Blogs are a powerful way for individuals and businesses to attract viewers and turn them into loyal subscribers and/or paying customers. There is no one correct way to move visitors around your site but good design means easy navigation. Structuring a reader and search engine friendly site is critical to success.
In Should I Change My Website Into a Blog? Darren Rouse answers the title question.
1. Blogs give Individuals, Companies and Brands ‘Voice’
2. Blogs are Conversational
3. Blogs build Trust
4. Blogs build Profile
5. Blogs are Immediate
6. Blogs are a doorway to Search Engines and Social Media
A question I’m frequently asked is the reverse of the one Darren answered but it ties in nicely.
How can I make my blog more like a website?
Some bloggers are confused about what a static front page or “a splash page” is. The static front page is the choice of those who want to give their blog a more CMS (content management system) or website appearance.
In simple terms, a blog is a website. The main differences between a blog and website are structure and communication style.
- Blogs are post based structures designed to encourage interactive communication. On a blog the front page is dynamic ie. ever-changing. The frequency of publication that characterizes blogs means blogs are indexed by search engines with greater frequency than websites.
- Websites are page based structures that operate as a one-way notice boards, so there isn’t much incentive for visitors to return to websites frequently. On a website the front page is static ie. it rarely changes.
A WordPress blog can either be structured as a page based website or its conventional post based structure can be retained. The software provides a CMS (content management system) that allows for design flexibility, and Staff have provided help for those who want to structure their blog like a website.
How can I make a static front page or “a splash page” ?
Effective splash pages are keyword rich, search engine optimized front pages. Before you restructure your blog and create a splash page what’s important is understanding the differences between pages and posts. Pages sit outside of the blog structure and you cannot post to multiple pages in any blog. There is only one main page for posts in a blog and all posts will display on the main blog page. There is no way to exclude posts from the main “blog” page for posts.
By default the front page of the blog will display posts in reverse chronological order, with the most recently published post on top. However, if you do not want all the posts to show on the front page, then you can create two pages: a static front page or “a splash page” for your site and a “blog” page for posts. Then you can go to > Settings > Reading to make the designation change and click “save changes”.
Pages and sub-pages can be used very effectively for several purposes but choosing to create a static front page or “a splash page“, rather than having posts displaying on your front page is a traffic quenching choice, that has a negative impact on discover-ability and ranking, as well as holding reader attention. Read more >> Better Blogging at WordPress.com: Pages and Posts
How can I post to my subject pages in my menu?
You can’t post to more than one page in a blog but you can create the appearance of doing so. You can use categories and tags to organize posts into subjects and you can add those categories or tags to your navigation using a custom menu.
A custom menu allows you to display Categories with drop-downs to sub-categories, Pages with drop-downs to sub-pages and/or Tags pages and/or Custom Links in tabs along the horizontal navigation where normally only Page tabs are displayed. You choose which to display, and the order of display and which to hide.
Whether or not you choose to have a static front page or “a splash page” or to have all your latest posts on the front page of your site, mastering custom menus and being a minimalist when it comes to creating drop-downs menu items is wise.
Jerry Bates: How to Create a Custom Navigation Menu
Does your blog have a static front page or “a splash page“?
Have you ever considered having a static front page or “a splash page“?
Are yoy using a custom menu on your blog?