Front Page Display Options For Your WordPress Blog

One of the great features of the WordPress platform is the ease of selecting the first view your visitors see when they come to your web site. Some people choose to use a static page welcoming the visitor to the site, describing the site, or delivering some kind of call-to-action. Others may want to use that front page to highlight their very latest content. To make browsing recent posts even easier, many bloggers display just post titles and summaries in order to let the visitor see what their site is about. The following video walks you through these options.

To set the definition of your front page, log in to your WordPress admin and go to Settings>Reading. The option set presented is, ‘Front page displays: ‘ , and the choices are ‘Your latest posts’ and ‘a static page’.  Selecting ‘latest posts’ means that the page visitors see when visiting the front page of your web site (top level domain, i.e., http://mysweetsite.com) will be a listing of your latest blog posts. The number pf posts shown on this page is determined by the number you specify in the ‘Blog pages show at most’ field.

Blog Posts On Front Page

If you want your front page to display your most recent posts, you may want to display only titles and summaries rather than full posts. This ithe post break tool icons the approach most newspapers take, and is an especially good call if your posts are more than a couple or three paragraphs long. The point at which your post breaks is determined by you as you compose each post. Place your cursor at the point in your post you want the break to occur, then click the ‘insert more tag’ icon (or Alt + Shift + T).

Front Page As A Static Page

Many blogs don’t use the post page as the front page, opting instead to present visitors with specific content on a static page. In fact, it’s not at all unusual for a site to be built on the WordPress platform using only static pages and not incorporating that blog post page at all (a site that doesn’t incorporate blog posts, however, is usually not referred to a a blog).

If the first thing you want to greet your visitors with is a welcome statement, for example, you would first create that page with your welcome message. Then visit Settings>Reading in the admin area and at ‘Front page displays:’ select ‘static page’. Then select your welcome page from the dropdown menu.

If you also want your site to have the blog feature but just not display posts on your front page, create an empty page, title it ‘Blog’, and then in that Settings>Reading page select your Blog page as the posts page. Be sure to then include that Blog page in your menu so people can easily find your posts.

Hopefully this is helpful. It should really drive home the distinction between posts and pages, and illustrate how the posts page is different than any of the other pages on your site. While selecting the front page of your site is easy, the hardest part can often be deciding just what you want to greet your visitors with on that front page. Good luck!

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