Typically, most websites have an initial page that serves as the virtual ’face’ of your business and welcomes every visitor arriving on your website or blog via the front door.
The main page of your website 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.
The homepage 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 find their way to important sections on the website.
In a traditional website, the home page and its content are normally ‘fixed’ to a designated home page file (e.g. www.mywebsite.com/index.html), so if you want your visitors to see different content on the main page when they arrive on your site via the main URL (i.e. www.mywebsite.com), you would need to edit the content in the page itself, or log into your server and modify file names around.
WordPress makes this process easier for users, especially for those who don’t want to mess around with stuff like editing web 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 post titles and an excerpt of the content visible for each article published, and links pointing to separate post pages where your visitors can then keep read the full item (e.g. ”click here to learn 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 assigned to be the home page of your website or blog.
Better still, you can also change the home page of your website as often as you like, without having to edit any of its content, just by having multiple pages you can choose as the site’s main page, and then selecting the page you want to show as your home page.
This feature can be used in many different ways. For example, you may want visitors arriving on your site’s home page to:
- Watch a video
- Read an important warning on a separate page before navigating to other sections of your site
- Promote a new ‘book of the month’ each month, or ‘product of the month’
- Promote seasonal information (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. 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 layout, etc., then show one version on the home page for a specific period of time and then replace with the other version for the same amount 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 create a WordPress home page.
How To Make Any Page Of Your Choice Be The Home Page Of Your WP Site: 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 navigation 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 the Home Page (you can choose any page showing in your 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 open the link in a new tab to view the homepage in a new browser window without leaving your Reading Settings screen) …
The page you have specified in Front page displays > A static page should now be displaying as your site’s home page …
You can change the home page for your site as often as you want, just by repeating the above steps and selecting another page from your dropdown menu …
The newly-chosen page will be immediately assigned to be the new home page …
When you assign 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 make a 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 now 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 static home page, WordPress will reassign your previous home page back to its original URL …
Congratulations! Now you know how to create a static homepage in WordPress.
"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now