Typically, most sites have a front page that serves as the virtual ’reception desk’ of your business and greets every person who arrives via your front door.
The front page of your website is probably the most important page on your website because it is generally the first thing 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.
The homepage can also serve as a landing page to catch your visitors’ attention, provide information to visitors about who you are, what you do and also to help them navigate to important areas of the site.
In a traditional website, the main page and its content are normally intrinsically built into the home page file (e.g. www.mywebsite.com/home.html), so if you want your visitors to see different content on the homepage when they arrive on your site via the main URL (i.e. www.mywebsite.com/), you would need to edit the content on the page itself, or log into your server and modify file names.
WordPress makes this easier for website owners, especially for those who don’t want to mess around with stuff like editing page code in server files.
Used right “out of the box”, 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 displayed for each entry published, and links to separate pages which contain the full article (e.g. ”click here to continue reading” …).
With WordPress, however, you are given the flexibility of creating as many pages as you want and then specifying which of these pages you want designated as the static page your website visitors will see.
As you will soon discover, you can also replace the home page of your site as often as you like, without editing any content, just by having a number of different pages you can choose as the site’s static page, and then selecting the page you want to display as your home page.
This can be used in many different ways. For example, you may want visitors arriving on your site’s home page to:
- Read a sales letter
- See a list of navigation options before navigating through to other sections of your site
- Promote a different ‘book of the month’ each month, or ‘product of the month’
- Promote seasonal offers (e.g. a ’Mother’s Day’ themed page as Mother’s Day approaches)
- View different product categories on your e-commerce catalog at regularly-spaced intervals (e.g. weekly), or special occasions (e.g. sports events in your region)
- 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 sales copy, price points, different typefaces, etc., then display one version on the home page for a specific period of time and then replace with the other version for the same period of time to see which page results in better conversions)
- Or even land on a ‘pre-launch’ page if your site hasn’t officially launched yet!
In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to easily create a static home page in WordPress.
How To Set Any WordPress Page You Specify As Your Website’s Home Page: Step-By-Step 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 set any page in your site to display as the Home Page log into your site, then go to your admin menu and click on Settings > Reading …
In the Reading Settings screen, do 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 (you can choose any page listed in your menu)
Click Save Changes when finished 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 be showing as the home page of your site …
You can specify a new home page for your site as often as you like, simply by repeating the above steps and selecting a different page …
The newly-selected page will become the new home page instantly …
When you assign any page as the homepage of your site, WordPress reassigns the domain root to become the URL of the page.
What this means is that if you make a page with the URL shown below your new home page:
The above page will be given 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 specified as the new home page into your web browser, WordPress will direct you to the home page.
Also, if you specify another page to be the home page, WordPress will assign your old home page back to its original URL …
Congratulations! Now you know how to display any page on your WordPress site as your home page.
"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)