Typically, most websites have an initial page that acts as the virtual ’receptionist’ (or ‘concierge’, or ‘welcoming committee’) of your business and greets all visitors who arrive via your front door.
The home page of your site 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.
The main page can also serve as a landing page to attract the attention of visitors, provide information to visitors about who you are, what you do and also to help them navigate to other sections on the website.
In a traditional website, the main page and its content are normally ‘fixed’ to a specific home page file (e.g. www.mywebsite.com/index.php), so if you want your visitors to see different content on your front page when they arrive on your site via the main URL (i.e. www.mywebsite.com), you would normally have to edit the content on the page itself, or log into your server and modify file names around.
WordPress makes this process easier for website owners, especially if you 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 displays a dynamic list of recently-published posts, with the post titles and first paragraph or two of the content visible for each entry published, and links pointing to separate post pages which contain the full content (e.g. ”click here to read the full article” …).
With WordPress, however, you have the flexibility to create as many pages as you want and then specify which of these pages you want to assign to be the static page of your site.
Better still, you can also change the home page of your site as often as you like, without having to edit any of its content, simply by creating a number of pages you can choose as the site’s static page, and then selecting the page you would like to display as your home page.
This is very handy to have. For example, you may want visitors arriving on your site via the homepage to:
- Watch a video presentation
- See a ‘splash’ page before continuing through to the rest 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 offer as the beginning of the school year approaches)
- View different product categories on your e-commerce store catalog at regularly-spaced intervals (e.g. monthly), 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 a video, price points, different layout, 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 gone live yet!
This tutorial shows you how to easily create a static home page in WordPress.
How To Display Any WordPress Page As The Website’s Home Page: Step-By-Step Tutorial
To easily create a static home page in WordPress log into your site, then go to your navigation menu and select Settings > Reading …
In the Reading Settings screen, change 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 your Home Page (you can choose any of the pages listed in the dropdown menu)
Click Save Changes after selecting your options 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 view the homepage in a new browser window without leaving your Reading Settings screen) …
The page you selected in Front page displays > A static page should now be showing as the home page of your site …
You can choose another home page for your site as many times as you want, just by repeating the above steps and selecting another page from the dropdown menu …
Your newly-specified page will become the new home page immediately …
When you assign any page as the homepage of your site, WordPress reassigns the domain root to the URL of your home page.
What this means is that if you select the page with the URL shown below into your home page:
The above page will 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 the new home page into your browser, WordPress will direct you to the home page.
Also, if you select another page to be the home page, WordPress assigns your old home page back to its original URL …
Congratulations! Now you know how to set any WordPress page as the site’s 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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