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How to create and set a static front page in WordPress

In the beginning WordPress was supposed to be software for blogging without that much flexibility. That is why by default your WordPress website usually shows the most recent posts in blog style after activating a new WordPress theme. That of course is fine and does the job, but what if you want to use WordPress as Content-Management-System (CMS) and create more advanced websites?

MH Magazine Demo 5
MH Magazine – Modern News / Magazine WordPress Theme

For example you may want to publish fancy online magazines or dynamic news websites, create a flexible business website or else. In that case a simple list of posts usually isn’t sufficient and that’s where a static front page with a particular page template is a great solution for more flexibility. This article covers all you need to know about static front page and you’ll learn how to create a widgetized front page for use with WordPress themes by MH Themes.

Why use a static front page in WordPress?

Often people want to use their WordPress websites for more than just a simple classic blog, while having flexibility to be creative and express themselve. They want their web projects feel more like real websites powered by a powerful CMS. This is where a static front page in combination with a suitable page template comes very handy. While using a static front page, you can replace the default classic blog view with any static page or page template you like.

MH Magazine Demo 3
Most WordPress themes by MH Themes make use of a widgetized static front page

Most of our WordPress themes rely on a static front page in combination with a fully widgetized Homepage template which you can use to create awesome, individual and flexible front pages based on widgets. In the following tutorial we will cover how you can easily set up your static front page.

Step 1 – Create a new page and select Homepage as page template

Creating a widgetized static front page for use with WordPress themes by MH Themes is very easy and can be done quickly by carefully following these few simple steps. First, navigate to Pages in your WordPress dashboard, create a new page named Home (or anything else), select Homepage as template for your new page as shown on the image below and then publish the page:

Select Page Template
Select the widgetized “Homepage” page template for your static front page

Important: If you select the widgetized Homepage template which is included in most of our WordPress themes, you won’t need to add any content in the WordPress editor for your static front page because this content will be ignored. Content will be displayed on your front page by using widgets instead.

Step 2 – Set your new page as static front page in WordPress

After you’ve created and published the page which you want to use as your static front page, please perform the next step. Navigate to Settings => Reading in your WordPress dashboard, set your just newly created page (e.g. Home) as Front page and save your settings correctly:

Set Static Front Page
Set your page as static front page in WordPress

Step 3 – Place widgets on your static front page

As soon as you have saved these settings in your WordPress dashboard, the static front page with the widgetized Homepage template is set. In this final step, you can now navigate to Appearance => Widgets in your WordPress dashboard and place the widgets in any of the available widget areas like stated in the theme documentation for your particular WordPress theme.

drag widgets
You can start placing widgets after you’ve created your widgetized static front page correctly

In case you’re using our popular MH Magazine WordPress theme, you can replicate the layout of the various theme demos by simply placing the widgets as stated for each demo and by adjusting a couple of settings for fonts, layout, colors, widget title layouts and more using the provided options.

Step 4 (optional) – Create an additional blog/archive page

If you want, you can create an additional page that displays all of your posts in chronological order like on a classic blog / archive. To achieve this, navigate to Pages in your WordPress dashboard, create a new page and name it Blog, Archive or whatever you want, publish the new page and then navigate to Settings => Reading in your WordPress dashboard to set this page as your Posts page:

Posts page
Create an additional posts page for classic blog / archive view

Quick Tip: By default WordPress displays up to 10 posts on archives. You can determine how many posts are being displayed on your archives and blog page by adjusting the “Blog pages show at most” setting in your WordPress dashboard under Settings => Reading based on your personal needs and requirements.

So, that basically was all you need to create a static front page (including optional archive / blog page) in WordPress. After you’ve carefully completed the above 3-4 steps to create and set your static front page, you have accomplished the basic configuration of your website which is essential in order to proceed with the configuration of WordPress themes by MH Themes. You can now go ahead and take advantage of all the available features and options within your WordPress theme.

That’s also good to know!

For better usability and SEO we recommend that you navigate to Settings => Permalinks in your WordPress dashboard and change the default permalink structure to Post name. This will give your posts and pages a pretty URL structure which will help search engines to index your site properly and also help users to navigate on your site. You can learn more about WordPress permalinks in this article: What are permalinks in WordPress.

In case you’re facing issues with your static front page or if you’re looking for additional information, then these articles and tutorials might be helpful as well:

The information in this article has also been helpful for users with the following questions:

  • How to add widgets to the homepage
  • Slider is not appearing on front page
  • Widgets on front page are not showing
  • How to place widgets on the homepage template
  • Static front page does not work as expected
  • Why do widgets not show on the front page
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