Typically, most websites have an initial page that acts as the virtual ’reception desk’ of your business and welcomes all visitors who arrive on your site via the front door.
The home page of your site is probably the most important page on your site 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 act 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 sections on the website.
In a static website, the main page and its content are normally ‘fixed’ to a specific home page file (e.g. www.mywebsite.com/home.html), so if you want your visitors to see different content on the main page when they land on your site via the main URL (i.e. www.mywebsite.com/), you would need to edit the content of the page itself, or log into your server and modify file names.
WordPress makes things like managing pages easier for website owners, especially for site owners don’t want to mess around with stuff like editing page code in server files.
In a default installation, WordPress acts as a ‘blog’ and displays a dynamic list of recently-published posts, with the headlines and first paragraph or two of the content displayed for each article published, and links to separate pages which contain the full item (e.g. ”click here to continue reading” …).
With WordPress, however, you are given the flexibility of creating as many pages as you want and then specifying which of these pages you would like designated as being the front page your website visitors will see.
Better still, you can also replace the home page of your website or blog as often as you like, without editing any content, just by creating a number of pages you can point to as the site’s static page, and then selecting the page you want to display as the static home page of your site.
This feature can be used in many different ways. For example, you may want visitors arriving on your site’s home page to:
- Read a sales letter
- See a list of navigation options before continuing to other sections of your site
- Promote a different ‘book of the month’ each month, or ‘product of the month’
- Promote seasonal information (e.g. a ’Mother’s Day’ themed offer as Mother’s Day approaches)
- View different product categories on your e-commerce catalog at regularly-spaced intervals (e.g. daily), 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, discount levels, different layout, etc., then display one version on 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 ultimately converts better)
- Or even land on a ‘pre-launch’ page if your site hasn’t officially launched yet!
In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to create a WP home page.
How To Set A Page In WordPress As A Static Home Page: Step-By-Step 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 set any page in your site to display as the Home Page 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 choose the page you want to set as your Home Page (choose any page listed in your dropdown menu)
Click the Save button when finished 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 WP dashboard) …
The page you have specified in Front page displays > A static page should now be displaying as your site’s home page …
You can specify a new home page for your website as often as you want, simply by repeating the above process and selecting a different page …
Your newly-chosen page will become the new home page instantly …
Whenever you set 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 URL shown below your new 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 the new home page into your browser, WordPress will direct you back to the home page.
Also, if you choose another page as the static home page, WordPress will assign your previous home page back to its original URL …
Congratulations! Now you know how to make a WordPress page your static front page.
"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now