Everybody knows that blogs are where you find posts to read.
So it stands to reason that visitors expect to find these posts listed immediately upon entering your blog, ready and waiting to be read.
And this is what the default blog setup gives you when you first create your blog. Your posts on presented on your blog’s first page.
Can a blog be a website?
The beauty of WordPress as a blogging medium is that it can also be used to create websites.
Essentially a modern, interactive, CMS (content management system, or self-editable) website made via WordPress is a blog with extra pages. Like this one.
If you were to enter Beginner Bloggers via its ordinary URL (web address), you would arrive at its homepage. Not the blog listings page. That is accessible via the link ‘Blog’ in the navigation links or tabs at the top right.
And you will also notice on closer inspection that there is a link or tab called ‘Home’, in purple because it is active, on that navigation bar.
How do I get that home link?
You need to create a homepage, and another page to contain your posts.
This means creating pages rather than posts. The procedure is the same for both WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress.org websites, but I shall show you on my WordPress.com blog.
Go to ‘My Sites’ at the top left corner and select ‘WP Admin’ from the drop down menu:
In WordPress.org blogs, if you are already logged in, you can access the Dashboard via the drop down menu activated from your blog’s name in the top right corner:
Once in the Dashboard, locate ‘Pages’ > ‘Add New’ from the left sidebar:
And you will see something very similar to when you write your posts, except that it says ‘Add New Page’ at the top rather than ‘Post’:
Now type in what you want to call your homepage, eg ‘Home’, in the title field.
If you’re feeling adventurous, or are ultra organised and have your homepage content ready, you can add this or something suitable into the editing main field underneath.
Publish your new ‘Home’ page via the Publish menu in the top right corner:
And see the confirmation once it is done:
Now click on the ‘Add New’ button next to ‘Edit Page’ so you can create the page which will contain your blog posts. Simply repeat the process again:
This time you name your page ‘Blog’ or ‘News’ or ‘Articles’ or whatever you want to call the page that contains your blog posts, but you don’t write anything in the editing field.
Publish it as before.
Now comes the magical bit!
Go to the ‘Settings’ link in the left sidebar and from the drop down menu select ‘Reading’:
And you will see that your blog is set up to show your posts on the front page:
If you select the second option ‘A static page (select below)’:
You will see that the drop down menus have been activated.
Select the pages you created in each drop down menu that are relevant to its criteria:
This is what it should look like when you’ve finished:
Don’t forget to go to the bottom of the page to click on the ‘Save Changes’ button:
And you will get confirmation that everything is OK at the top of the page:
Now check out your new homepage
Go to ‘My Sites’ at the top left and select ‘View Site’ from the drop down menu:
Or with a WordPress.org website, find the name of your blog at the top left and click ‘View Site’ from the drop down menu:
And now you will see your new homepage:
As you can see, the ‘Home’ tab is highlighted and the ‘Blog’ tab is next to it. This is where you can find your posts now, safely stored in their new blog listing page:
There you are, that is how you create a homepage for your blog, so you can turn it into a website.
Now, if you’re observant like me, you will have noticed that the pages in the navigation bar are listed in alphabetical order.
Here’s a How-To post that explains how to regulate which order your navigation tabs are arranged.
Also, start thinking about what you want to write in your new homepage that will make your visitors understand where they are, what they want to do, and how they can do it!
You can always read this post to get some ideas from what I think should go into a homepage.