Typically, most sites have a main page that serves as the virtual ’reception desk’ of your business and welcomes everyone who arrives on your site via the front door.
The homepage 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 listing.
The main page can also serve as a landing page to attract your visitors’ attention, provide information to visitors about who you are, what you do and also to facilitate navigation to other areas on the website.
In a traditional website, the home page and its content are normally intrinsically part of the home page file (e.g. www.mywebsite.com/index.php), so if you want visitors to see different content on the front 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.
WordPress makes things like managing pages easier for users, especially for site owners don’t want to mess around with stuff like editing web page code in server files.
In a default installation, WordPress acts as a ‘blog’ and displays a changing list of recently-published posts, with the post titles and an excerpt of the content visible for each article published, and links to separate post pages which contain the full article (e.g. ”click here to read the full article” …).
With WordPress, however, you have the flexibility of creating as many pages as you want and then specifying which of these pages you would like designated to be the front page of your site.
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 having multiple pages you can point to as the site’s main page, and then selecting the page you would like 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 via the homepage to:
- Watch a video
- Read an important announcement on a separate page before continuing to other sections 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 around Christmas time)
- View different sections of your e-commerce catalog at regularly-spaced intervals (e.g. monthly), 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 sales copy, pricing and bonuses, different font sizes, etc., then display one version as the home page for a specific period of time and then run the other version for the same amount 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 step-by-step tutorial shows you how to create a static WP home page.
How To Make A WordPress Page Your Static Home Page: Tutorial
To set any page in your site to display as the Home Page go to your navigation 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 of the pages showing in the menu)
Click Save Changes to update the settings and change the home page …
After saving, click on Visit Site (tip: right-click and select ‘Open Link In New Tab’ to view 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 be showing as your site’s home page …
You can specify a new home page for your site as many times as you like, just by repeating the above steps and selecting a different page …
Your newly-selected page will become the new home page as soon as you update your new settings …
Whenever you assign 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 select the page with the URL shown below your site’s home page:
The above page will automatically be given the following URL for as long as it remains the home page:
If you type the ‘old’ URL of the page you have 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 home page, WordPress reassigns the previous home page back to its original URL …
Congratulations! Now you know how to set a page in WordPress as a static home page.
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