautions to avoid becoming a magnet for litigation.
(In addition to legal and regulatory compliance, almost all 3rd-party services require you to comply with their policies)
Essential Legal Pages You Should Add To Your Website To Ensure Compliance
If your web site falls short in areas of compliance, then this section will help you.
Adding the following legal pages to your site will help your website keep out of trouble with most regulatory agencies and external service providers, and help to avoid possible legal issues):
Additionally, you may want to consider implementing any of the following pages:
Affiliate Disclosure (if you promote or sell affiliate products and services)
External Linking Policy
Financial Disclaimers (e.g. if your website or blog provides general content about financial areas or money-making opportunities)
Refund Policy (if you sell products or services online)
Video/Audio Terms (e.g. if you provide users with access to download videos or audio files on your site)
Disclosure Pages – Types
It’s important to add the right disclosure information to your website. For example:
No Material Connection – Lets site users know that you are not receiving compensation for writing the post.
Affiliate Links – Lets readers be aware that you may receive compensation if they purchase through your affiliate link.
Review Or Sample Copy – Discloses to readers that you have been given a sample or review copy of the product.
Sponsored Post – Disclosure that lets visitors know that you were compensated in some form to write the post.
Third Party Advertising – Informs visitors that you’re using online behavioral tracking technology. This is required to satisfy the “enhanced notice” the Better Business Bureau has been requiring online publishers to display prominently on their sites since January 1, 2014.
Adding Legal Content To Your Website
Ideally, you will have your lawyer prepare the verbiage of your legal documents. Once you have this done, there are several ways to add them to your website.
Upload Legal Pages To Your Site
If someone prepares the legal content for you in standard web page format (e.g. HTML), you can simply upload these to your web server, or have someone upload them for you.
We recommend adding a legals folder to your server and uploading HTML pages containing your legal documentation to this folder (e.g. using FTP) …
(Upload legal pages to your server using FTP)
You can then add links to these pages from your WordPress site using custom links in your menu administration …
Where To Display Legal Pages On Your Website
Make sure that your legal pages are up-to-date and clearly accessible to visitors. You can add links to your legal pages to your sidebar menu (or place them in the footer section of your website or blog) to ensure that visitors have access to the information from all your pages …
(Display links to your legal pages on all of your site’s pages)
For a detailed step-by-step tutorial about displaying links to pages on your sidebar or footer in WordPress, see this step-by-step tutorial:
(Cut And Paste Website Legal Pages – Website Legal Pages)
Cut & Paste website legal templates feature less passive voice and more plain language phrasing and can be customized with a quick search and replace to insert your own business name and URL, then pasted into your web pages.
Federal Trade Commission Compliance (This proprietary FTC page accommodates FTC regulations and guidelines brought into effect on March 2012)
Terms of Service & Conditions of Use: includes inter- & intra-page redundancy, Contra Proferentem provision, reservation of rights, and exclusive social media admonition.
You can either create a new page for every legal form you want added to your site, then paste the content from the templates into your pages and publish or upload your legal pages to your server as described previously.
If you don’t want to spend time creating legal web pages manually, then consider using a plugin like WP Legal Pages instead …
This plugin is not free, but it’s a reasonably affordable and well-supported plugin that will help make the job of creating and implementing legal pages on your site a lot easier and save you a great deal of time.
This plugin lets you easily install professionally-written legal pages such as:
Social Media Disclosure
Terms of Service
(Legal Suite Pro For WordPress – Professionally-written legal forms)
Drag & Drop FTC Disclaimer Widget: Add an FTC Disclaimer to any WordPress sidebar or widget area.
With just one-click you can install almost all of the legal pages your site needs and these professionally written legal pages can be created in your theme and/or as a standalone page outside of your theme.
The plugin developers secured rights to high quality, professionally written legal disclaimers and packaged them into a plugin that can be installed quickly on any WordPress powered site. Your legal pages can be installed and set up on your site in one minute or less and the plugin licensing is very flexible, allowing you to install and use the plugin on all of your websites.
If hiring legal experts to create your legal pages is currently out of your budget, consider implementing some kind of legal protection on your website until you can afford professional assistance from a lawyer.
We want your site to be legally safe!
Download the FREE Legal Pages Generator software below, or use one of the better solutions we discuss in this article, such as using legal forms, or plugins as described in the section below.
(Legal Pages Generator Software)
Legal Pages Generator allows you to easily generate essential legal documents for your website including ToS, Privacy Statement, Copyright Notice, Website Disclaimer and Earnings Disclaimer.
As we’ve previously pointed out, if you engage in any form of commercial activity online (or are planning to), it’s important that your site stays compliant with regulatory agencies and the guidelines and terms of service (TOS) for third-party products and services that you may be promoting or advertising online. Your internet presence must comply with numerous laws and regulatory guidelines, many of which you may not even be aware of.
Non-compliance puts you at risk of suffering both financial losses and the loss of your reputation. Why risk your money and reputation, when you can protect yourself so inexpensively?
Disclaimer: Once again, please note that we are not lawyers and we are not providing legal advice in this article. You are strongly advised to do your own due diligence and consult a legal expert about the best way to ensure that your website fully complies with all legal requirements in your country or region.
Additional Legal Information
Here is a useful list of websites we suggest you visit to help you better understand what may be required of your website to comply and meet its legal requirements and guidelines: