We all have to eventually make the decision on whether or not to use a static front page. Choosing to go static offers benefits, but so does keeping the traditional blog layout.
For those that are scratching your head, WPBeginner does a good job at explaining things:
A WordPress website can have a dynamic blog-like front page, or a static front page which is used to show customized content. WordPress will default to the first option by showing all of your most recent posts on the front page. Some users prefer the second option which is also known as a “splash page” or a “custom home page”.
This feature is particularly useful for websites that want to keep a blog separate from other sections of their website or for users who want to showcase content other than blog posts on the front page of their website. It can also make the site feel less like a blog and more like a full feature website. Often this feature is used on business sites.
Now that you know the differences, let’s discuss what type of WordPress websites would benefit from this feature. (And which of you won’t.)
Who Should Use a Static Front Page
Any website can choose a static homepage, but some receive better benefits than others. Generally speaking, if you want to make money directly from your website, you should choose this option. Here are a few ways different types of businesses can use it:
- Business Websites: Local businesses, eCommerce websites and service-based businesses can better showcase offerings on a static page.
- Creative Portfolios: Highlight your best work through a front page portfolio. Include past work, a way to contact you and testimonials from clients.
- Nonprofits: Explain your vision, share your message and create a call-to-action to encourage visitors to join the cause.
If you fall into one of these categories, going static can provide you more opportunities than a blog-focused design. Because you have several focal points, a home page allows you to showcase the different functions and aspects of your business.
There’s no law saying you can’t still use a blog front page, but it’s important to understand what you’ll miss out on if you do.
Times to Avoid Using a Static Page
Despite many opportunities to utilize a static front page, there are times when it makes more sense to go the traditional route. Generally speaking, keeping a blog-style front page is smart when you’re creating feed-like updates.
The best website styles to keep a blog feed include:
- News Websites: Newspapers, television outlets and online journalism websites.
- Blogs: If the blog is the center of your brand, you fall into this category (as opposed to if a blog is just another marketing tool).
- Showcases: Any business focused on regularly showcasing work (e.g. photographers, real estate professionals, travel agents).
Now, this isn’t to say that you have to stay in these categories. I’ve seen plenty of blogs that use a static page and several businesses using blog-style front pages. At the end of the day, all that matters is your personal preference.
I can offer a guideline, but the actual decision is yours to make.
Hopefully, you have some clearer direction in your choice. These guidelines work well for most. But, as with everything in life, what works for most may not work for all.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and go beyond conventional.
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” – George Bernard Shaw
Best of luck! If you have any other questions, about static front pages or WordPress in general, feel free to contact me or connect over on Twitter.