WordPress is a blogging tool. The default setting of WordPress puts the blog posts on the home page. When you are using WordPress as a CMS you probably do not want your home page to be blog posts. Fortunately it is easy to have some other page act as the home page. Here are the basic steps you need to take:
- Step 1: You need a home page. From your Dashboard you want to Add New under Pages. This page will hold the content for your home page. Remember, the title for the page will become the main heading for your home page, so a title like “Home” will not cut it. The page needs to be published before you can select it as the home page for your site.
- Step 2: You will set your new Home page as the Home page for your website. From your Dashboard find the Reading page under Settings. On the page you will see this (click for larger view):
- Just change the Front Page displays to A static page. Then use the pull-down menu next to Front page to select the page you set up in Step 1 to be your home page. If you want your website to include a blog, you need to have a Post page also. You may first need to repeat Step 1 with a new page cleverly named Blog or News. If you do not select a Posts page, your site will not have a blog.
- Step 3: Change your permalinks. Under Settings go to Permalinks. For a CMS application a simple custom setting of your_url + /%postname%/ should work fine and be best for SEO (search engine optimization).
- Step 4: Check your home page. Your main site url should now show the page you set up as your home page. You now have a website based on WordPress rather than a blog.
As you can see it is pretty simple to make WordPress act like a CMS. The challenges are making it look the way we want (themes), perform the functions we need (plugins) and attract viewers to the site (SEO). I hope to be providing some good information in these areas in future posts.