Typically, most websites have a main page that serves as the virtual ’reception desk’ of your business and greets every visitor arriving via the front door.
The home page of your website is important 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 act as a landing page to catch your visitors’ attention, let your visitors know who you are, what you do and also to help them find their way to other sections on your website.
In a traditional website, the main page and its content are normally intrinsically part of the home page file (e.g. www.mywebsite.com/index.html), so if you want visitors to see different content on your home page when they land 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 things like managing pages easier for website owners, especially for site owners don’t want to mess around with stuff like editing page code and file names in server files.
By default, WordPress acts as a ‘blog’ and presents a dynamic list of recently-published posts, with the post titles and an excerpt of the content displayed for each article published, and links pointing to separate pages which contain the full item (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 assigned as being the static page of your site.
Better still, you can also change the home page of your website or blog as often as you like, without editing any content, simply by having a number of pages you can point to as the site’s static page, and then selecting the page you want to show as the home page of your site.
This feature is useful for many reasons. For example, you may want visitors arriving on your site via the home page to:
- Watch a video
- See a list of navigation options before continuing through 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 ’Back To School’ themed page as the beginning of the school year approaches)
- View different sections of 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. pages with or without a sales video, discount levels, different font sizes, etc., then show one version as the home page for a specific period of time and then run 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 gone live yet!
This tutorial shows you how to easily create a static home page in WordPress.
How To Display A Specific WordPress Page As A 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 set any page in your site to display as the Home Page 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 choose the page you want to set as your Home Page (you can choose any page listed in your dropdown menu)
Click the Save button to update the settings and change the 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 display as the home page of your site …
You can change the home page for your site as often as you want, just by repeating the above process and selecting another page …
Your newly-specified page will become the new home page immediately …
Whenever you select any page as the homepage of your site, WordPress reassigns the domain root to become the URL of the home page.
What this means is that if you make a page with the following URL your home page:
The above page will automatically 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 your new home page into your browser, WordPress will direct you back to the home page.
Also, if you choose another page to be the home page, WordPress will assign your previous home page back to its original URL …
Congratulations! Now you know how to specify any page in your WP site to display 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)