The main 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 listing.
The home page can also serve as a landing page to catch the attention of visitors, let your visitors know who you are, what you do and also to help them find their way to other sections on the website.
In a traditional 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 arrive on your site via the main URL (i.e. www.mywebsite.com), you would have to edit the content on the page itself, or log into your server and modify file names around.
WordPress makes things easier for website owners, especially for users who don’t want to mess around with stuff like editing web code in server files.
By default, WordPress acts as a ‘blog’ and displays a changing 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 post pages where your visitors can then continue reading the full article (e.g. “read more” …).
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 as being the home page of your site.
As you will soon discover, you can also replace the home page of your site as often as you like, without editing any content, just by creating a number of pages you can choose as the site’s static 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 front page to:
- Read a sales letter
- Read an important notice on a separate 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 offers (e.g. a ’Back To School’ themed page as the beginning of the school year approaches)
- View different sections of your e-commerce catalog at regularly-spaced intervals (e.g. quarterly), 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 sales copy, pricing and bonuses, different typefaces, etc., then show 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 converts better)
- Or even land on a ‘pre-launch’ page if your site hasn’t officially launched yet!
This tutorial shows you how to turn any page on your site into a static home page.
How To Show A WordPress Page Of Your Choice As The Home Page Of Your Site: 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 create a static WordPress home page 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 listed in the dropdown menu)
Click the Save button when finished to update your 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 display as the new home page of your site …
You can change the home page for your website as often as you want, simply by repeating the above steps and selecting a different page from your dropdown menu …
Your newly-selected page will be instantly assigned as your home page …
Whenever you set any page to become 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 home page:
The above page will be assigned the following URL:
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 back to the home page.
Also, if you select another page as the static home page, WordPress will assign the old home page back to its original URL …
Congratulations! Now you know how to create a static WP home page.
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