One of the features of WordPress that most site owners use is blog posts. Posts are an essential feature of WordPress and they arose out of the fact that WordPress started life as a blogging platform.
Even if you’re using WordPress to run a site that isn’t predominantly a blog, you’ll probably still add some posts to it. These might be blog posts, news items, or updates. You might use them for a different purpose altogether: I have one client who’s a career coach and uses posts for interview tips on her site, and another who’s an author and uses posts for short stories.
However you use blog posts in your WordPress site, you’ll need a way of letting your visitors access them. And there are a few ways of doing this.
In this tutorial, I’ll show you three different ways to add blog posts to pages in your WordPress site. These are:
- Displaying blog posts on the home page of your site.
- Creating a dedicated page for your blog posts and displaying them there.
- Adding a list of recent posts to other pages in your site, as part of the page content.
Let’s start with the simplest option: displaying blog posts on your home page.
Displaying a List of Blog Posts on Your Site’s Home Page
Because WordPress started life as a blogging platform, the default option is to show your posts on your home page.
If your site is predominantly a blog or news site, and the content that people will be most likely to access is your posts, this will make it easy for them.
If you install WordPress and add some blog posts, you should find that your posts are automatically shown on your home page. Depending on your theme, the full content of each post will be displayed, or just an excerpt and maybe the featured image.
A good example is the Young House Love interior design blog, which is designed to make it easy to find the latest posts:
On this site, the home page has a list of recent posts. Each item features the title, a large image, and an excerpt.
If you want your posts to show up on the home page and WordPress isn’t already doing this for you, here’s how you do it.
In the WordPress admin, go to Settings > Reading.
Find the section called Your homepage displays and select the Your latest posts option.
Click the Save Changes button and go back to your home page. You’ll find that it displays all your latest posts.
Displaying a List of Blog Posts on a Dedicated Page
The second option is to have your home page as a static page with content that you add manually, and create another page to display your blog posts.
This means you can add whatever content you want to your home page, maybe information about your business or your site. And then you have a separate page for your posts. This is becoming increasingly common as it gives you more flexibility on your home page, and is useful for a site which isn’t just a blog.
An example is the Irish Architecture Foundation. This website covers a related topic to the design blog above, but it has a different focus. Instead of being purely a blog, it is a business site designed to showcase the foundation and its work. So it has a static front page dominated by a single image, and a separate News page which lists recent posts.
If you want to have a static home page and a separate blog or news page, you can – but setting it up requires a couple more steps. Let’s take a look at how it works.
Step 1: Create the Home and Blog Page
Start by creating the static home page and the page which will hold your blog posts.
In the WordPress admin, go to Pages > Add New. Create a new page called Home and add whatever content to it that you want to use on your home page. Click the Publish button to publish it.
Then repeat this, creating another page called Blog. If you want to call this page something else (News, for example), go ahead and do so. Leave this page completely blank—don’t add any content to it. WordPress will automatically fill it with your blog posts. Click Publish to save the page.
You’ll now have two pages set up on your site.
Step 2: Tell WordPress Where to Display Posts
Now go to Settings > Reading. Find the Your homepage displays field and select the A static page option.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll have to choose which page will be your home page and which will display your posts. For Homepage, select Home, and for Posts page, select Blog.
Click the Save Changes button to save your settings. If you visit your home page, you’ll find that it displays the content you added to your static homepage, and you have a separate blog page.
Step 3: Add the Blog Page to Your Navigation Menu
Now that your blog posts aren’t on the home page, you’ll need to make it easy for visitors to find them. So you’ll need to add your new page to your navigation menu.
It’s also good practice to add your home page to the main navigation menu too. You might have a link to this in your site title or logo, but for accessibility, you should also add it to the menu.
In the WordPress admin, go to Appearance > Menus.
If you already have a main menu set up, select that. If not, you’ll need to create a new one.
Click on the create a new menu link and give your menu a name.
Once you have a menu set up, drag your Home and Blog pages across to the menu and put them in the right order.
Check the Primary menu checkbox in the Display location section below the menu contents. This will make sure this menu shows up as the main navigation menu at the top of all your pages.
Click the Save Menu button to save your menu. Now when you visit your site, you’ll have a navigation menu with your home page and blog page in it.
Displaying Excerpts Correctly on Your Home or Blog Page
Whether you’re displaying posts on your home page or on a dedicated Blog or News page, the excerpt from each post will be displayed by most themes.
You might find that the excerpts aren’t perfect: maybe they’re the wrong length, or they’re cut off in the middle of a sentence.
So how do you fix this?
The answer is to create a manual excerpt for each of your posts when you create it, or by going back and editing the post.
In the post editing screen, click on the Document pane on the right hand side. Scroll down until you find the Excerpt section.
Click on the arrow to open up that section and type your excerpt into the Excerpt field. Click Update to update your post or Publish to publish it.
You’ll now find that instead of displaying the opening lines from your post, the home page or blog page will display your excerpt. This means you can craft an excerpt that will encourage people to click through and that will be good for SEO.
Displaying a List of Posts on Another Page
If you have a static home page, you might want to also create a list of recent posts to add to that page. This way, people can still access your recent posts from your home page, as well as by going to the Blog page.
There are two options for this, but it’s a good idea to use both:
- If you have a sidebar widget area which displays on your home page, add the Recent Posts widget to that widget area.
- Add the Latest Posts widget to the content of the home page.
Let’s take a look at how you do each.
Adding Recent Posts to the Sidebar
If your home page is a full width page and doesn’t include a sidebar, this option won’t apply. You might choose to add recent posts to the footer instead. Or you might add them to the sidebar on other pages which aren’t full width, and add the Recent Posts widget to your home page content.
But let’s assume for now that your home page does include a sidebar widget area.
In the WordPress admin, go to Appearance > Widgets.
Note: You can also do this via the Customizer if you prefer. The process is very similar but with a different interface.
Find the Sidebar widget area (it may have a different name depending on your theme) on the right of the screen. Find the Recent Posts widget on the left of the screen. Drag the Recent Posts widget to the Sidebar widget area.
Give the Recent Posts widget a title if you’d like, and select the number of posts to be displayed. Click the Save button in the widget to save your changes.
Now go back to your live site and you’ll find a list of your latest posts in your sidebar. This will show up on your home page (if it isn’t full width) and on other pages and posts too.
Adding Recent Posts to the Home Page Content
If you have a static home page and you want to add a list of recent posts to it, you can do so by adding a Widget block in the page editor.
Go to Pages in the WordPress admin and select the home page to edit it.
Create a new block by clicking the + icon at the top of the screen or by hitting the Return key and clicking the + icon to the right of the new block.
A popup menu will appear with available blocks. Select the Latest Posts block in the Widgets section.
The list of latest posts will appear in your content as a widget.
On the right of the screen, you can edit the block settings. Configurations include:
- Post content settings: include excerpts as well as titles.
- Post meta settings: display the post date.
- Featured image settings: display the featured image for each post.
- Sorting and filtering: order the posts and choose which categories to display posts from.
- Advanced: add extra CSS classes for targeting in your stylesheet.
If you want to add a heading to your list, simply add a heading block above the widget block.
You can also choose to display posts as a gird or a list, by selecting Grid View or List View from the options above the widget itself. Grid view is particularly useful when using featured images. If you select this option, you can configure the number of columns in the block settings pane on the right.
Below you can see the block configured with thumbnail featured images, text to the right of each image, and a grid.
And here you can see how this looks in the live site:
If you want, you can add this widget to however many pages you want, not just the home page.
Giving users access to your posts via a listing on a page in your WordPress site will make it easier for them to find your content. And there’s more than one way to do this.
You can show posts on the home screen or on a dedicated Blog page. You can also add a list of latest posts by using a widget in your sidebar and/or in your page content.
Try using one or more of these methods to add posts to the pages in your WordPress site and see how it looks.
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Author: Rachel McCollin