Controlling Your WordPress Website Front Page

Here’s a question from one of my WordPress clients:-

How do I control which is the front page of my website?

WordPress basically has two options for that front (or home) page:-

  • it can be a specific page that you select
  • it can be the front page of your blog, containing the most recent posts (you can choose how many)

About WordPress Posts and Pages

To completely “get” this, you need to understand the following about WordPress terminology:-

A “post” is your typical blog entry – it is like a diary entry or news item, it has a date associated with it, it can be in one (or several) categories.  For bloggers, it is the “meat” of your blog, the major content; for other sites, with more static content, it may be just the “news” section.

A “page” is a static entry, which is not date-related, and which WordPress essentially perceives as “back-up” material to your blog.  Content such as “what is this website about”, “about me”, “why I’m doing this”, (perhaps, “services I offer” could be a “page” but if you update your services regularly and run courses (ie date-related things) for example, then a “services” category, with a post for each course, would also make sense).

So, your website front page can either be a set of recent posts or an individual (static) page.  And you can change from one to another at any time.  You could have a standard front page but change to a different page for a while to draw attention to a new offer.  Or you could generally show your News or Blog as the front page but occasionally change to a static page with some specific information.

How to Control the Front Page

Changing the WordPress front page is easy.

  • Log into WordPress as an admin user.
  • Go to SettingsReading
  • At Your homepage displays you have a choice of whether to make the front page show your latest blog posts (all the date-related, newscontent) or a static page. Click the one you want.
  • If you have chosen a static page, in the Homepage drop-down, select the page you want as the front page.
  • Click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page.

What about the Blog Page?

If you have visited the Settings… Reading… page, you may now be wondering what is the purpose of the Posts page drop-down under A static page…. Here is a quick explanation.

If you choose to have a static page as your website/blog front page, where does the “blog front page” go?  The answer is “nowhere”.  But if you want to have a “News” or “Blog” page which contains your recent posts (but not as the home page), here’s how to do it:-

  • Create a new page and give it the title, Blog, for example.  Don’t bother to add any content, just publish it.
  • Return to Settings… Reading… and look again at Your homepage displays, where you presumably have a static page as the homepage.
  • In the Posts page drop-down, choose your new Blog page.  And click on Save Changes.

When you view your website and navigate to the Blog page, you’ll see your set of recent items – you have your blog front page back!