How To Make WordPress Look Like a Website

by on November 23, 2008 · 264 comments

So you’ve installed WordPress and plan to use it for your small business website. Now what?

The first step to making your website look like a website for your business instead of a blog is to create a static front page and configure WordPress to use this as your home page.

Normally, when someone visits your WordPress website they will see a list of your latest blog posts. If you are using this for your business website, that may not be what you want on your home page.

Luckily, this is easy to change. Don’t worry, you can still have a page that lists all your blog posts too, if you want to have blog entries or articles on your website.

Create a Static Home Page in WordPress – Step By Step:

After you log into your WordPress Admin, create two WordPress pages.

1) Go to Pages -> Add New. Name the page ‘Welcome’ and Publish it. (Note: Do NOT name it ‘Home’)

I also like to turn off Comments and Pings in the settings at the bottom of this page before publishing it.

Adding a new page in WordPress

2) Go to Pages -> Add New one more time. Name this page ‘Blog’ and Publish it.

3) Now go to Settings -> Reading in your WordPress Admin panel.

4) Change the “Front page displays:” settings to look like this:

WordPress Reading Settings screenshot

A Video Walkthrough

Here is a short video from WordPress.org that walks through these steps:

The End Result – More Like a Website Than a Blog

Once you save these settings with the button at the bottom of the page, you’ll see the page called “Welcome” as the main page of your blog. You can edit this page to have anything you want in it. You’ll also notice there is a page on the site called ‘Blog’ that shows your blog posts still.

WordPress website with static front page screenshot
That’s all there is to it! Now you have a custom web page for your website, and you can still link to your blog posts if you want to.

Further Customize Your Home Page With Page Templates

The only problem with the screen above, is that the page title (Welcome in this case) and the Sidebar still show up on your website. You can remove those also, but you’ll need to create a WordPress ‘custom page template’ to do that. It’s not hard – read this article to see how: How to Create a Custom Page Template in WordPress.

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Article by »

Don is an entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley. He founded Expand2Web and is the publisher of the Expand2Web Blog, the SmallBiz WordPress Theme and the GetFiveStars Customer Feedback and Reviews service.

Don has written 278 articles on Expand2Web

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{ 264 comments… read them below or add one }

Joseph May 6, 2012 at 9:50 am

new question, i’m not sure how to explain what its called that i want but on my page where the “home” and “articles” links are i want my “articles” link to drop down and have different categories that you can click on to get where you want, I.E. “articles”>indoor sports, outdoor sports etc.

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Jillian Michaels May 7, 2012 at 11:40 am

Hi there! Great article. I’m working on a new website for a dance program I am starting. When setting up my static home page, I didn’t see the option for disabling comments. I even went back twice and completely erased it and redid it and still can’t figure it out! Have I totally lost my mind? :)
Also, as well versed as you seem to be, is there a way to create a menu for different pages as a header bar below my actual heading? And in addition to that, do you know if I will be able to post a pdf file for my parents of the dance program to download and print for my registration and such? Thanks for any of your help!!!

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fotovoltaika May 8, 2012 at 10:29 am

Hi, i have some more problems. I cant take out from my menu the tags. What is the problem? Thank you.

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Don Campbell May 8, 2012 at 12:48 pm

You can edit your WordPress navigation menu – see this video: WordPress custom navigation menus.

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Mohamed Anan July 30, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Short, beneficial tutorial.

Thank you Don

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Jane August 1, 2012 at 2:43 am

Thankyou for this. I was having to make a page called home but then the URL was /home which I thought is obviously not going to look good haha. Thanks again!!

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NEERAJ August 10, 2012 at 10:36 am

can you please tell me how to make good looking website??

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Courtney August 14, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Hi Don,
I don’t see where you can ‘turn off comments and pings’ as you recommend doing when you start off creating the ‘welcome’ page. Where do I find that option? Tried clicking the down arrow at the right of the ‘Comments’ bar but it just shows that I have no comments, doesn’t give me the option of turning them off. Also don’t see pings anywhere. Help!

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Don Campbell August 14, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Hi Courtney,
WordPress hides items you don’t use often – if you look in the upper right while logged in to your WordPress dashboard you will see “Screen Options” – once you expand that you can click the box next to “Comments” to turn on that option for pages and posts.

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A Jones August 26, 2012 at 12:03 am

I also want my wordpress site to look like a website. Thanks for adding this info. I’ll try my best to impliment what you’ve said. I really wanted templates/

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Junie Sunford September 12, 2012 at 5:49 am

I like it when people come together and share views. Great site, keep it up!

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Fredrick September 15, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Good blog post. I absolutely appreciate this site. Keep writing!

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Alejandro - duplicar mi diner September 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Thank you, i’m going to try with this tips.

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zazatoppan October 4, 2012 at 7:35 am

Thanks a lot, now I can properly arrange my blog for my mini business.

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Arsie Organo October 6, 2012 at 2:59 am

I am trying to build another small scale website powered by WP and your tips really helps. Thanks.

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L2/Coupes November 7, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Greetings from Ohio! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the info you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .

. Anyhow, very good site!

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PMPtraininginBangalore November 11, 2012 at 3:06 am

Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with SEO? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good gains. If you know of any please share. Thanks!

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Don Campbell November 11, 2012 at 10:21 am

PMPtrainingBangalore – yes there are many. I think the most comprehensive SEO plugin for WordPress is the one by Joost de Valk: http://yoast.com/wordpress/seo/

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Aonny Darby December 2, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Thank yo so much. I am considering about changing from other tools to WordPress.

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Admin December 11, 2012 at 3:22 am

I think wordpress is one of the best tool for website designing.
I have designed few website on Wordpress and my latest one is http://www.foodival.com

The one thing that I like the most about is, you can change the theme and your entire website looks new by a single click

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Lawrence Abiodun January 17, 2013 at 11:28 am

Great and wonderful article, I really love it
Thanks!!!

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Alexandra Barahenia January 17, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Hi Don, thank you for taking the time to make this site and explain different ways to handle issues in WordPress.
I was wondering whether you can help answer 2 questions:
1) I am setting up a website for my author dad. I want the first page to just have his name, picture, and two active little windows showing the names of two languages the website will be in. The two languages will display the wording in their own alphabet, but once you click on them, they take you to two different landing pages in the 2 different languages with each having a choice of pages. I don’t want the other language to be translating from the English. I want them separate. I hope you can help me. I’m getting frustrated.
2) Also, I am already set-up with a webhost and domain name. I changed the menu of pages, but it won’t change in the website. How come?

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Don Campbell January 17, 2013 at 9:37 pm

Hi Alexandra,
For #1, I don’t know how to help you with that, sorry!
For #2, here’s a video that shows you how to update the menus in WordPress.

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Anirudha January 31, 2013 at 3:20 am

Hello Don,

I like your blog and read many time in my everyday. I want to know about a thing.

As I can host my site on github as static page. Is their any way to generate static html pages from Wordpress. I means select a theme and generate static html page and use host them anywhere (without PHP hosting).

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John February 7, 2013 at 3:08 am

I really want to be able to change the logo and the layout

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Shelby February 26, 2013 at 6:01 am

Thank you so much for this post, I liked it and tried to make some changes on my WordPress site. This article was quite informative and I am looking forward to your next article. Your tips worked well for me and I am shared them with my colleagues as well.

Another area that might be of interest to online entrepreneurs is Check out openwebsitetutorials , a site that provides encouragement and advice on how to succeed in making a website in an easy way. I learned quite a bit here.

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Siegfried February 28, 2013 at 6:56 am

Excellent tutorial! I think it’s gonna help a lot of WordPress beginners, thank you for sharing!
Best Regards

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Zahid Haseeb March 5, 2013 at 4:48 am

Hello All

I am thinking to create a web where people can come and share their ideas. It seems that I have to create a web where people come and do bloging.
OR what should I do. Please comments

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Shahreer March 17, 2013 at 11:00 am

I appreciate this helpful tutorial for the new comer to design web site in wordpress. I also want to impose it.

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Basil March 28, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles
as long as I provide credit and sources back to your webpage?

My blog is in the very same area of interest as yours and
my visitors would definitely benefit from a lot of the information you present here.

Please let me know if this is okay with you.
Many thanks!

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emergency electrician cardiff June 23, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Finally, i have managed to make my wordpress look like a website.
took ages but now it look fantastic, many thanks guys :)
chris

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Julia July 9, 2013 at 7:25 pm

THANK YOU!!!
Worked perfectly. so helpful.

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abhishek choudhary ar December 31, 2013 at 5:35 am

hi friend thanks for this valuable information

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Mel February 3, 2014 at 4:31 am

easy, thanks a ton!

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Muhammad Asad Khan February 15, 2014 at 3:39 am

Very effective blog really appreciate it.. :)

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