The Settings area in WordPress allows you to change some global settings for your site. The settings are divided into different categories and additional categories may be available if certain plugins are active. Some settings can be accessed from multiple locations in WordPress. Some settings will not be available until you have published content in your site.
Basic site settings
The General Settings area in WordPress allows you to change the global settings for your site such as the site title and tagline. Your settings menu is made up of a number of categories. These categories will vary depending on which plugins are activated or if you have published your site content..
The site title is the name of your site. This title will display in the header under the New Mexico State University logo text and at the top of your browser window. The site title is also hyperlinked to your site’s homepage.
The tagline is described by WordPress as the place where you can “In a few words, explain what this site is about.” The tagline will appear under your site title in the header. The tagline field is optional.
The site title and tagline will be displayed throughout your site and cannot be changed on a page-by-page basis.
You can also change these setting by using the Customize theme menu. You can change your site title and tagline at any time, however keep in mind that your site URL (e.g. your websites address) cannot be changed.
The Reading Setting is where you will make the most important decision about how you will use your WordPress site. You will decide if you want posts, or a “static” Page, displayed as your front home page.
Setting up your Home Page
The decision to use a static page or the most recent posts should be determined by the goals of your site. You can think of a static page as more of a statement and what you might compare to a brochure of information. Likewise, you can think of a blog page as more of a constant unfolding conversation. The two things that you should determine before when making this important decision is who your audience is and what action you want them to take while on your site.
Audience: You also need to consider whether your audience is targeted toward returning or new visitors. New visitors will typically benefit more from a static home page and returning visitors may benefit more from a posts page.
Action: In general, if your goal is to target content that is on another static page on your site, a static home page typically works best. If your goal is to motivate action toward timely events (such as performances sales or training registration) a posts page may work better as the home page. Essentially you need to consider if your intended action is fairly static or dynamic.
An academic department wants prospective students to click the undergraduate application link in order to start the process of applying for admission. This stable goal persists throughout the year, no matter what is happening in the department this week or next. A blog post may not be the best introduction of your department if it doesn’t provide suitable mechanism to reach your conversion goal (i.e. click the application link). It is likely easier to formulate a way to funnel visitors to your target using a static home page. Even if you are targeting new visitors that may have discovered your site by searching the Web, browsing the NMSU home page, or perhaps manually entering your site’s address from a pen they picked up at a college fair or other recruitment event.
What if you want to use both methods on the home page?
You can take advantage of features from both static pages and posts on any WordPress site. Your decision for the home page will effect how the content of your site is displayed. If you choose a static page you can still highlight recent posts on the page using plugins and widgets, however the posts will not be the main content. Likewise, if you choose to use a posts page as the home page you can still add static portions to the page, however the static content will not be the main content of the page. The large feature image (referred to as the “header image”) is the only design feature that is not available when you choose to use a posts page as the home page.
Within the context of NMSU Enterprise WordPress for departments the static page option is typically most appropriate. When you are ready to make the decision, select your preferred option from the Front page displays section of the Reading Settings screen.
- Your latest posts – Check to radio button so your latest posts are displayed on your sites front page. Remember, the number of posts you display is controlled by the “Blog pages show at most” setting.
- A static page (select below) – Check this radio button to cause a “static” Page to be displayed as your site’s front page. At the same time, choose the Page that will display your actual Posts. The Front page and Posts page cannot be the same.
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