Non-Traditional Blog Layouts

Those familiar with WordPress (and blogs in general) have probably noticed that most blogs, despite having a variety of themes, are very similar in layout and functionality. To quickly summarize, most blogs have two basic features:

  1. A main screen (the first thing that visitors see) that displays recent ‘posts’, and
  2. a navigation menu that contains links to semi-static ‘pages’.

For many blogs and bloggers, this layout and functionality works just fine.. but I do occasionally get questions like “What if I don’t want my posts to be the first thing that visitors see”? or  “What if I want to use that navigation menu to link to something other than pages”? Fortunately, WordPress offers a great deal of flexibility for those wanting something different. Here are a few options and instructions for common layout changes:

Making your ‘Posts’ show up on a different ‘Page’

  1. Create two new Pages. One of these you probably want to name something like ‘Main’ or ‘Home’.. this will be the Page that visitors to the site will see when they first arrive (instead of seeing your ‘Posts’ first). The second Page you can name anything you want, and it will be where your ‘Posts’ will be displayed.
  2. After creating the two Pages, from the Dashboard go to ‘Settings’ and then ‘Reading’. You should see a screen like the one below:
  3. Change the ‘Front page displays’ option to ‘A static page’, and select which of your new Pages is the new ‘front’ Page, and which one will display your ‘Posts’.
  4. Click on ‘Save Changes’.

 Changing the Navigation Menu

  1.  From the Dashboard, go to ‘Appearance’ and then ‘Menus’.
  2. Enter a name for your new Menu (this name is internal only.. visitors to your site won’t see the name of the Menu), and click ‘Create Menu’:
  3. You can add specific Pages, Post Categories, and other ‘Custom Links’ to your Navigation Menu.. just check the boxes for items you want to appear on the Navigation Menu.
  4. Under ‘Theme Locations’, select your Menu as the ‘Primary Navigation’, and click ‘Save’. Some themes may give extra menu options too.
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2 Responses to Non-Traditional Blog Layouts

  1. chinmaya says:

    yes, posts, pages and navigation menus can be overwhelming for newbies when it comes to customization. above steps are quite handy for managing all those things

  2. Mike R says:

    These are some fantastic start up tips for WordPress users. When I first started using WP I was trying to set up the blog on a separate page from my home page, little did I know there is a useful little tab under the settings section!

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