Using WordPress as a Static Website

| WordPress
Using WordPress as a Static Website

We teach many different types of software. No matter what we teach, students often arrive with ideas about the sofware.

Our job is to convince them they're wrong. Some people believe Drupal is too difficult. Many people believe WordPress is just for blogs.

In this tutorial, I'm going to show you that WordPress can be used to build an ordinary website with static pages.

If you can update static pages via a control panel, then the software is often called a Content Management System (CMS). This guide will show you how to use WordPress as a CMS.

Step #1: Create all static articles as Pages

This is something you may do already. If you have an "About Us" or a "Contact Us" page, you'll create it as a Page rather than a Post. 

If you're using WorPress as a CMS, the Pages feature will get heavy use:

  • Use Pages not just once or twice but for a majority of the content on your site.
  • Make one Page that will be your homepage.

Step #2: Create your Homepage

  • In your WordPress dashboard go to "Settings", then "Reading":

01 settings reading

  • Click the radio button next to "A static page" and choose your homepage from the "Front page" dropdown:

03 select front page

Step #3. Finding a suitable theme

One really important step in creating a WordPress CMS site with static pages is finding a theme with the right menu. WordPress menus come in different setups depending on your theme.

Some use pages for their dropdown menu, others use categories. Some use both and even throw in other links.

  • In your WordPress administrator dashboard go to "Appearance, then "Themes":

04 appearance themes

  • Here, besides the default Twenty Seventeen, you have two more themes to try: Twenty Fifteen and Twenty Sixteen.

05 two more templates

If you've found a theme that has a menu based on Pages and you'd like to take advantage of dropdown menus, make sure that you use the "Parent" attribute when creating new pages.

  • For example, this new page will dropdown from underneath the "Welcome" page link:

06 new page parent

Read our post "How to Create Dropdown Menus with WordPress Pages" to learn more about creating menus for static WordPress pages.

Hopefully, you are now convinced that you can easily use WordPress to build an ordinary website with static web pages.

Subscribe to OSTraining Video Club and right away start learning how to build superb WordPress websites. Follow our step by step bite-sized video tutorials from only $6 per month!