Make a Great First Impression with a Homepage

From personal bloggers to large organizations, more and more WordPress.com users choose to welcome their visitors with a homepage, a central space from which to discover their site’s content.

Most bloggers display their latest posts first — reverse chronological order is the classic blog format, after all. Many WordPress.com users, however, choose to build a static front page — a homepage — that creates a website feel and brings your long-term content to the front.

A well-designed homepage has always been a staple of major websites, like The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation — a WordPress.com VIP partner. You don’t have to be a large company or non-profit organization to see the advantages of a homepage, though. Artists and other creative professionals enjoy the benefits of portfolio sites and personal pages to showcase their talents. Increasingly, so do personal bloggers across a wide variety of niches. To give you a taste of what a homepage can do for your blog, here are some sites that use this option in a smart, creative way.

Groovy Bow Sequence

Screen shot 2014-02-11 at 1.43.54 AM
Claire, the Seoul-based kindergarten teacher behind Groovy Bow Sequence, put together a sleek-looking homepage for her travel-focused personal blog

She uses Moka to great effect. The theme offers the option of adding a splashy post slider to the homepage, enticing visitors to click on Claire’s striking landscape images and read her posts, while still maintaining the easy navigation and streamlined look of a fixed front page. While sites with a homepage often still feature a blog section, Claire has opted to forego one altogether, presenting some recent posts on the homepage itself, and letting the rest be easily accessible through the sidebar menu.

Alexandra Corinth

Screen shot 2014-02-11 at 1.18.07 AM

Writer-blogger Alexandra Corinth deploys a homepage — and especially her site’s primary menu — to direct readers to her various writing projects, from her young-adult books, to her multi-genre portfolio, to her personal blog.

She chose the clean, easy-to-navigate Suits, and kept most of the theme’s out-of-the-box look. The focus here is on her content, and her homepage is a distraction-free zone — visitors will only find an author’s portrait, along with a short bio tucked into a Text Widget in the sidebar. They can then quickly decide which section of the site to explore first.

redstuffdan

Screen shot 2014-02-11 at 1.20.20 AM

Dan, the blogger behind redstuffdan, is a retired expat living in the southwest of France. His blog is mostly about his art — a mixture of photography, digital art, and painting — and he’s opted for a homepage to showcase his creations. Right beneath a short introductory text to his site, visitors quickly plunge into a colorful tiled gallery full of Dan’s art. The gallery’s composition can be modified whenever new material is uploaded — just because the page is “static” doesn’t mean it can’t be updated and refreshed.

For the rest of the content on redstuffdan, which was built using Ablethe sidebar gives visitors easy access to the site’s top posts and pages, most recent posts, as well as to older content through monthly archives.

Up From The Deep

Screen shot 2014-02-11 at 1.21.16 AM

Up From The Deep is the labor of love of Mark Ellinger, a musician-turned-photographer who chronicles the gentrifying streets of San Francisco’s grittiest neighborhoods. Creating a homepage allowed him to highlight the different types of writing on his site: a blog to which he uploads new photos regularly, as well as long-term project pages, like the ones on the Tenderloin and Mid-Market neighborhoods.

The homepage layout features a selection of images that whet the visitor’s appetite, and its primary menu leads not only to the site’s main content, but also to an extensive bibliography page and a Prints page, where interested readers can order copies of images from Mark’s website.

Creating a homepage

If you’d like to try out a front page that isn’t populated by your latest posts, setting one up is a breeze. Go to the Settings → Reading tab in your dashboard, and select “a static page.” Then, choose your desired page from the “Front page” drop menu, and you’re set. If you wish to add an optional blog section to your site as well — where your posts will be displayed in reverse chronological order — specify a separate “Posts page” in the second drop menu. Note that you can also set up a homepage from the Customizer, where you’ll need to go to the “Front” panel.

Looking for more ideas for your homepage? Here are a few more examples to inspire you:


Missing out on the latest WordPress.com developments? Enter your email below to receive future announcements direct to your inbox. An email confirmation will be sent before you will start receiving notifications - please check your spam folder if you don't receive this.

Join 17,806,161 other followers

Ben Huberman

82 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. Anita C. Miller

    I recently switched to the Suits theme and I really like it. Maybe I’ll try a static front page again… I used to have one.

    Like

  2. michellerozek

    This is good to know to help with my blog. Good tips!

    Like

  3. sumfreebird

    Wonderful advice, thank you!

    Like

  4. tobymarx

    Thanks very much for highlighting my homepage. What a nice surprise!

    Like

  5. bobbypoe

    This is an interesting concept…

    Bobby

    Like

  6. The Sisters Eternal

    This post came at a perfect time! I’m designing a home page soon and this has given me great ideas. Thank you!

    Like

  7. Marilyn Armstrong

    I am going to ponder this. It will be a while before I could do anything anyhow, but an interesting idea for positive change.

    Like

  8. Paul Bowler

    This is really great, very helpful. Some excellent advice.

    Like

  9. HipsterApproved.net

    Yes…some very good info here…
    I’ll have to keep these tips in mind when it’s time for a re-design.
    I think I do have a bit of a Homepage going already…what do you think?

    Like

  10. readinora

    I needed this. Thanks!

    Like

  11. Deli Lanoux, Ed.D.

    Thank you! This is very helpful information.

    Like

  12. Alexandra Corinth

    Wow! Thanks for featuring my blog. So unexpected! : D

    Like

    • Ben Huberman

      My pleasure! I’m sure many writers will enjoy seeing how you’ve designed your site to promote your work.

      Like

  13. wehelphealthclubs

    What is the theme used by RedstuffDan?

    Like

  14. Linda Bradshaw

    I prefer to create a blog with a sticky post, to give the reader the important “static” image at the top of the page, then blog posts below. :)

    Like

    • Ben Huberman

      That’s a good strategy if you want to highlight an older post while still preserving a classic blog format.

      Like

  15. Russian Universe

    Thanks for the idea! I’ll edit my ‘best posts’ page & make it my main page.

    Like

  16. Zero Tolerance to Road Rage

    Yes… it’s a good idea. But I think one needs to set up the blog on their own domain to get the maximum out of this static homepage protocol!

    Like

  17. Ranjit K Sharma

    Is the static homepage option available across all themes?

    Like

  18. Wayne

    Groovy Bow Sequence was a nice page.

    But, the others you chose seem busy, and do not point to anything for the reader to follow. I am not sure I would want to do that to my readers.

    Should I?

    Wayne
    Luvsiesous.com

    Like

    • Ben Huberman

      Hi Wayne — I think the featured bloggers all do a great job finding smart ways to direct visitors to the content that they want highlighted. Of course, every blog’s design reflects its owner’s tastes and its subject matter, and should keep the specific audience in mind, too. So what works for some blogs might not work for yours — and that’s absolutely fine!

      Like

  19. MerelyAdventurous

    These are some great examples! Since I’m just starting out, I am constantly looking for good examples on how to make a good impression with my homepage. So far, I think it looks good but I only have one post!

    Like

  20. redstuffdan

    Bonjour Ben

    What a nice surprise – Although I’m always striving to improve the look of redstuff; this current theme let visitors see my pictures in a format that does them proud.

    I love discovering the new and trending themes.

    Regards

    Dan

    Like

  21. kedsanna

    Great piece of advice. Thanks!!!!

    Like

  22. chicagocranialsacral

    Very helpful especially to newbie such as myself.. Thanks

    Like

  23. garysusich

    Great idea, thanks.

    Like

  24. Fantasy Angel

    This was very helpful! Thanks!

    Like

  25. margber

    You have motivated me to make a welcome/static front page. I have toyed with the idea for a few months now. Seeing the beautiful blogs that you have showcased here was just the push I needed. I’m excited to dig in and get started. Thank You!

    Like

  26. tevanbuskirk

    Thank you for this wonderful advice!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Yan Balczewski

    Can we use different themes for the front page and other pages?

    Like

    • Ben Huberman

      You can only use one theme per site — however, different themes let you customize the look of pages and/or posts to give each a distinct feel — for example, you can include some widgets on your homepage but not your posts, add different featured images to your pages, etc.

      Like

  28. kierontownend

    I’m using the “newsworthy” theme and when I try to activate a static page, the only option from the drop down is “about”. How can I change this to a real static page?

    Like

    • Ben Huberman

      I suspect the issue is that you first need to create the page in question. Once you add a new page — even if it’s entirely empty for now — it will appear in the drop menu and you’ll be able to set it as the static front page. You can call this page “Home” for ease of use, though any name will do.

      Like

  29. The Groovy Bow Sequence

    @Ben Huberman Thank you for featuring my blog. What a wonderful surprise!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Painting for Joy

    I can’t seem to make it work. :-( When I create a “Home” page and click on it to be my static page, my blog goes away. How does one direct readers to the blog, after creating the static “Home”page?

    Like

    • Ben Huberman

      Great question!

      To do this, you’ll need to create another page — you can call it “Blog,” “Latest Posts,” or anything else you feel like. Then, from the same panel in the Dashboard where you selected your front page (Settings > Reading), go the “Posts page” drop menu, and select that page you’ve just created — that page will then become your blog.

      Like

  31. Timna

    Thank you so much! I just started blogging in January and last night I decided to upgrade to make my sight more user friendly.This was very helpful. However, I am still trying to figure out, how do I place my pic to be shown when I comment or reply to a post. :)

    Like

  32. RonW

    Hi Ben, great post and I do want a static homepage but had issues with the mobile site. Once I went to static, it messed up the mobile page using the Graphene theme. Might that issue be specific to the theme or to the WordPress platform?

    Thanks in advance,

    Ron
    trianglenc-restaurants.com

    Like

    • Ben Huberman

      Hi Ron,
      I’m glad you enjoyed the post! The Graphene theme is not currently supported on WordPress.com — you’re using it on your self-hosted site. I encourage you to visit the theme’s support forum, where you’re bound to find people who are well-versed in its various features.

      Like

  33. bhatmahesht

    Thanks for the info. I was also worried much about designing home page. Sometimes thought of sending lot of internal links from home page. Thanks for nice examples

    Like

  34. engrmuh

    I got sub page for blog post and have been using static front page about my self .

    Like

  35. Jon R.

    I never thought much about what the static page can do. I figured latest posts only made sense. I’m still new so posts like these have been really helpful. This is great, thanks! Definitely going to mess around with it. :-)

    Like

  36. Thiago

    To make homepages, it will be great if we have the ability to put some widgets in a page.

    Like

    • Ben Huberman

      You definitely can — in fact, if you look at the visibility settings of each individual widget, you can tweak which widgets appear (or are hidden) on which page.

      Like

  37. Zeitarbeiterin

    Your examples are really helpful – thank you!

    Like

  38. RMRenfield

    Thanks, Ben – lots of good tips there!

    Like

  39. Deco Domino

    This is an interesting thing to think about. I spend all my blogging time writing and little time thinking about design and layout, partly because I’m not sure what to do with that side of things.

    Like

  40. In and Around the Garden

    I took your advice and updated my “Home” page. Much, much better. Thanks!

    Like

  41. Vefday

    Fantastic, I’m on it.

    Like

  42. hudsonvalleygardens

    Thanks for the ideas and examples, very helpful. I think a static page could also be used to present a brand image for people using the blog to support their business.

    Like

  43. thewalkahead.com

    Any specific tips about Booklite, which I am currently using. If I went to a static front page would it keep the same image, which I actually like. Booklite seems not to have a lot of customization options. Could I create a kind of ‘ table of contents’ in keeping with the Booklite look? And I would probably want to include at least an excerpt of the most recent post. Thanks.

    Like

    • Ben Huberman

      Book Lite is very much a text-focused theme, though the large header gives it a nice touch of color. Your site will show the same header on all posts and pages, unless you choose to upload several images, which you can then set the theme to display randomly, for variety.
      As for a “table of contents” type of page, you can create something similar in all themes — you could add category pages, create a page and populate it manually with links to posts you want featured, or use the Display Posts shortcode.

      Like

  44. doeschka

    Great idea, thank you!

    Like

  45. Annemiek van der Krogt

    Thank You for sharing Your knowledge! Thanks to Your article, the support pages of WordPress and the great thema Twenty Fourteen I finally succeeded in making a website with which I am satisfied (although it is not yet ready): http://www.empathieworkshops.nl

    Like

  46. Painting for Joy

    Hi Ben, Thanks for answering my question, but I’m still having some issues. I created the “blog” page as per your instructions. That works great. I’d like to create a Static Front page that says “Home”, but there seems to be a page already there, which I cannot remove or edit. How do I remove the “Home” page that seems to be some sort of default page, that I did not create? If you click on the “Home” tab, and the “Blog” tab, they are the same. I am using the Yoko theme. You can view it here: http://paintingforjoy.wordpress.com/

    Thanks for your help,
    Rhonda

    Like

    • Ben Huberman

      Hi Rhonda, I just took a look at your site and the blog page (which I accessed from the main menu on your homepage) seems to be working great, while the Home tab takes you back to the homepage — I hope this means everything worked out after all!

      Like

  47. nearlywes

    Thank you for the advice it is really helping me figure out what to do with my blog exactly

    Like

  48. britta326

    I have always wondered how to do this. Now I am excited to give it a try on my blog soon. Thanks for helping me make my blog a little more sophisticated.

    Like

  49. INSPIRE and RISE

    Very useful tip!!
    Got some ideas for the front page

    Thanks :)

    Liked by 1 person

  50. crazyguyinthailand

    Good advice :)

    Like

  51. awanderlusterwrites

    Just what I needed to read!

    Like

  52. tanimamondalmdit

    Very helpful tips and impressed me very much. Thanks a lot!! MicroDreamIT

    Like

  53. Mike Gantt

    Ben, you told another commenter above:

    “To do this, you’ll need to create another page — you can call it “Blog,” “Latest Posts,” or anything else you feel like. Then, from the same panel in the Dashboard where you selected your front page (Settings > Reading), go the “Posts page” drop menu, and select that page you’ve just created — that page will then become your blog.”

    I did all this. However, I do not see a link to the “blog page” on the home page. What am I doing wrong?

    Like

    • Ben Huberman

      Hi Mike, I just visited your blog and saw a link to your blog in the homepage’s main menu — I hope this means solved this issue successfully! It seems to be working fine.

      Like

  54. twinds

    Cool concept idea for my blog.

    Like

  55. elizanneali

    Useful, I wanted a fixed page as an introduction, and you tell me I can. Thank you.

    Like

  56. Prasath Nadarajah

    Good idea. thanks!

    Like

  57. TheVoiceOfRandomness

    Really helpful! Thanks! Ill work on mine right away

    Like

  58. Vikera

    Thanks for the ideas! I need to revamp! :)

    Like

  59. wishladsolive

    I am in awe of all these creative people. I’ve just started my site and managing to do posts once I remember how to access the driving thingy. The langauge is all new to me so I’m learning as I go along but I haven’t quite sorted out my widgets from my blog yet. I am sure your excellent advice will come in useful if ever I work out what you are talking about so many thanks. :)

    Like

  60. marcibs

    Excellent blog and wonderful advice for all of us. Merci beaucoup for sharing your experience and insights, oui?!

    Like

  61. jinsalaco2013

    If I make multiple Blogs would I be able to list them on a static page?

    Like

    • Ben Huberman

      You could definitely link to multiple blog posts — or multiple sites, as the case may be. Inserting links into pages works exactly the same as it does to posts.

      Like

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 17,806,161 other followers

%d bloggers like this: