The front page of your website 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 homepage can also act as a landing page to catch your visitors’ attention, let your visitors know who you are, what you do and also to help them navigate to other areas on your site.
In a traditional website, the main page and its content are normally intrinsically built into the home page file (e.g. www.mywebsite.com/index.php), so if you want visitors to see different content on the home page when they land on your site via the main URL (i.e. www.mywebsite.com), you would need to edit the content in the page itself, or log into your server and modify file names.
WordPress makes this easier for users, 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 displays a dynamic list of recently-published posts, with the headlines and an excerpt of the content visible for each entry published, and links to separate post pages where your visitors can then keep access the full article (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 would like assigned to be the home page of your website or blog.
As you will soon discover, you can also change the home page of your website as often as you like, without having to edit any of its content, just by having multiple pages you can point to as the site’s static page, and then selecting the one you want to display as the static home page of your site.
This can be used in many different ways. For example, you may want visitors arriving on your site via the main page to:
- Watch a video presentation
- See a list of navigation options before navigating 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 ’Back To School’ themed page as the beginning of the school 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 or a video, pricing and bonuses, different font sizes, etc., then display one version as the home page for a period of time and then run the other version for the same amount of time to see which page ultimately converts better)
- Or even land on a ‘pre-launch’ page if your site hasn’t officially gone live yet!
In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to create a static home page in WordPress.
How To Set A Page In WordPress As The Static Home Page: 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 go to your navigation menu and click on Settings > Reading …
In the Reading Settings screen, select 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 (choose any page listed in the dropdown menu)
Click the Save button to update the 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 WP dashboard) …
The page you chose in Front page displays > A static page should now display as the home page of your site …
You can choose a new home page for your website as many times as you want, just by repeating the above steps and selecting another page …
Your newly-specified page will be immediately assigned as your site’s new home page …
When you specify any page to become the homepage of your site, WordPress reassigns the domain root to the URL of the page.
What this means is that if you make a page with the following URL into your home page:
The above page will automatically be given 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 your new home page into your web browser, WordPress will direct you back to the home page.
Also, if you choose another page as the home page, WordPress assigns the previous home page back to its original URL …
Congratulations! Now you know how to make a WordPress page your static front page.
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