When it comes to your blog’s home page design, there’s two ways to go:
1. a blog page showing your latest posts;
2. a static front page.
By default if you use WordPress, your blog’s home page design will show your latest posts. That’s what the majority of blogs use in fact.
Now that might be because it’s the default option and it’s easier to keep it that way. But is it worth considering using a static front page instead?
IS IT TIME TO CHANGE YOUR HOME PAGE DESIGN?
I’ve been asking myself this question. There are so many blogs I read that have a static front page. It’s tempting to test it out myself.
With having the Dynamik Website Builder (aff link), I can put it in place easily. It allows me to set up a static front page with a choice of widgetised templates.
Would there be any advantages to changing my blog’s home page design and having a static front page though?
Well, perhaps there would.
PROS AND CONS OF USING A STATIC FRONT PAGE
When you consider a standard WordPress home page with blog posts listed, you don’t have much control over the content. With a static front page, you have complete control.
You can target exactly what you want the visitor to see, manipulate what you want them to do and have a specific call to action.
That also goes for search engines. If you control the content, you’ll be able to optimise it and make it search engine friendly. You can target specific keywords which will help your home page rank.
If you take Ana Hoffman’s home page for example at Traffic Generation Cafe, everything above the fold is designed to capture an email address.
For many bloggers, including myself, that’s a priority so it makes sense to emphasise list building in this way on your home page.
There are a couple of things to consider when creating a static front page.
Neil Patel mentions that using a static front page can affect the traffic coming to your site. Quicksprout had a 30% plus decrease in traffic by making the home page design static.
That’s quite a big hit to traffic to a home page but that’s not to say that would happen to everyone’s site.
Peter Garcia-Webb suggests that having a static front page can also affect how blog posts get picked up by Google.
He found that using a blog page showing his latest posts allowed Google to index his new posts much quicker than if he used a static front page.
The difference in indexing times was relatively significant depending on how often you post. It went from 30 minutes with the traditional home page to 24 hours with a static front page.
That’s great but what about just sticking with what you know.
PROS AND CONS OF USING A BLOG POST SHOWING YOUR LATEST BLOG POSTS
With this being the default option in WordPress, it’s ready made. You don’t need to do any extra work because it’s already done for you.
If you’re new to blogging then you may want to keep the default option. That might be wise until you’ve got into a routine of creating content and seeing how much traffic you get.
By keeping your home page as a list of blog posts, visitors can gauge whether what you offer is what they want.
If you take a look at Brian Dean’s home page at Backlinko.com you can see how well having a list of blog posts can work:
As I mentioned above, you don’t have as much control over your home page’s design if you choose to show a list of blog posts. That’s not to say you don’t have any though.
You can add an opt in form in your header design and be creative with the sidebar and footer to achieve your goals. That might not be quite so targeted as focusing on one goal for your home page but it looks like a good compromise.
Another thing to consider when using the default home page in WordPress is that you won’t be able to focus on keywords.
Each blog post is more than likely going to have a different keyword. So it’s not easy to optimise your home page for search engines using this option.
THE FINAL DECISION DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU’RE TRYING TO ACHIEVE.
As with many things, there’s pros and cons to both options.
The decision on whether you show a list of blog posts on your home page or have a static front page is subjective. It depends on what you’re trying to achieve with your home page.
If you want to encourage someone to sign up to your list or you have a product you want to promote then having a static front page may be the way to go.
If content is your number one priority then having a list of posts on your home page is a good idea for readers and search engines alike.
For me, I’m edging towards a hybrid page where I use the blog page showing a list of blog posts but having a more prominent opt in form.
I’m considering something that would show above the fold with the blog posts below the fold. That way I would achieve a good compromise I think.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
What are your thoughts on using a static front page for your home page with a separate blog page? Or do you prefer the default WordPress set up which shows a list of blog posts?
Have you tested both and found one works better for you than the other? What was the result?
Please let me know what you think in the comments section below.
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