Creating a homepage in WordPress

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If you have installed WordPress  and the plugins recommended in my Top 10 WordPress Plugins article, you ‘ll currently have a blog that looks like the generic WordPress blog, containing a hello world post, and an about page.

Note: You can click images to enlarge them.

genericblog

We still have a fair bit of customizing to do, but I want to show you how to add a homepage for your site.  When this is up, it will mean that the search engines can at least get some meaningful content to index, and you can tweak this over the coming weeks as we complete the WordPress to Affiliate Site customizations in preparation for adding more content.

Before that, I recommend you watch a new video I uploaded giving a brief overview of the Top 10 WordPress plugins that you have installed, and what they do. 

You can view the video on the Top 10 WordPress plugins page.

Scroll to the bottom of that page for the video.

OK, back to the homepage.

Login to your WordPress Dashboard.

Click on the Manage -> Posts menu at the top to open up a list of existing WordPress posts.

manageposts

 

You'll see a post with the title "Hello World".  This is the post that is seen on your WordPress blog after initial install, and was put there by WordPress to get you started.

helloworld

If you click the title of the post, it will take you to the editing screen where you can edit the post.

If necessary, click the back button on your browser to go back to the Manage Posts screen.

Click the check box at the beginning of this line, and then click the Delete button (above the list of posts on the left).

If you go back to your blogs homepage (you can click the View Site button), you'll see that the homepage has changed.  It now says "Not Found – Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here."

That's because you have deleted the only post in your blog.

OK, back in your WordPress dashboard, click the Manage – Pages menu at the top of the screen.

You'll see an About page exists.  I recommend you delete that as well at this stage.  We will be recreating all the "support pages" we need later in the tutorials.

You have just deleted the only content your blog had.  We need to add some…

We are going to add a homepage. 

We'll explore the differences between pages and posts in a later tutorial, but for now, click the Write -> Page (NOT Post).  We want to create a PAGE for the homepage.

Now you are on your own for a bit. This is the page you'll see (click to enlarge):

Addpost

Enter a title for the homepage.  This is going to be the title of the visible page (not the title in the meta tags).

titleandcontent

Enter in the content of your homepage.  I would recommend just adding text at the moment.  What you are trying to do is setup a homepage that the search engines can index now.

I recommend that you click the Full Screen button in the WYSIWYG editor, so that you have a little more space. 

NOTE: On occasions, when saving information into a post or page, my computer returns with an error as if my network connection had timed out.  This resulted in loss of data on more than one occasion.  I always recommend saving your work as you go, or the alternative is to create your content in a text editor, and then copy and paste it into your WordPress Dashboard.  There are even some applications that run off-line that can post to your blogs, and if interested, I would recommend you look at the free one by Microsoft called "Windows Live Writer".  Mac users can no doubt find alternatives.

Microsoft Live Writer allows you to format content, add images, select categories for posting, etc, and then publish when you are happy with a click of a button.  Its very cool.  The only downside is that you will need to login to your WordPress Dashboard to fill in the meta data accepted by the Headspace plugin you installed.

When you are happy with your content, enter 4 or 5 tags in the box provided. 

tags

Think of tags as words that define your content.  If you were to file your content away in a filing system, what categories would you put it under?  These are the types of words to put in the tags.

Scroll down the page a little more, and enter the Headspace Title and Description.  These will be used as the meta tags in your homepage, so take time to get them right.

metatags

As you scroll down, you'll a section called Comments & Pings. 

commentsandpings

We'll look in more detail at these two concepts, but for now, click the little arrow to the left of the "Comments & Pings" section to open it up, and then uncheck "Allow Comments".  We don't really want comments on the homepage, but that is your choice.  If you do, you can leave it checked.

OK, that's it for your homepage at the moment.  Scroll back to the top, and look for the "Publish" button.  It's right next to the Save button that you hopefully used while writing your content.

NOTE: There is also a preview button that opens the page you are working on in a new window.  This is useful to check your content before going live with it. e.g. are images showing up properly?  Are the paragraphs laid out properly, do links work, etc.  

You have just created the page to be used as your homepage, but if you click "View Site", you wont see it there yet.  You will however see a link to it in the right hand sidebar.

To get WordPress to use this page as your blog homepage, you need to tell it to do so.

Click on the Settings -> Reading menu at the top.

You'll see the fist item on the page is "Front Page Displays".  This tells WordPress what you want to display on your homepage.

settinghomepage

Click the radio button to enable "A Static Page".  Open up the "Front Page" drop down box, and select your newly created homepage.

Scroll down and click the "Save Changes" button.

Now when viewing your blog homepage, you'll see the homepage content you just created.

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Comments

7 thoughts on “Creating a homepage in WordPress”

  1. BLESS YOU!

    Andy, I cannot say how timely your newest WordPress lesson was for me. I
    have been trying to impliment an affiliate program using WordPress (a
    combination of Paul Simpson’s Niche Profit Machines and Rempel’s Conduit
    Method) and i was tearing my hair out trying to make a template of sorts in
    Word or in Nvu. I wanted to have a way to make a page consistent in layout
    throughout my site and nothing wanted to “translate” over to WordPress
    without missing a lot of the pieces.

    Windows Live Writer is (almost) perfect. You can be sure I will be paying
    attention in weeks to come ready to glean!! Can’t wait to find out what
    other tricks are there for the taking!!!

    Oh, thanks for all the detailed SEO keyword research for “diet” which is my
    niche’s general theme. Another timely bit from Dr. Andy!!! Well worth the
    $50!!!!

    thanks again,
    Cheryl

  2. Chris Bradley

    Hi Andy,

    What is the advantages of having a home page? It appears most of the blogs I see do not have a home page setting.

    Thanks,

    Chris

  3. If you want a site that looks like a blog, then dont create a static homepage. Static homepages are good if you want a more traditional style site, or if you just want 100% over the look and content of the blog.

  4. Trying to set a static home page on my blog, but my Reading Settings page doesn’t have the “Front Page Displays” section that you describe. I am running WP 2.6. Do you know where these options have moved?

  5. thanks for the tutorial,

    I made a static homepage, why doesn’t it
    show up in the rss feed.

    Also if I need to edit my homepage
    will it get pinged each time I update it.

    thanks.

Comments are closed.