Want a free year on Tuts+ (worth $180)? Start an InMotion Hosting plan for $3.49/mo.
Typically, in a WordPress website, the home page shows the blogger's latest posts, but what if you wanted the homepage of your website to display the same page every time? For those of you who are just getting started with WordPress, then it's worth noting this is not only possible, but it's really easy.
In this article, we'll talk about how to implement a static front page in WordPress as well as where it would and wouldn't be appropriate.
How to Set Up a Static Homepage
Before talking about when it's appropriate to use a static homepage, let's first talk about how to set it up within the context of the WordPress dashboard.
Follow these step-by-step instructions, and you'll be good to go!
- Log in to your WordPress Dashboard and head over to the Pages > Add a New Page dashboard page. This option is on the left sidebar in your WordPress Dashboard.
- Name the page "Home" and type whatever you want for the content your homepage.
- If you still want your WordPress website's blog function to work, add another page called "Blog" or "Posts". Don't type anything for the content of the page, it just needs a title.
- If you don't have any posts, now is a good time to draft one.
- Go over to the Settings > Reading Settings dashboard page.
- Locate the first option, "Front Page Displays," then select "A Static Page (Choose Below)".
- For "Front Page", choose the "Home" page you just created.
- For "Posts Page", choose the "Post" or "Blog" page you created.
- Go to the Appearance > Menus dashboard page. Add a menu with a "Home" option pointing to your homepage, and a "Blog" or "Posts" page for your posts page.
- Now, open up a new window and type the URL of your website. Then locate your menu. Though it depends on your theme, it's usually located under the title of your site. Is there a "Blog" or "Posts" page? If there is, check if it redirects to a page with your posts.
There you go, a static front page for your WordPress site!
If it doesn't show the page you want it to, verify that you followed all the above steps. Feel free to comment if you have any questions or if anything went wrong.
When to Use Static Front Pages
Now that we know how to create a static front page, let's talk about when and when not to use one. Below are some scenarios for consideration where it would be necessary or helpful to use static front pages:
- Business Pages. Are you running a shop, service, or activity? Use a static front page to show the most important things and use posts to roll out your news and updates.
- Landing Pages. An example of a landing page would be, for example, if you are linking from a YouTube video to an affiliate product page that is trying to sell something. That way, if someone visits your website, they see the product you're promoting instead of your blog posts.
- Non-profits. It's good for your non-profit to have a blog to showcase your work, but the homepage of a non-profit website should always be static. Why? If you're a non-profit, you want people to donate to you to improve and continue your work, right? A static front page allows you to talk about your cause and include a donate button. A blog format can't do that because the new posts will push the first. Thus, this results in pushing arguably the most important post down to the 28th page where it's unlikely that most visitors will see it.
- Portfolios. Use a static front page to list the basic facts about you, maybe attach a resume or two for your would-be customers and clients!
- Marketplaces and Forums. This should be quite straightforward. You want your visitors to interact on your forum or buy/sell on your marketplace, right?
In some cases, you might not even want a "Posts" or "Blog" page at all! If that's the case, then just set the post page: in the Reading Settings as the home page.
When to Avoid Using Static Front Pages
Generally speaking, a static front page is great for a portfolios, business sites, and more, but let's look into when not to use a static front page.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Blogs. Obviously! The purpose of a blog is to constantly roll out new posts, tutorials, and articles, not to display a static page every time a visitor comes, right?
- Showcases. Are you a freelancer, web designer, game, or application developer? If so, chances are that you've got a showcase website. Every time you finish a product, article, website, app, or some other great creation, publish a new post! A static front page won't be as good because it wouldn't be able to display as many of your works. An alternative is to use a static front page as a portfolio with maybe one or two of your best work, and have a "Showcase" page or "Clients" page where you publish posts about your work.
- News Pages. Do you run a news website? Then use a posts page to display all the latest news. A static front page works against your end goal.
In this article, we covered the basic of static front pages. Specifically, we aimed to cover everything that you need to know about static front pages from how to set them up to why they are beneficial (and when they are not).
First, by defining a static front page, then examined where one would (and wouldn't) be appropriate. Then, we covered how to setup a static front page.