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How To Create A Static Homepage In WordPress
Typically, most websites have a home page that acts as the virtual "face" of your business and greets everyone who arrives via your front door.
The home 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.
The homepage 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 help them find their way to other pages on your website.
In a traditional website, the main page and its content are normally intrinsically part of the home page file (e.g. www.mywebsite.com/index.php), so if you want visitors to see different content on the main page when they arrive on your site via the main URL (i.e. www.mywebsite.com/), you would have to edit the content of the page itself, or log into your server and change the file name.
WordPress makes things easier for website owners, especially for site owners don't want to mess around with stuff like editing page code and file names in server files.
In a default installation, WordPress acts as a "blog" and presents a dynamic list of recently-published posts, with the headlines and first paragraph or two of the content visible for each entry published, and links to separate post pages where your visitors can then keep reading the full article (e.g. "click here to continue reading" …).
With WordPress, however, you have the flexibility of creating as many pages as you want and then specifying which of these pages you want to designate as the home page your site visitors will see.
Better still, you can also replace the home page of your site as often as you like, without touching the content, just by having multiple pages you can choose as the site's home page, and then selecting the page you want to show as your home page.
This can be very useful. For example, you may want visitors arriving on your site to:
- Watch a video
- See a "splash" page before navigating through to the rest of your site
- Promote a new "book of the month" each month, or "product of the month"
- Promote seasonal information (e.g. a "Mother's Day" themed page as Mother's Day approaches)
- View different product categories on your e-commerce catalog at regularly-spaced intervals (e.g. weekly), 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 typefaces, etc., then show one version on 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 results in better conversions)
- Or even land on a "pre-launch" page if your site hasn't officially launched yet!
How To Make Any WordPress Page Be The Home Page Of Your Web Site
To turn any page on your website into a static home page:
- Log into your site, then 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 of the pages listed in the menu)
- Click the Save button when done to update the settings and change the home page.
- Always check your work; The page you have specified in Front page displays > A static page should now show as your site's 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 Reading Settings screen)
- CELEBRATE! You can change the home page for your site as often as you like, just by repeating the above process and selecting a different page from the dropdown menu.
Your newly-selected page will become the new home page immediately...
Whenever you set any page to become the homepage of your site, WordPress reassigns the domain root to become the URL of your home page.
What this means is that if you make a page with the URL shown below your new 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 specify another page to be the home page, WordPress will assign your previous home page back to its original URL …
Congratulations! Now you know how to specify any page in your WordPress site to display as your home page.
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