Typically, most sites have an index page that serves as the virtual ’receptionist’ (or ‘concierge’, or ‘welcoming committee’) of your business and welcomes every person who arrives on your site via your front door.
The homepage of your site 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.
The home page can also serve as a landing page to catch your visitors’ attention, provide information to visitors about who you are, what you do and also to facilitate navigation to other sections on your website.
In a static 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 visitors to see different content on your homepage when they land on your site via the main URL (i.e. www.mywebsite.com), you would have to edit the content of the page itself, or log into your server and change file names.
WordPress makes things easier for website owners, especially for those who don’t want to mess around with stuff like editing page code in server files.
By default, WordPress acts as a ‘blog’ and presents a dynamic list of recently-published posts, with the headlines and first paragraph or two of the content visible for each entry published, and links pointing to separate pages where visitors can then continue see the full article (e.g. ”click here to learn more” …).
With WordPress, however, you have the flexibility of creating as many pages as you want and then specifying which of these pages you want assigned as the front page of your website or blog.
Better still, you can also change the home page of your website as often as you like, without touching the content, just by creating a number of pages you can choose as the site’s home page, and then selecting the page you would like to display as your home page.
This is useful for many reasons. For example, you may want visitors arriving on your site via the main page to:
- Watch a video
- See a list of navigation options 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 information (e.g. a ‘Season’s Greetings’ themed offer as the new year approaches)
- View different sections of your e-commerce store catalog at regularly-spaced intervals (e.g. fortnightly), 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, price points, different font sizes, etc., then display one version as the home page for a period of time and then replace with the other version for the same period of time to see which page delivers you better conversions)
- 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 WordPress home page.
How To Make Any Page Be The Home Page Of Your WP Site: Tutorial
To turn any page on your WordPress website or blog into a static home page log into your site, then go to your navigation 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 select the page you want to set as your Home Page (you can choose any of the pages listed in your menu)
Click Save Changes after selecting your options 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 show as the home page of your site …
You can change the home page for your site as many times as you want, simply by repeating the above steps and selecting a different page from the dropdown menu …
The newly-set page will become the new home page instantly …
When 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 select the page with the following URL into your home page:
The above page will be assigned the following URL for as long as it remains the home page:
If you type the ‘old’ URL of the page you have now specified as the new home page into your browser, WordPress will direct you back to the home page.
Also, if you choose another page to be the static home page, WordPress assigns your previous home page back to its original URL …
Congratulations! Now you know how to make a specific WordPress page be the home page of your site.
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