Typically, most web sites have an index page that serves as the virtual ’reception desk’ of your business and welcomes every visitor arriving via your front door.
The home page of your site is probably the most important page on your website 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 act 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 navigate to other sections of your site.
In a static 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 home page when they arrive on your site via the main URL (i.e. www.mywebsite.com/), you would normally need to edit the content on the page itself, or log into your server and modify file names.
WordPress makes things like managing pages easier for users, especially for users 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 displays a dynamic list of recently-published posts, with the headlines and first paragraph or two of the content visible for each entry published, and links to separate pages which contain the full article (e.g. ”click here to read the full article” …).
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 to be the static page of your website.
As you will soon discover, you can also replace the home page of your website or blog as often as you like, without editing any content, just by creating a number of different pages you can choose as the site’s static page, and then selecting the page you want to display as the home page of your site.
This feature can be used in many different ways. For example, you may want visitors arriving on your site via the main page to:
- Read a sales letter
- Read an important notice on a separate page before navigating 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 page as the beginning of the school year approaches)
- View different product categories on your e-commerce catalog at regularly-spaced intervals (e.g. daily), 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. pages with or without a sales video, price points, different layout, etc., then display one version as the home page for a certain period of time and then replace with the other version for the same period of time to see which page converts better)
- Or even land on a ‘pre-launch’ page if your site hasn’t officially launched yet!
This step-by-step tutorial shows you how to easily create a static WP home page.
How To Make A WordPress Page Your Static 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 easily create a static home page in WordPress log into your site, then go to your admin menu and select 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 (choose any of the pages showing in the 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 open the link in a new tab to open 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 display as your site’s home page …
You can choose another home page for your website as often as you want, just by repeating the above process and selecting another page from the dropdown menu …
The newly-selected page will be immediately assigned as the new home page of your site …
Whenever you assign any page as the homepage of your site, WordPress reassigns the domain root to the URL of your home page.
What this means is that if you make a page with the URL shown below 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 back to the home page.
Also, if you specify another page to be the home page, WordPress reassigns your old home page back to its original URL …
Congratulations! Now you know how to set a specific WordPress page as your site’s home page.
"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group