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How to Set and Edit Your WordPress Homepage

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How to Set and Edit Your WordPress Homepage

Have you ever bought a WordPress theme, installed it, then wondered why it doesn’t look exactly the way you saw it in the preview? What about a situation where you’d like to completely remove the blog portion of your website from the homepage?

Website homepages mean a lot when it comes to conversions. This goes for email newsletter signups, sales and client leads. Yet, configuring your homepage on WordPress takes a little elbow grease to make perfect. But don’t worry, setting up and editing your WordPress homepage is just about one of the easiest tasks you’ll encounter. Then, after you know the routine you’ll have no problem completing the same task over and over with future websites.

When Would You Need to Set & Edit Your WordPress Homepage?

Seeing as how this is WordPress, a blogging platform, your blog shows up by default for a new WordPress installation. This means that all of your most recent posts show up on the first page that everyone lands on. For some websites, this is perfectly fine. For others, it doesn’t make sense from a marketing standpoint. Since WordPress has evolved into a well-rounded website builder, companies are looking for static homepages, where they can present information on products, services and the people working at the company.

For these companies, a blog is more of a secondary section that customers can navigate to if they want, or when they land on one of the blog posts from a search engine.

So, that begs the question, when would you want to set and edit your WordPress homepage?

Well, the main time is when you don’t want your blog out front. This happens when you have some of the following goals:

  • Increase email subscribers
  • Get more leads
  • Generate more sales
  • More of a focus on your services
  • When you don’t plan on having a blog at all (like a landing page)
  • In a situation where you’re not quite ready to start a blog

Editing the homepage is an entirely different story. Unless you’re entirely satisfied with the theme and default configuration of that theme, chances are you’ll want to edit some aspects of your website. For example, you might want to achieve some of the following:

  • One or multiple sidebars
  • Show widgets
  • Have a different navigational menu setup
  • New colors, logos or other design aspects

In short, most WordPress users make at least a few adjustments to their homepages. One of the most popular ones is adding a static page instead of the blog, while others are keen on keeping the blog but still adding all of their favorite widgets.

Now that we’ve understood the “why” behind setting and editing your WordPress homepage, let’s explore how to complete the process.

How to Set a Static Homepage in WordPress

As discussed you have the option to leave your blog on the homepage. But if you’re more inclined to make more of a landing page or add a slider or product gallery, changing your homepage to a static homepage is required. In fact, the vast majority of premium themes you purchase are going to ask you to immediately switch to a static homepage.

Start by opening up your WordPress dashboard and going to Settings > Reading. Select the Reading tab to open up several settings for your homepage.

Find the Front Page Displays section to see what exactly your website is currently showing on the homepage. Chances are it’s on the Latest Posts option by default. To choose a different page click on the Static Page radio button to select and set your new homepage.

Upon selection, WordPress reveals two more choices for you to make. One of them asks you which page you’d like to show as your Front Page and the other is for your Posts Page. If you already have a bunch of pages made on your website (sometimes themes generate core pages for you, or perhaps you’ve already gone through and made your pages) just scroll down to find the pages you want.

For example, a standard setup would be to choose the Homepage or Front Page as your Front Page. Keep in mind, this all depends on the names you give your pages, so it could be completely different for you.

For the Posts Page, you might select a page called Blog or Posts or whatever else you decided on.

Hit the Save Changes button, then navigate to the frontend of your website to see how that static page has become your homepage.

How to Make Your Blog the Homepage

Some folks only want to show their blog. It’s most common with, you guessed it, blogs! A general business website probably won’t have a blog as its front page, but a website dedicated solely to written content is more likely to want those articles on the homepage.

Therefore, go to Settings > Reading, then check to make sure that you have Your Latest Posts marked. You don’t have to adjust the selection for the Front Page or Posts Page. Those will be blanked out.

However, a few edits can be made depending on how you’d like your blog to show up. For example, you might want to have only five or ten of your most recent blog posts on the homepage. Some larger publications keep hundreds of posts on the front page, while newer blogs would be wise to limit it to whatever content is currently available. The syndication feed can be the same number.

Finally, you also have a big decision to make regarding how those posts are going to appear. Your choices are Full Text and Summary. The summary gives users a chance to see more posts in a few scrolls of the mouse. The full text, however, reveals every single word and image from every post. Therefore, a visitor must scroll all the way through the first post to get to the second. I’d recommend the Summary option, but lots of websites have the full text.

How to Create a WordPress Menu

Your WordPress theme probably isn’t automatically going to implement a clean menu. In fact, you might not see one at all.

Therefore you’ll need to go to Appearance > Menus.

Either select a menu to edit by choosing it from the dropdown or click on the Create a New Menu link. While your theme may include a few default menus in the sample data, creating a new menu will allow you to make one from scratch.

Regardless, once you create your menu or find the one you like, you can bring it up to alter the structure. For example, you might want a custom link as a menu item. Maybe you’d like to move your Blog tab a little closer to the front of the menu, allowing people to see it easier. You can click and drag menu items to reorder or nest them, and use the option in the left hand column to add new pages, posts, categories and custom links.

After your menu is organized be sure to save then go to the Manage Locations tab. All themes have different menu locations, but the most common are usually a Main Menu and a Footer Menu. All you have to do is use the dropdown to select the menu you created. For instance, I want my Main Menu to be placed in the Main Menu location.

Additional Homepage Editing Thoughts

From moving around widgets to customizing your homepage background, the majority of these homepage tools reside in the Appearance tab. In addition, the Customize tab (under Appearance) reveals a visual builder that’s great for uploading a logo, changing fonts and choosing your colors.

Want to Create a Custom Homepage?

If you want a custom (or customized) homepage but your theme doesn’t offer any added options to change colors, fonts, layouts etc you can always install a plugin.

  • If you simply want to tweak the elements that are already on your homepage (like change a font size, or edit paddings) then install a WordPress CSS Live Editor plugin.
  • If you want to build a completely custom homepage from scratch, then you should have a look at a WordPress page builder plugin that includes tons of easy drag & drop elements for you to design your own layout (or a new theme like Total that already includes a drag & drop builder)

After all of that, your homepage is ready to go!

Are You Ready to Set and Edit Your WordPress Homepage?

Sometimes you feel like your website is broken or you’re doing something wrong, but you’ll often find that a quick adjustment with the front page display does the trick. Hopefully, you’ve found this helpful for setting and editing your WordPress homepage. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions.

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10 Comments

  1. Anand

    I was Wondering how to put my new postings on My home page, so that it get updated posts first, your blog helped me out with this, Thanks for the blog

  2. g

    SO Helpful! Thanks so much!!

  3. Kate

    I am still trying to figure out how to get the widgets to display on the home page?

    • Kyla Avatar Kyla

      I think that would depend on the WordPress theme you’re using, and if the page you’ve created is using a sidebar. Many themes include a homepage template that doesn’t feature a sidebar, so you’d need to use the default blog or use a plugin (like WooSidebars) to add a custom widget area to your homepage.

  4. AW

    I recently volunteered to help a local church with their site and it’s on WP. It’s been very frustrating trying to learn how to use it. The one thing I’m struggling with figuring out is how to edit what I think used to be called “blurbs” on the home page. There’s an image leading to a post when you click on it. I want to update the image and link. I cannot find how to do that.

    • Kyla Avatar Kyla

      My guess would be that it’s part of the theme’s homepage template. So there’s probably a section in your WordPress dashboard for the “Blurbs” (a custom post type possibly) or a theme panel where you can set/edit them.

      Or you could be using a page builder like Elementor, WP Bakery, Beaver Builder, etc. You’ll know if you’re using one of these if you log into WordPress and go to “Pages” to edit your homepage and it looks like a bunch of blocks or chunks or shortcodes. If a page builder is installed on your site, you should also see a menu item for it in your dashboard when logged in (typically towards the bottom of the menu, near the “Settings” option). Once you know if your site is using a builder and the name you should be able to Google search for documentation to learn how to use it.

      But if you don’t see any of these then check what theme you have active on your site (this is under “Appearance > Themes”). Once you know what theme you’re using, just do a quick Google search for documentation. If you aren’t able to find that try reaching out to the developer for help.

      Best of luck!

  5. gagan malik

    I am unable to change the contact number & howdy admin displayed on the top right hand side of my website.
    Also, i am unable to change the icons of the three boxes shown in the middle of the website.

    • Kyla Avatar Kyla

      The “Howdy, Admin” should only be visible to you when you’re logged in (it’s called the Toolbar and is part of the WordPress dashboard). If you want to hide this on the front-end of your website while you’re logged in, click on the “Howdy, Admin” link and uncheck the option for “Show Toolbar when viewing site” then save. For a phone number shown on your website and three boxes this is likely part of the WordPress theme you’re using. Often a phone number at the top of a site is part of the header, so I would suggest looking under Appearance > Customize or in a Theme Panel for header options. The icons you’re referring to could have settings in any number of places – they might also be options in the Customizer or in a Theme Panel, it’s possible your site might be using a page builder or widgets, or they could be part of a custom post type your theme uses for the homepage template. The best way to figure this out is to refer to the documentation for your theme, and if you can’t find an answer there try reaching out to the theme developer. I’m sure they can help!

  6. Diane Saull

    I’m trying to set up the Home page which has a title on it..how do I define it as Home for the menu and still keep my Heading? Or do I move the heading somewhere else?

    • Kyla Avatar Kyla

      When you add a page to your menu you should be able to define a custom Navigation Label (just click the arrow down on your menu item to view the option, and be sure to save after you make any changes) – this is what will show in your menu. So you can have a page title called “Best WordPress Homepage Ever” and then have the navigation show “Home”.

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