Typically, most sites have a home page that acts as the virtual ‘front desk’ of your business and greets every visitor arriving on your site via the front door.
The front page 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 listing.
The front page 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 facilitate navigation to other sections of your 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.html), so if you want your visitors to see different content on your home page when they land on your site via the main URL (i.e. www.mywebsite.com/), you would normally need to edit the content of the page itself, or log into your server and modify file names around.
WordPress makes everything easier for users, especially for non-technical 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 displays a dynamic list of recently-published posts, with the post titles and an excerpt of the content visible for each article published, and links to separate pages which contain the full item (e.g. ”click here to read the full article” …).
With WordPress, however, you are given the flexibility to create as many pages as you want and then specify which of these pages you want assigned to be the front page of your site.
Better still, you can also change the home page of your website or blog as often as you like, without touching the content, just by having a number of pages you can point to as the site’s home page, and then selecting the page you want to show as the static home page of your site.
This is useful for many reasons. For example, you may want visitors arriving on your site via the homepage to:
- Read a sales letter
- See a ‘splash’ page before continuing 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 page 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. 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, pricing and discounts, different layout, etc., then display one version as the home page for a certain period of time and then run the other version for the same period of time to see which page ultimately delivers you 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 create a static home page in WordPress.
How To Make A WordPress Page Your Home Page: Tutorial
To set any page in your site to display as the Home Page log into your site, then go to your navigation menu and click on 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 choose the page you want to set as your Home Page (choose any of the pages showing in your 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 open the link in a new tab to open 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 displaying as your site’s home page …
You can change the home page for your site as many times as you want, simply by repeating the above steps and selecting another page from the dropdown menu …
The newly-specified page will be instantly assigned to be your site’s home page …
When you select 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 following URL your home page:
The above page will be given the following URL:
If you type the ‘old’ URL of the page you have now specified as the 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 assigns the previous home page back to its original URL …
Congratulations! Now you know how to create a WP homepage.
"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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