This post and the next one will walk you through setting a static Home page for your WordPress blog or website, and then creating a Menu item to allow people to access your blog posts.
Why would I want to set a static Home or landing page?
If you’re writing a blog, the content will update regularly, and the first page that any viewer will come across by default will be your latest blog post. This may not necessarily get across who you are and what the blog / website is for – especially if you’re using it to publicise a company, books, products or whatever else, rather than just using it as a private diary.
We’ve already learned how to add pages to a blog, It’s generally considered a good idea to have a single “static” (i.e. unchanging) page for people to “land on” when they type in your URL or search for your website. For example, the Home page for this website is the one you will reach if you type http://www.libroediting.com into your address line or search for Libroediting.
How do I set a static page to be my landing page?
As I mentioned above, by default, WordPress will show visitors to your page your latest blog post. For example, if I enter the URL http://www.lyzzybee.wordpress.com, the first thing that I will encounter is the latest blog post on my blog. It’s particularly important in this case NOT to have this showing first, as I only post test and illustrative messages on this blog!
Instead of this long list of blog posts, I want to display a static page when people visit the site (remember – pages are static, unchanging pages like you find on any website; posts are constantly updating, dated diary entries).
Let’s remind ourselves of how to view what pages we have set up. In the Dashboard, select Pages then All Pages:
Now you will be able to have a look at what pages you have set up. In this case, I’ve just got one page, called “About”. I might want to set up a Home page in the future, as I have on the blog you’re reading right now, but for now, I know I’ve got at least one page I can use as a landing page.
To set one of these pages as the landing or Home page, go into Dashboard, then Settings and Reading:
Once in the Reading Settings screen, you can choose what the Front page (or landing / home page) displays. Here, the default is currently set, so “Your latest posts” is selected, meaning that the first page your viewers see will be those blog posts.
Select “A static page”, then drop down the list of pages. In this case, we only have one, but if you have more than one page, a list of all of them will appear here:
Click on the page you wish to select and then the Save Changes button at the bottom of the screen. When viewing my website now, people will see my About page first of all.
But how do people find my blog posts now?
Read my next post for instructions on how to make your blog posts more visible … Don’t panic, though – as you can see on the screenshot above, WordPress defaults to showing your recent posts in the sidebar, so your readers can click there to navigate to your blog.
I hope you’ve found this post useful. Please do share it using the buttons below so that other people can find it and benefit from the instructions! Thank you!
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You can find all of the social media and blogging posts, including WordPress, in my Resource Guide