Set The Home Page Of Your WordPress Website

In an earlier lesson I showed you how to set up your home page but that was a temporary fix just so that you could view your website. Now I’ll explain your home page options in more detail.

One of the differences between building a WordPress website and creating one using traditional HTML-type tools is that WordPress lets you choose which page you want as your front (home) page. This is the first page that visitors will see when they land on your domain.

Traditional webmasters sometimes have difficulty getting their heads around this: if you are one of them, just forget everything you ever knew about index.html…

The instructions I give here apply to the Twenty Fourteen WordPress theme, but other themes will follow the same basic rules although the illustrations may differ.

There are basically two options for a WordPress front page: a static front page (as in a traditional website) or a selection of posts (as in a blog or magazine). I introduced you to this idea in Lesson 3 and here I show you how to set up either one or other of these options.

To set the options for your front page you need to specify which of these two options you want. From the dashboard go to ‘Settings’, ‘Reading’. Select either ‘Your latest posts’ or ‘A static page’.

If you selected ‘a static page’ then select the page you want from the ‘Front page’ drop-down menu. If you haven’t yet set up the page you want as your front page then you need to do that before it will appear in the drop-down menu. When you’ve done that, scroll down and click ‘Save Changes’. You can now skip to the section entitled ‘Set Up Your Posts Page’ later in this lesson

If you selected ‘your latest posts’ then you need to specify how many blog posts you want to appear on your front page. The default is 10 but I recommend you change this to 5 or less, otherwise your website can be unwieldy to read. Of course, it all depends on how long your posts actually are and so this really is your call.

Set Up Your Posts Page

If your website consists totally of Pages and you have no Posts then you can skip this section.

A Posts page is an optional, handy feature that I like to make use of. If you set a static page as your front page then you can have all your posts grouped together on another ‘container’ page which can then appear as a tab on the menu bar. This could be labelled ‘Blog’, ‘News’, ‘Special Offers’ or whatever, to suit your website. When a visitor clicks on this tab they will see your posts scrolling down, the latest one at the top.

To set this up, just create a blank page with the heading you want as its title and publish it, either as a blank page or maybe a small amount of text as an introduction.

Then, on ‘Settings’, ‘Reading’, select that page from the ‘Posts page’ drop-down box.

Then, whenever you add a post, it will automatically be added to that page.

That’s it for the Quick Start Guide

Have you made a start on your website yet? NO? Lessons 1 – 10 are all you need to get your website up and running, albeit in a very simple format. So I urge you to go back to Lesson 1, make a start and just do it. Do the Action Steps at the end of every lesson and this will get you there step by step.

It gets easier once you make a start, I promise. Building a website may seem an uphill challenge but, actually, it’s quite good fun and you’ll get a great sense of achievement when you see your very own domain come to life…

If you have made a start on your website, then congratulations – welcome to the community of WordPress webmasters! The In-Depth Guide will take your web building skills to the next level. See you in Lesson 11!

FAQ

If I set up my front page and then decide to change it to another, can I do that?

Yes, you can change your front page as often as you like.


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