Do You Want to Build a Website, Not a Blog?

Have you recently joined and want a website, rather than a blog? Here’s a quick tip: transform your blog into a website by setting a fixed front page. Let’s learn how to change your layout.

When you select a theme, typically the design will have a traditional blog layout by default: it displays a feed of your most recent posts on the homepage. But wait a minute! I don’t want a blog — I want a website, you say. What can you do?

From blog to website

If you want to transform a blog into a website, set a “static homepage” or fixed front page. Instead of displaying your latest posts in reverse chronological order, your front page will look more like a landing page.

Let’s take the free and versatile Sela theme as an example. Both sketcher Pete Scully and the team behind the blog of the WomanStats Project use Sela’s standard blog format and show their latest posts on their homepages.

By setting a static or fixed homepage, however, you can transform your layout. Look at the clean and minimal homepage of The Idle Woman, which focuses on art, historical fiction, opera, classical studies, museums, and more:

More websites using Sela in different ways:

A homepage with book covers, video, and reviews on Catherine Ryan Howard’s website.

A front page with widgets in the footer of Nancy Enge’s website.

This is the same theme that Pete uses on his blog — it looks and feels more like a welcome page, doesn’t it? The writer at The Idle Woman keeps her blog posts on a separate page, accessible in the Blog tab in her menu.

Set a fixed front page

You can do this, too — regardless of your theme. First, if you have an existing page that you’d like to use for your front page, make any edits or updates so it’s ready for the spotlight. If not, go to My Site(s) → Site Pages → Add to add a new page, and title your new page “Home” (or something similar). You can add text, images, or even video, as shown on author Catherine Ryan Howard’s website, or you can leave the page blank for now. Then, publish the page.

Next, go to My Site(s) → Customize → Homepage Settings. Under “Your homepage displays,” select the button next to “A static page.” In the dropdown menu under Homepage, select the page to set as your front page, then click Publish to save these changes.

Display a link to your blog

If you want to display an optional link to your blog posts as seen on The Idle Woman, create a new blank page called “Blog” (or something similar), return to My Site(s) → Customize → Homepage Settings, and select this page from the dropdown menu under Posts page. Don’t forget to click Publish.

Once finished, view your website. If you notice two “home” links in your menu, or your pages aren’t displayed in the order you want, create or adjust your custom menu.

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March 20, 2018Design, Inspiration