Typically, most sites have an initial page that acts as the virtual ’receptionist’ (or ‘concierge’, or ‘welcoming committee’) of your business and greets every visitor arriving via your front door.
The main page of your site is probably the most important page 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 listing.
The main page can also serve as a landing page to catch the attention of visitors, let your visitors know who you are, what you do and also to help them find their way to other important areas of your site.
In a traditional website, the home 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 your home page when they arrive on your site via the main URL (i.e. www.mywebsite.com), you would have to edit the content on the page itself, or log into your server and change file names.
WordPress makes everything easier for website owners, especially for non-technical users who don’t want to mess around with stuff like editing web page code in server files.
In a default installation, WordPress acts as a ‘blog’ and displays a dynamic list of recently-published posts, with the post titles and an excerpt of the content visible for each article published, and links to separate post pages where your visitors can then continue see the full item (e.g. “read more” …).
With WordPress, however, you have the flexibility to create as many pages as you want and then specify which of these pages you would like to designate as the front page your website visitors will see.
As you will soon discover, you can also replace the home page of your website as often as you like, without touching the content, just by creating a number of different pages you can point to as the site’s main page, and then selecting the one you want to display as your home page.
This feature can be used in many different ways. For example, you may want visitors arriving on your site via the main page to:
- Watch a video presentation
- Read an important notice on a separate page before navigating through to the rest of your site
- Promote a different ‘book of the month’ each month, or ‘product of the month’
- Promote seasonal offers (e.g. a ’Back To School’ themed offer as the beginning of the school year approaches)
- View different sections of your e-commerce store catalog at regularly-spaced intervals (e.g. fortnightly), 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, discount levels, different images, etc., then display one version as 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 ultimately converts better)
- Or even land on a ‘pre-launch’ page if your site hasn’t officially gone live yet!
In this step-by-step tutorial, you are going to learn how to easily create a static home page in WordPress.
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 WordPress home page log into your site, then go to your admin 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 menu)
Click Save Changes to update your 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 selected in Front page displays > A static page should be showing as the new home page of your site …
You can change the home page for your website as many times as you like, just by repeating the above steps and selecting another page from the dropdown menu …
The newly-specified page will become the new home page instantly …
When you set any page to become the homepage of your site, WordPress reassigns the domain root to the URL of the page.
What this means is that if you select the page with the URL shown below your new home page:
The above page will automatically be given the following URL:
If you type the ‘old’ URL of the page you have specified as the new home page into your browser, WordPress will direct you back to the home page.
Also, if you choose another page as the home page, WordPress reassigns your old home page back to its original URL …
Congratulations! Now you know how to make a specific WordPress page be your home page.
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