Typically, most web sites have a main page that serves as the virtual ’reception desk’ of your business and greets everyone who arrives via the front door.
The homepage of your website 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.
The homepage can also act as a landing page to catch the attention of visitors, provide information to visitors about who you are, what you do and also to help them navigate to other important pages 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.php), so if you want your visitors to see different content on the home page when they land on your site via the main URL (i.e. www.mywebsite.com/), you would normally have to edit the content in the page itself, or log into your server and modify file names around.
WordPress makes everything easier for users, especially for users who don’t want to mess around with stuff like editing page code and file names in server files.
In a default installation, WordPress acts as a ‘blog’ and presents a dynamic list of recently-published posts, with the post titles and first paragraph or two of the content displayed for each article published, and links to separate post pages which contain the full item (e.g. ”click here to continue reading” …).
With WordPress, however, you are given the flexibility to create as many pages as you want and then specify which of these pages you would like to assign to be the front page of your website or blog.
Better still, you can also change the home page of your site as often as you like, without touching the content, simply by having multiple pages you can point to as the site’s static page, and then selecting the page you would like to display as your home page.
This feature can be very useful. For example, you may want visitors arriving on your site via the homepage to:
- Watch a video
- See a list of navigation options before navigating to other sections of your site
- Promote a different ‘book of the month’ each month, or ‘product of the month’
- Promote seasonal information (e.g. a ’Valentine’ themed page as Valentine’s Day 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, price points, different font sizes, etc., then show 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 converts better)
- 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 turn any page on your WordPress website or blog into a static home page.
How To Display A Page You Select As Your Website’s Home Page In WordPress: 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 go to your admin menu and click on Settings > Reading …
In the Reading Settings screen, select 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 (choose any page listed in the dropdown menu)
Click the Save button 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 open the homepage in a new browser window without leaving your WP dashboard) …
The page you have specified in Front page displays > A static page should now show as your site’s home page …
You can choose a different home page for your site as many times as you like, simply by repeating the above process and selecting another page …
The newly-chosen page will become the new home page instantly …
Whenever you assign 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 URL shown below your new home page:
The above page will automatically be assigned the following URL:
If you type the ‘old’ URL of the page you have now specified as your new home page into your browser, WordPress will direct you to the home page.
Also, if you choose another page as the home page, WordPress assigns your old home page back to its original URL …
Congratulations! Now you know how to make a WordPress page your main page.
"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum