WordPress began life as a content management system focused on blogging. In the decade and a half since, it grew into a full-fledged content management system suited to any sort of site, including business sites and eCommerce stores. But WordPress still has its blog-engine DNA, and, when first installed, is configured to publish a list of blog posts on its homepage.
WordPress users who don’t want to display a list of blog posts on the home page instead use a static homepage. A static homepage, in WordPress’ terminology, is simply a home page without the blog listing. Instead, it contains any content the site owner wants – typically widgets, images, and content about the purpose of the site or the business.
In this article, we will clarify the difference between posts and pages, and show you how to configure your WordPress site with a static front page.
WordPress Posts vs. Pages
WordPress can publish content in two different “containers”: posts and pages. Each is treated differently by the content management system.
A post is most often the familiar blog post, although it might also be used to publish videos, podcasts, images, and other content. Posts have some unique qualities.
- They appear in the main article index of the site ordered by date of publication.
- They have associated categories and tags.
- Posts can be displayed as summaries.
- You can designate sticky posts that are displayed at the top of the listing.
Pages do not appear in the article listing and do not have categories or tags. However, pages can be added to menus throughout WordPress, including the main navigation menu. Examples include the blog index page, category pages, archives, and the static home page.
The blog index page is, as the name suggests, a page that is configured to display a list of blog posts. It doesn’t have to be the homepage of your site.
Creating a static home page
The controls for creating a static homepage are in the Reading section of the admin menu’s Settings item.
By default, WordPress is configured to show your latest blog posts.
When you select the Use a static page option, you are asked to supply which page WordPress should use for the home page and which should be used to display the blog listing.
If you have not already created pages for these, you should do so now under the Pages menu. You can choose any page to publish as your homepage, but be careful to choose one that you’re happy to have as the default page people see when they arrive on your site.
Finally, it is a good idea to add the page on which your blog index is displayed to the main navigation menu. You can do this in the Menus section of the customizer, or with the Menu item in the Appearance section of the Admin menu.