*This material is part of our “how-to” series where we cover essentials for important pages every website needs. This material is an overview for how to make a homepage. For related content checkout:
How To Make a Homepage in WordPress
From a technical standpoint you need to create two pages in WordPress. After you do that, simply head over to “settings” then “reading.” On this page is where you can set a page to be the dedicated homepage and another page to be your blog post page.
1 page, 1 purpose.
This is how any page should be crafted. Your homepage is no different BUT it’s hard because it’s so tempting to put a lot on your homepage. An email opt-in form, recent blog posts, your products, links to your best posts, introductory language welcoming people and explaining what the site is about.
It’s too much!
Options For Homepages:
1 – The blog roll
This is a fine option and it’s what a lot of very popular blogs do. The blog roll is simply your blog posts laid out in chronological order. This layout works because people who read your blog can easily find your latest content. It’s also helpful in that your homepage usually has the most links so it gives your newest posts a bit of an SEO bost as they are linked directly from the homepage.
If you have no idea what to do for a homepage, going with the standard blog roll can work, particularly if your goal is to simply make money via Amazon associates and Google AdSense.
2 – A visual menu for the website
More ideal for an agency or an online store, a visual menu means you take each on of your menu items and give it it’s own section on your homepage. This works because the homepage then introduces the various aspects and services of a website. Allowing users to self select what part of your specific offering they want to go more deeply into.
This layout is ideal for content driven blog websites. Simply have a call to action at the top of the menu. This call to action can either link to another important page on your website OR have it link to an email opt-in form.
Then put your latest or best blog posts under neath.
You could always make your homepage a sales page. This is what I do here at Website Creative Pro. I’m offering a free website setup service with a bunch of bonuses.
In general, if you’re building out a blog style website, I would suggest going with the Pro Blogger style which looks something like this:
Call to action sentence, link to an important page via a button (which could have an opt-in form) or have email opt-in form followed your best blog posts.
Yes I know you want to link to your podcast, Youtube channel, ebook, a blurb about you, affiliate links etc but again it’s too much.
Keep your homepage simple.
Your homepage should 3 sections:
- The header
- The body
- The footer
Most homepages have an opt-in form in the header with a sentence or two welcoming the visitor. Example:
Websites Made Easy! You’re here let’s do this
Oh hey that’s my call to action sentence. Again, short and sweet.
Should I put an email form with the call to action sentence?
You can have an email opt-in form, but it what works better is to have a light box that pops up when people click the button or a dedicated sales page for selling people on why they should subscribe.
Next is the body. Either make it a visual menu for your site or have your latest blog posts or most popular posts.
The footer should have:
- You can also link to your about page and contact page here if you don’t want to put it in the main navigation menu.
- Another email opt-in form. The bottom section of your website is one of the highest converting places for an email form.
The homepage should be clean and simple. It’s tempting to throw a lot of stuff in, but keep it simple and construct each section as outlined on this page. Here are some more concepts on how to make a homepage that win:
- Welcome users to the site
- Quickly answer the “what is this site about” question within the first 5 seconds. Meaning, you should be able to look at a site and determine what it’s about within 5 seconds.
- Describe the problems of your “right people” and how your site is a solution to that problem.
- Have a call to action – sign up to an email list, click on your consulting page, a page to help users find specific content.
- Keep the page short! When you make a homepage should not be a massive text page. Keep it organized with subsections and compressed content and drop-downs for further exploration.
- Your homepage should be targeting a keyword or phrase and it should meet the search intent for that keyword. For example if you have a site on personal development, you’re homepage needs to talk about your unique selling point in regards to personal development. Just saying “welcome to my personal development site” is not enough. Think about the person on the other end typing into a search engine “personal development” and what there needs are. Answer those needs.
BLOG POSTS AS HOMEPAGE
Nothing wrong with having your blog posts as a home page. One key thing to try and add would be an email opt-in form, a link to a getting started page or a 3 image box link to various pages on your website.
The most recent blog posts will be shown if you choose your blog posts page as a homepage. It’s best to have 3-5 blog posts on the homepage and an email opt-in form above the content but below the navigation bar. You want only 3-5 because of site load time and page size. A site with 6 or more blog posts will be long page, too long to be of any use to a reader.
Also, you want each post to be a summary, meaning the user has to click on the post title to read the full post.
If you don’t want to make your post summaries, then just have 1-2 posts on the homepage at any given time. The down side of this is duplicate content, with content on your homepage and the newest individual post being the same (this is not a big deal, but as webmasters we always want to avoid duplicate content since it does not help the end user to find what they are looking for).
You could always abandon the blog format and craft a proper homepage that introduces your website. Key ingredients are some sort of call to action that is usually about subscribing to your websites email list. Another option is an offer for a specific service. Whatever you decide, remember. One page, one goal.
KEYWORD FOCUSED HOMEPAGE
Your homepage attracts most of the links from other websites. This tends to make the homepage have a better chance at ranking well for a given keyword. As such, you can simply forego all the information above and have a high quality page focused around 1 high traffic keyword.
Example is the homepage for WebsiteCreativePro.com. On the homepage is a high quality, detailed tutorial on how to make a website. If you have a content rich website focused on a specific topic, it might be a good idea to simply create a 1 page, keyword focused homepage with images, videos, clickable maps or anything else to make it more interactive.
This is an idea homepage for a topic specific website that has 1 main purpose (like creating a website as is the case of WCP), with additional pages covering sub-topics.