Usually, the WordPress front page displays all the newest posts, but you can set a “custom home page” or a “splash page” as the front page instead. Generally, there are four different models for your WordPress layout and structure, and three of them include such a static front page:
- Blog is the most traditional homepage format, with some posts featured in reverse chronological order.
- Static homepage/front page that is a static HTML website model, including a fixed homepage and the content from “Pages”/”Posts”.
- Static homepage with a blog that keeps a blog separate from other sections of your website, along with static or welcoming information on the home page.
- A dynamic homepage that is an integrated model and uses a dynamic front page. It features a complex combination of blog and static content, and you can add sticky posts above the first post.
The following guide discusses how to set up a static front page and a separate page that includes all the latest posts in WordPress. Several ways can be done to complete this task, but we recommend creating a custom homepage via a custom page template.
How to Set Up a WordPress Static Front Page?
The process includes three minor steps, and you shall start by logging onto the backend of WordPress.
Step 1 – Create a Static Front Page
To do so, just go to “Pages” > “Add New” and name it “Home” as below. If needed, you can select a “Page Template” to adjust the appearance and feel of the homepage. Meanwhile, add the content that you’d like to see from the static front page, but leave it blank for a dynamic front page.
Before publishing this “Home” page, just change the following options to add more features:
- Discussion is where to allow trackbacks and pingbacks, and it’s best to check the “Allow Comments” box to let visitors comment on some specific pages like “Contact US”. This area will appear only if you check the “Discussion” option within the “Screen Options”.
- Author is where to choose the name of the author you’d like to be attributed to this page. It’s often used in a multi-author site.
- Custom Fields is where to add extra data to your page, and you can configure them to change the text font and color if necessary.
- Page Attribute is where to select a parent for the published page. Selecting (no parent) is also acceptable.
Once done, go directly to “Appearance” > “Menus” and add a menu with “Home” option that is pointing to your WordPress homepage. The menu order and location can be re-configured.
Step 2 – Create a Blog Page
Likewise, go to “Pages” > “Add New” and enter an appropriate title, such as “Blog” or “Articles”. Remember not to use a custom page template as the template files (like index.php or home.php) will be used to generate this page. Only the “Title” is used, and any content added here will be ignored. Do hit “Publish” before moving.
For better usability and SEO rankings, you’d better go ahead to “Settings” > “Permalinks” from WordPress sidebar menu. Here, set the default permalink structure to the “Post Name”. This will generate a pretty URL structure for your pages/posts, which helps search engines index your WordPress site properly.
Step 3 – Assign Your Home & Blog Pages
Simply go to “Settings” > “Reading” to customize your “Front Page Displays”. Your WordPress site defaults to display the latest posts, but you can click to use a “Static Page”:
- For the Front Page, choose “Home” page you’ve just created.
- For the Posts Page, choose “Blog” page you’ve just created.
Note that, your assigned “Home” page can be customized to display featured content, website instructions, articles, contributions and categories, etc. Some themes may provide special options for front page type features such as customized page templates, and you can add any WordPress parameters there to create a static homepage too. But this won’t include a separate blog page.
When to Use/Avoid a Static Front Page?
A static page is great, but you still need to know when and when not to use such a page for the best performance. Generally speaking, this kind of page is best suited for business pages, landing pages, non-profits as well as forum websites. And below are some scenarios where you should avoid using it:
- Blogs. Obviously, the purpose of a blog is to roll out the most recent tutorials and articles, instead of displaying a static page each time a reader comes.
- Showcases. If you are a web designer or freelance, you may want to display the newly-found app, product, article or other great creation on a showcase site. A static front page won’t be good as it won’t showcase as many of your works.
- News Pages. When running a news site, you are more likely to display all the newest news on the front page. Such a static page just works against your ultimate goal.