When it comes to WordPress, you can pretty much set up your site any way you want. The default setting is similar to the way most blogs; including mine, are set up with the latest blog posts showing up on the home page. But this doesn't have to be the way you run niche sites on WordPress! You can in fact, set up your homepage to display a static page, a static post, or a combination of static posts and latest posts. In my post today, I wanted to walk you through some of the different ways to create a static homepage on WordPress.
Before I get into the “nitty-gritty” of how to create a static homepage on WordPress, I wanted to discuss whether or not this is the best option for your niche site. For the record, I have sites that are ranked #1 in Google that use a static homepage OR that just have the latest posts displayed on the homepage. I do like the control that having a static homepage gives you over the content on your root domain; however, its not necessarily required to get your site ranking #1 in Google. So, if you decide to just use blog style posts on your homepage that's okay. For the most part, I prefer to have the homepage of my niche sites static with my primary article targeting my main keyword. So, below I am going to discuss 3 set up options for your WordPress niche sites.
Option 1: Static “Page” on Homepage
Instead of creating all of your articles as “posts”, you can make your primary article that targets your main keyword a “page” in WordPress. Then within in the WordPress “settings” and then under “reading” you can select to make your homepage display this page as “static”. Here is what it looks like if you are not familiar with what I am talking about.
This option will allow you to make a post “sticky” so that it always shows at the top of your homepage. This is a great option that I have started using on a regular basis to always display my main article targeting my primary keyword on the homepage. This is what I am currently doing with my authority site that I have discussed in the past.
To make a post “stick” to the homepage, you simply check a box found near the publish button when you create a new post. Here is screenshot that shows you exactly where it is:
This makes it very easy to always keep your primary article at the top of the homepage. Future articles will either be published below the primary article on the homepage (if you have selected to show multiple posts on the homepage) or just in your latest posts however you choose to display or link to those.
Option 3: Display Only 1 Post on the Homepage and Change the Dates
A final way that you can create a static homepage on WordPress is to change the readings settings again. If you change the “blog pages to show at most” to a 1, then there will only be your latest post shown on the homepage! However, to keep this static you need to make sure that your last post in always your primary article that you want displayed on your homepage. See this image to see how to show only 1 post on your homepage:
Then when you are publishing your post, you just need to make sure that it was the last date used to publish a post. So, if you add additional articles that you don't want to be on the homepage, you might need to go back in to your primary article are move the date forward when it was published so that its the most current post created! You can manipulate the published date when you create the post as shown in the image below:
So, there are 3 different options that you can use to create a static homepage using WordPress. I personally like to use option number 2 of creating a post that “sticks” to the homepage. However, I usually also change the default setting from displaying 10 posts on the homepage to 1 or 2. There is no exact science here, that's just how I currently do it because I think it looks good on the site overall, and it gives me complete control over what is being displayed on the homepage of my sites.
Overall, I hope that you find some of these options useful as you create your own niche sites using WordPress! I'm sure there are some other tips or tricks that I could be using as well to do the same thing. However, overall, these options should allow you to display your posts that you want. Finally, I will also point out that some themes only display small portions of the article on the homepage. If you are using a theme that only displays small blurbs of your latest posts, then you can still use option number 1 to create a static homepage. My favorite themes always display the full article on the homepage.
So, what are your thoughts on the subject? Do you have any other tips or tricks that you use with WordPress to display your content as effectively as possible? I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic below!