Controlling Your Home Page

One thing many people want to do is change their front (home) page, and change which is the blog page. Unfortunately, getting this right is not entirely obvious using the WordPress Settings interface, especially if you want to use a Weaver “Page with Posts” static page as your blog page. I’ll try to give an explanation of what is going on.

You control which is your home page using the standard WordPress Settings->Reading menu. There you are given two choice for setting your “Front page displays”: Your latest posts -or- A static page. If you want a static page for your Home page, you use the second option, and specify a static page to use as the front page. Then, in “normal” circumstances, you specify an alternate static page to serve as a “host” page for your blog.

There are two critical things to understand using this option. First, no matter what title you may have put on the static page when you created it, it will be called “Home” on the default menu (e.g. “Intro”). (This is not necessarily true if you’ve defined a custom Primary menu.) Second, the host page for the blog will only be used to get the title (e.g. “Blog” or “News”) and menu order. None of the content of that static “host” page, or any of the per page Weaver II settings you might have made, will be used when the page is used to display blog entries. In summary, you’ve specified some static page with content to be displayed using the “Home” menu item, and a second static page that is used to get a title for the standard blog page displayed on the menu using regular menu sorting.

Now, if you want to use a Weaver II “Page with Posts” page for your blog page (because you can filter categories, provide custom widget areas, etc.), then you must select the A static page option on the Settings->Reading option page. But that is not all!

If you want your blog to be a Weaver IIĀ  “Page with Posts” page, then you must leave the Posts page selection (the 2nd one) under the A static page option set to nothing (i.e., leave it as the default “– Select –” choice, as in the above image). If you want your front (home) page to be your blog, then for the Front page option, select your static “Page with Posts” page that you want to be used to display your blog. No matter what title you gave your front page, it will show as “Home” on the menu (there is a Weaver II main option to change that, however). If you want the front page to be a non-blog static page, then select it instead. Your “Page with Posts” static page blog will then show up on the menu using whatever title you gave that page.

Why must you leave the Posts page option set to nothing? As explained earlier, if you specify a page for that option, then WordPress will use only the title of that page to put the blog on the menu. Any contents of that page will be replaced with the standard default WordPress blog page. Even if you’ve chosen the “Page with Posts” template for that page, none of the content or options for that page will be used – just the title. However, by leaving the Posts page selection blank, WordPress will just ignore the option. (This is how you create a site with static pages only, but no default blog.) And a “Page with Posts” page is really just a static page.

If you don’t want an item called “Home” on the menu, then you can check the “No Home Menu Item” in the Header Options section of the Main Options tab. There will be no “Home” on the menu. The page you designated as the front page in Settings->Reading will be the page that is displayed when you reach your site using just the base url, and that page will appear on the menu using its own title, and in whatever order you’ve specified (i.e., you’ll have to explicitly make it the first item on your menu if you want that).

Please note that if you’ve defined a custom Primary menu, you need to be sure the first item in that menu points to the same page as you’ve set in the Reading settings for your front page – assuming you want to follow normal web conventions for menu definitions.

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