Typically, most websites have a main page that acts as the virtual ’face’ of your business and welcomes everyone who arrives via your front door.
The homepage of your site is one of the most important pages of your entire website 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.
The home page can also act as a landing page to attract your visitors’ attention, provide information to visitors about who you are, what you do and also to help them navigate to other important pages of your site.
In a static website, the home page and its content are normally ‘fixed’ to a specific home page file (e.g. www.mywebsite.com/index.html), so if you want your visitors to see different content on your main page when they land 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 around.
WordPress makes this 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 presents a changing list of recently-published posts, with the post titles and an excerpt of the content displayed for each article published, and links to separate post pages where your visitors can then continue read the full content (e.g. ”click here to continue reading” …).
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 to be the front page your blog visitors will see.
As you will soon discover, you can also change the home page of your site as often as you like, without editing any content, just by having a number of different pages you can choose as the site’s main page, and then selecting the one you want to display as the static home page of your site.
This can be very useful. For example, you may want visitors arriving on your site via the front page to:
- Watch a video
- See a ‘splash’ 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 ‘Season’s Greetings’ themed offer as the new year approaches)
- View different product categories on your e-commerce catalog at regularly-spaced intervals (e.g. quarterly), 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 show one version as the home page for a certain period of time and then run the other version for the same amount of time to see which page results in better conversions)
- Or even land on a ‘pre-launch’ page if your site hasn’t officially launched yet!
In this step-by-step tutorial, you are going to learn how to easily create a static home page in WordPress.
How To Set A Page In WordPress As A Static 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 turn any page on your website or blog into a static home page log into your site, then 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 showing in this dropdown menu)
Click the Save button after selecting your options to update your 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 WP dashboard) …
The page you selected in Front page displays > A static page should now be showing as your site’s home page …
You can choose another home page for your website as many times as you like, just by repeating the above steps and selecting a different page from your dropdown menu …
Your newly-specified page will be immediately assigned as your new home page …
Whenever you specify any page as the homepage of your site, WordPress reassigns the domain root to become the URL of the page.
What this means is that if you make a page with the following URL your site’s home page:
The above page will 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 web browser, WordPress will direct you back to the home page.
Also, if you select another page as the static home page, WordPress will assign your old home page back to its original URL …
Congratulations! Now you know how to display any page on your site 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)
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