Your homepage is the first thing people see when they visit your website, so you’ll want to ensure you make a good first impression!
By default, WordPress uses your most recent blogs as your homepage. However, even if blogging is a big part of your website, there are many scenarios where a blog isn’t the best possible introduction to your site.
Imagine you’re building a website to promote your business. Would you prefer potential customers to see a homepage packed with customer testimonials, a slideshow of your products and services, and all the awards you’ve won, or a list of your most recent blog posts?
In this quick tip, I’ll show you how to make the best possible first impression, by replacing WordPress’s default blog with a specially designed homepage.
If you're new to WordPress, check out our complete guide to creating your first WordPress site.
Creating Your WordPress Homepage
While blogs display your latest posts, WordPress pages are not displayed in chronological order. Newer pages will not displace older pages.
When you publish a page, it remains in that state until you explicitly edit it, which is why WordPress pages are sometimes referred to as static pages. Since pages are static, they’re ideal for displaying evergreen content, such as your website’s e-commerce store, contact page, terms and services—or your homepage.
If you want to replace your blog with a static homepage, then you’ll need to create at least one page. If you don’t already have a page that you want to use as your homepage, then it’s time to create one:
- Log in to your WordPress account.
- In the left-hand menu, select Pages > Add New.
You’ll now be taken to a screen where you can create your homepage by adding content such as images, text, and video. As you build your new homepage, you can check how this page will appear to visitors by clicking the Preview button.
As you continue to work on your homepage, don’t forget to save your changes by clicking Save Draft. Note that as long as your homepage is in a draft state, it won’t be visible to anyone but you, so you can hit Save as many times as you want without having to worry about publishing your unfinished work.
Before you publish your homepage, you may want to change its URL. By default, WordPress generates a URL automatically based on your website’s domain name and the page’s Title. To change this automatically generated address, find the URL towards the top of the screen, click its accompanying Edit button, enter a new URL, and then click OK.
When you’re happy with your new homepage, make it live by clicking the Publish button.
You’re now ready to set this page as your homepage.
Goodbye Blog: Switching to a Static Homepage
Let’s make this new page the first thing visitors see when they visit your website:
- In WordPress’s left-hand menu, select Appearance > Customize.
- Select Homepage Settings.
- In the Your homepage displays section, make sure A static page is selected.
- Open the Homepage dropdown and choose the page you created in the previous step.
The preview window should now update to display the page you just selected. If you’re happy with your new homepage, then click the blue Publish button.
Try reloading your website; it should now display an entirely new homepage!
Make Sure Visitors Can Navigate Your Site!
Your blog may no longer be the first thing visitors see, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to prevent them from accessing your blog.
As soon as your website spans multiple webpages, you’ll need to give visitors an easy way to navigate between these pages, and one popular option is a menu.
There are lots of different ways that you can tweak and perfect WordPress’s default menus, but in this section we’ll be creating a simple menu that runs along the top of your website:
- In the left-hand menu, select Appearance > Menus.
- Give your menu a descriptive name, and then click Create new menu.
- In the Add Menu Items section, select all the pages, posts, and any other items that you want to include in this menu.
- Select Create a new menu.
Click Add to Menu, and all of the selected items will be added to the Menu structure section. Your menu items will be displayed in the order they appear in Menu structure.
You can change where an item appears in your menu, by grabbing it in Menu structure and then dropping it into a new location.
When you’re happy with your setup, click Save Menu.
To place this menu on your website, click the Manage Locations tab. Assuming that you want this menu to appear across your entire website, open the Top Menu dropdown and select the menu that you just created.
Click Save Changes to add your new menu to your website.
Now, if you open any webpage, it’ll feature a handy menu containing links to all the different sections of your website.
In this article, I showed you how to create a static page and then set it as your website’s homepage. To make sure every page, post, and blog is accessible from your new homepage, we also created a custom navigation menu that makes it easy for visitors to reach every part of your website.
If you’d like to learn more about WordPress menus, then check out how you can transform this standard WordPress menu into a dropdown menu, or take a look at some of our other WordPress tutorials.
- WordPressHow to Make a WordPress WebsiteRachel McCollin
- WordPressBetter Navigation: How to Add a Dropdown Menu in WordPressJessica Thornsby
- WordPressHow to Add a Page or Post in WordPressAdi Purdila
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