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Static Landing Pages for WordPress Blogs

Sometimes you don’t want the most recent blog posts to be the highlight of your web site. The typical blog aggregate page works well on our custom home blog, because we’re highlighting the construction process and the progress is marked by the current phase. But your site may be best suited to feature something else.

Some examples:

  • On this site, for example, I create blogging tips and blog tutorials for my clients. But when someone arrives at the home page, the featured item they see is the service we provide for those who want to start blogging.
  • An engineering company uses a blog to keep customers updated on firmware updates, new products, and promotions, but features it’s LonTalk router on the home landing page.
  • A Utah County community theater uses a blog post for all it’s changing information (new shows, auditions, etc.), but wants to keep the currently playing production front and center, so theater goers can easily find out the details.

If you site is best suited to have a static landing page to feature your products or services on the home page, with a regularly updated blog on a back page, this tutorial is for you. Follow this step-by-step tutorial to create a static landing page in WordPress with the Thesis theme.

Login into the WordPress dashboard area.

Create a new WordPress page for your new landing page. Enter the info you’d like. Publish your page.

Create a new WordPress page that will be used as the blog aggregate page (typically seen as the home page in blogs, with most recent post listed first). Publish your page. [This step is optional if you’re going to use this as a static site without blog entries.]

Click Settings>Reading in the left navbar.

Click the radio button Front page displays>A static page.

Select your landing page from the Front page popup menu.

Select your blog aggregate to appear on (if any), from the Posts page popup menu.

Click Save Changes.

Click Thesis Options>Thesis Options in the left navbar.

Expand Navigation Menu>Select pages to include in nav menu by clicking the + on the right side.

Uncheck the box next to your landing page name.

Check the box next to your blog page name.

Now you have a static landing page on the home page of your site and a blog aggregate page on a less prominent page.

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Fazreen March 3, 2010, 11:12 am

    It can be done in any themes..but thesis can also use for building sales page. howtomakemyblog dot com has a great tutorial on this

  • Alison Moore Smith March 3, 2010, 12:14 pm

    Absolutely it can, Fazreen. These tutorials are written for my clients who all use the Thesis theme, so I wrote it specifically with that theme’s menus and customization pages in mind. 🙂

  • Dana March 5, 2010, 10:50 pm

    And it make that we can create site instead blog from wordpress. 😀
    .-= Dana @ Blogging Update´s last blog ..How To Uninstall WordPress Blog Manually =-.

  • JackieO March 6, 2010, 3:15 am

    Dana, you lost me on that one.

  • bbrian017 March 8, 2010, 2:25 pm

    Hi Alison., I don’t use the thesis theme but I’m sure many of our members at blog engage will benefit form this.

    Thanks for sharing and posting it.
    .-= bbrian017´s last blog ..Blogging back to basics =-.

  • fishing organizations March 11, 2010, 8:54 am

    I definitely hear what you are saying about the static landing pages. One more popular application of the static landing page is that you can have it be the “About Me” page of your blog.

    This way, people will know what your blog is all about right off the bat. This will make the reading experience much more enjoyable for them.

  • Lisa March 12, 2010, 10:50 am

    I bounce back and forth over this concept depending on what my current post is about. With only a few blogs up and running (am a newbie to this world), I guess I should be more specific with a static home page on a couple blogs.
    Thanks Alison
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Spring Has Sprung, Almost =-.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 12, 2010, 12:47 pm

    Lisa, if the blog itself is the feature of your site, I’d leave the aggregate page up front. But if the blog is an addendum, a sideline, an addition (like it is for this site), then think about creating a great splash page for the front. Either way, it’s a good idea to have an easy way for folks to identify what your site is about, if the URL/title/header don’t make it completely obvious.

    Thanks for commenting!

  • Debbie Lattuga March 15, 2010, 9:00 pm

    Thanks for the great tutorial!
    .-= Debbie Lattuga´s last blog ..Polar F11 | Video Review =-.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 15, 2010, 11:09 pm

    Debbie, thank you. I’m glad it was helpful!

  • Leo March 18, 2010, 11:29 am

    I think I first read about this on Joost’s blog and it makes perfect sense. Your blog money pages should always be in the same place (structurally speaking) within your blog.

    Being a big fan of Thesis I can only say, Good work Alison 🙂
    .-= Leo´s last blog ..Accountancy website design ? Now we can help! =-.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 18, 2010, 11:44 am

    Leo, thanks for your input and your kind words. I’m obviously a big Thesis fan, but I’m a Joost fan, too. He always has insightful posts and information.

  • Cheri March 28, 2010, 10:28 pm

    Great article – thanks! I just bought thesis theme and am in the process of making a video opt in page.

    I am copying and pasting bits of code I find here and there to get what I want. Do you have any suggestions for good resources? I’m not afraid to learn, but also don’t want to spin my wheels.

    Thanks!
    .-= Cheri´s last blog ..Today’s Going To Be A Great Day! =-.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 1, 2010, 3:38 am

    Cheri, I’m afraid the question is so broad that I’m not sure where to start! What specific resources are you looking for?

  • David Hartman August 4, 2010, 10:53 am

    I’m looking to add a blog aggregator to a page on our site without changing our existing theme. I’ve tired many plugins that feed to Post categories or Widgets, but just need something built into a static page (not our home page.)

    Are you selling a product that does this? Suggestions?

  • Alison Moore Smith August 4, 2010, 4:19 pm

    David, could you clarify what you’re looking for? By “blog aggregator” do you mean a collection of OTHER blogs or a collection of your OWN blog posts? If the latter, WordPress does that automatically, you simply have to set it up if you are using a static home page.

    I don’t sell any products, but I’m happy to do custom site work. If you’d like me to look at your problem, just use the contact form to get in touch with me. 🙂

  • David March 30, 2011, 8:04 am

    I’m a big fan of wordpress, not just for blogging, but for building a ‘business’ website too. If you’re just getting online, or if you are looking for an easy to edit, professional looking site, but don’t have a budget with 3 (or more) zeros attached to it, then wordpress is a must.

    I used to design all of my own websites in Dreamweaver from scratch until I discovered wordpress. And let me tell you, it’s one heck of a lot easier now, and a darn sight better looking.

    Like you’ve pointed out here, you don’t have to set your home page in the traditional ‘blog’ format. From the business owners I’ve worked with, most have heard of WP, but associate it with a personal blog rather than a business homepage.

    With the static homepage and a little investment with somebody like studiopress, you can get a brilliant design, seo friendly, professional quality website with tons of functionality for peanuts.
    Read David’s inCREDible post…Why SEOMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith March 30, 2011, 10:27 am

    Absolutely, David. Most of my clients aren’t primarily bloggers, but use the blog as a means to drive traffic to their businesses. Some don’t blog at all, but merely use WordPress as the CMS.

    We come from similar backgrounds. I began coding websites in strict HTML in 1994. (Now that’s “from scratch!” ;)) There was no CSS and table-based sites were about as pretty as you could get. Then I went to GoLive and the to Dreamweaver. Using a GUI was like a new world in page coding!

    But WordPress is, IMO, so much better for general applications. It’s simple, dynamic, and accessible for anyone who can use a word processor. And with Thesis, you have a great looking, clean design that is easy to make general customization to without code. Love the combo.

  • Marla August 19, 2011, 12:00 pm

    You mean no hooks are involved ?!? Awesome-sauce!

    Thanks for the helpful info. You just saved me tons of research!

  • Alison Moore Smith August 24, 2011, 11:35 pm

    Marla, glad to be of help. I’ll likely to writing a few hooks tutorials in the future, so keep watching. 🙂 Hooks are your friend! 🙂

  • corrado izzo November 18, 2011, 3:40 am

    Hi Alison

    thank you for this very great content.
    I am setting up a Wordpress Multisite and wanted to know if i can follow your guide to setup a static landing page for the network of blogs which i am building.
    the structure i intend to create is very similar to wordpress.com where you have a landing page that gives you excerpts/content for the blogs in the network of wordpress.

    thank you very much
    Corrado

  • Alison Moore Smith December 27, 2011, 12:49 pm

    corrado izzo, not sure I understand your question. Are you asking if you can duplicate this on multiple blogs? If so, yes.

  • Anthony February 22, 2012, 7:52 pm

    Hi,

    I am currently setting up my first blog page, which will be divided into 3 blog categories. I am hoping to set a static page with a brief description, and to link ito the different categories of blog.

    Do you think a static page is the best way of doing this?

  • Alison Moore Smith May 23, 2012, 11:23 am

    Anthony, a static home page is a great way to introduce your site. I think it’s particularly useful if you need to direct readers to particular posts or to understand your format, rather than just letting them randomly move from one post to another.

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