In a few of our most recent posts in this series on getting started with WordPress, we covered how to start publishing your first blog posts. So while you now have all the information you need to begin your blogging journey, there are a few essential details you need to take care of on your new website.
No matter what you the purpose of your website is, there are a handful of pages that you will want to add to it. In the majority of cases, those pages will provide information to educate your visitors about the purpose of your website, as well as sharing information covering how you can be contacted.
If you are yet to start working with WordPress pages, or want some advice to ensure you are creating them correctly, this article on publishing your fist WordPress pages will provide you with everything you need to know. By the end of this article we will have revealed which pages nearly every website should include, as well as some tips and advice on how you can go about creating those pages in order to get the best results from them.
WordPress Posts vs. Pages
We’ve already covered the differences between WordPress posts and pages, so if you are still a little unsure of when to use these two publishing options, or you’d like a quick refresher course, be sure to check out that post, before we go any further.
To quickly summarise, the main differences between posts and pages, is that pages are generally used to publish timeless content. This is content that won’t go out of date, and will always be useful and relevant. Posts on the other hand, are better suited to publishing blog and journal entries, as well as other more time-sensitive content such as news and reviews.
These main differences make pages the ideal choice for publishing those important pieces of information, such as the details about you, your website or company. While this information may change over time, requiring the pages to be updated, those pages will always be important to your visitors. By using the WordPress page feature to publish that information, you can ensure that this content is kept separate from the stream of blog posts published on your website, making them easier to find.
The Essential Pages Every Website and Blog Needs
While this may vary depending on the type of website you are building and its purpose, there are a few pages most websites will want to include: homepage, about, contact, and services.
In this article we will show you how to create these pages, as well as giving you some tips on what to include on them.
When using WordPress to build a website, you have two main options for what will be displayed on the homepage of your website. This could either be: a single page, or your latest blog posts.
If your website will be functioning as a blog first and foremost, then displaying your latest blog posts on the home or front page of your website is the best option. This is the default setting of a new WordPress website, so if you plan to display your latest blog posts on the home page, then your site is ready to go.
However, you can access these controls from the Reading Settings page. This page can be found under the Settings menu on your WordPress dashboard. From there you can choose to either display your latest blog posts or a static page.
If your website won’t be featuring a blog, or the blog won’t be the key component of your website, and you’d rather display a traditional fixed or static page on the front of your website, then you should select the second option. This will then allow you to choose which page to display on the front of your website. If you’ve yet to create the page that will become the homepage of your website, you can quickly do so by clicking on the Add New item under the Pages menu.
You can give this page any name you like. There’s also no need to enter any content until you’ve finished the set up process. Just publish the page and navigate back to the Reading Settings, before selecting the new page from the drop down list.
Creating the Blog Page
If you are displaying a fixed or static page on the front of your website, you might be wondering where the latest blog posts can be found. Thankfully WordPress makes this issue very easy to rectify. Simply create a new blank page called Blog, and then select it from the drop down list for the Posts page setting.
Now, when a visitor arrives at the home page of your website, they will see the static page you just created. When they click on the link to the blog page, they will see your latest blog posts.
The About Page
The purpose of the about page is to not only describe your website, but perhaps most importantly, convey the value the website offers your visitors. When writing the about page, rather than simply explaining the story behind the website and why it was created, highlight why your visitors should stick around, and what they can gain from doing so.
The about page is often the most popular page on any website, and it may well be your one and only chance to really connect with your visitors. With that in mind, make sure you use this opportunity wisely. Start by outlining the main benefits on offer to your target audience straight away.
Save the trivial information, such as when the fwebsite was founded for later, and dive straight into why and how your visitors can benefit from exploring the rest of the site. Don’t forget to highlight how you can help the reader, and what they stand to learn.
Below are several about us page examples set up in Avada demos:
The Contact Page
If you are using your website to promote yourself, your services, or your products, then you will want to give your visitors a way to get in touch with you. This could be as simple as linking out to your profiles on social media websites like Facebook or Twitter.
You can also add your email address to the contact page. However this could result in your inbox being inundated with spam. Alternatively, you can use a WordPress plugin to display a contact form on your website. This form will give your visitors a way to send you an email, without the need to risk publishing your email address.
If you do want to add an email contact form to your WordPress website, the free Contact Form 7 plugin is a good option. To add it to your website, navigate to the Add New plugins page and search for it by name. From the search results, click the install now button to add the forms to your website.
Below are several contact us page examples set up in Avada demos:
Once the plugin is installed and activated, you can add the form to your contact page by copying the shortcode on the forms page (Contact > Contact Forms).
Once you’ve copied the form shortcode, you can then paste it into your contact page. If you need to change the email address where the messages are delivered to, you can do so by editing the form, from the Contact Forms page.
Now when you publish any page containing the form shortcode, your visitors will be able to send you a message, direct to your inbox, through the contact form on your website.
Other Website Pages to Consider
Depending on the purpose of your website, there are a few other pages you might like to consider:
A Start Here Page: this type of page usually compliments the about page and provides a good starting point for new visitors. As the number of posts on an established, or busy blog, can be overwhelming for new arrivals, as well as making it hard to find older content, creating a list of some of your best posts on a start here page can really help your new visitors feel at home.
An About Me Page: while the about page is typically about the site, you might want to also add a page about you. This can give your website the personal touch and help your visitors become familiar with the personality behind the brand.
A Services Page: if you are using your website to promote your services or products, then it’s essential that you create a corresponding page and link to it prominently throughout the rest of your website. Again, remember to highlight the benefits you can deliver to your customers and clients, rather than just the features of your service.
Testimonials and Client Feedback Pages: again, if you are offering some kind of service or product, or you just want to give your visitors a reason as to why they should listen to you, creating a page of client feedback or reviews is a great idea. Publishing testimonials from previous and current clients, has helped my freelance blogger website create that essential level of trust needed in order to land new work.
If you’ve been following our new WordPress user’s guide to starting a website, then you should know how to publish blog posts and now, create the essential pages that nearly all websites need.
Adding these vital pages to your website can not only help you provide useful information to your visitors, but it can also make your online presence look more legitimate. This is especially important if the purpose of your website is to promote you as a brand, or your services and products.
If you have any questions about creating these pages, or any suggestions as to what we should cover in this series, please leave a comment below.