Saturday, May 31, 2014

Giving your Blog a Home Page

This article is about the options for setting the home page for blogs made with Google's Blogger.


Blogs don't have a "home page", main page or "landing page" in the same way that regular web-sites do.  Instead, they show the newest post first, since (hopefully!) most readers will be return visitors, coming back to see what's new.

But there may be blogs/websites where you want a welcome message or a particular post to appear first whenever someone visits your blog, or where you want to put all your posts in reverse order.

This article is about options for giving your Blogger blog a "home page".

It lists three options, and gives advantages/disadvantages of each approach, and links to articles with details about implementing each case. If you can think of any more approaches, please leave a comment below.


Options for giving your blog a home page include:

  • Static page combined with a custom re-direct - as discovered by Nitecruzr.
    This was my recommended method of home-page implementation for a while.   However it does not work on mobile templates.   So if your blog has a mobile template - and you want mobile-device visitors to see the same home-page as everyone else - then you need to use another approach.


Advantages and Disadvantages of each option


Option Advantages Disadvantages
Static page and custom re-direct No template editing is needed

Easy page editing - no messing around putting content into a gadget

No gaps on other pages due to the gadget being "missing"

Simple, elegant, and fully functional for desktop-based visitors.
Google probably didn't intend to give us this option when they set up custom re-directs, so it's possible that they might remove it again.   (It's such a nice solution, though, that I think it's worth the risk for now)

Doesn't work for mobile device users if your blog has a mobile template enabled.
Show all posts in reverse order Great for new readers - they can "follow the story". Return visitors have to navigate down to where they were up to last time:  the blog has no way of helping them to remember where that was.

You can't use most of Blogger's date features:  newer and older posts links will take the reader in the "wrong" direction.  And you have to manually enter any dates that would be relevant.

Your posts will get "older" as you write more:  this may confuse search-engines, and there's a risk that google might to things to "very old" posts in the future.
Make one post always show up first You can still use all of Google's date features.

Readers will know when you actually posted to your blog.

Great for returning readers:  they can see your (current) welcome comments, and then go straight to the latest post after that.
You have to remember to edit the "chosen" post every single time that you make a new post - one day, you might forget.

This approach probably won't work on multi-author blogs:  there's a very high chance that someone would forget to edit the chosen post and change its date.
Show a "welcome gadget" on the home page only Doesn't need any changes to Post date-time settings.

Your blog still functions like a blog (older/newer post links , archive gadget etc).

An HTML/Javascript gadget can be very flexible, and you can get Blogger to write all the HTML for you - see Making a Gadget Like a Post.

You can use things other than text, eg a picture or even a poll.

It includes an extreme option:  you could show no posts on the "home" page, and just show the gadget.
You need to edit your HTML template to make this work.

You need to re-do the template customisation every time that you change templates.

The welcome gadget isn't one of your posts: it's not included in exports of your blog contents (It is in an export of your template - but I don't think that the words inside it are included).

A gadget cannot show quite as many things as a post.  

Doesn't work for mobile device users if your blog has a mobile template enabled.


Can you think of other ways?   Please leave a comment below.



Setting the homepage's post date into the future doesn't work

Some people suggest that you can set the post-date of your main page in the future - and at some times  this has worked.

But now that scheduled posting is working the way most people expect it to (ie if you write a post today, and publish it with tomorrow's date, then it is shown to your readers from tomorrow onwards), this will not work - because your "home page" won't show until that future date is reached.

There may be some ways you can fudge it in to working (eg post the page with a date in the past, and then post it again with a future date).   But I VERY STRONGLY don't recommend this:  even if they work today, they may stop working at some time in the future when Google make a change to how future-dated posts are handled.



Related Articles:


Displaying a gadget only on the home page

Showing your oldest post first in Blogger (AKA Showing your posts in reverse order)

Making one post always come up first

Changing the date for a post.

Stopping certain pages from ever appearing on the home page

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32 comments:

  1. Thanks. While experimrnting with it I hit upon something else accidentally.I found that if I "edit" (as it were) the post I wish to appear first and leave it to the last (after posting something new) it will go first.

    The sequence is: Posting > Editing > Save. It will go first. Needless to say, you will always need to do this...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, that's right. The post with the most recent post date/time will always be the first one that shows.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I cannot display future post... pls update your solution :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Adrienne

    You need to either use one of Google's existing gadgets, or make your own using a HTML/Javascript gadget. The 2nd option will let you display pretty much anything that a web-page can show.

    This post explains this in more detail:
    http://blogger-hints-and-tips.blogspot.com/2010/03/making-gadget-that-looks-like-post.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. can i create a page using html codes? for my horizontal menu

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lacrowsa, that depends on what you want the "page" for. You can certainly put in a horizontal menu bar using a linked list-gadget, and have items on the list point to specific posts or pages. Try posting in the Blogger Help Forum, and explaining more about what you want.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hello, may I know how to paste a snippet saying like this: "This post confirms my ownership of the site and that this site adheres to Google AdSense program policies and Terms and Conditions."? Please help me solve this domain issue.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Joe

    I think that the easiest way would be to use a text gadget containing that text.

    Don't forget that for AdSense you need a privacy policy as well.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think I have a Privacy Policy, About Us, and Homepage, and my blog is more than six months old and also my posts is not less than 50. But that snippet is one my biggest problem(Domain issue).

    ReplyDelete
  10. But when I have lots of posts for that label already, it posts everything in one page only. Is there anyway I can get rid of that?

    ReplyDelete
  11. It's great to make a bussiness website from blogspot

    ReplyDelete
  12. If i do static page as a home page, then where blog posts will be displayed..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, but it's not possible to use a static page as your home page.

      Delete
  13. Nice post, but how about the dynamic template? Can we show a welcome gadget in homepage?

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think this is a great idea to have page as homepage for blog, but I can not direct my homepage to another. I hope you can make tutorial about it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. How do I get all my posts to show up on my blogger without having to click "older posts"?

    ReplyDelete
  16. WHERE DID MY OLD POSTS GO? My blog no longer display posts of 2010! Why? Where did they go? I need them on my blog!

    ReplyDelete
  17. how can i show only one category of post at home page?

    ReplyDelete
  18. The custom redirect is a really simple way to create a static home page in Blogger but one aspect is confusing me. Say for example I change the landing page from www.mypage.com to www.mypage.com/p/home_page. What does the redirect do to the site's name? Is the site still officially named www.mypage.com? For example, to submit the site to a search engine which URL should I use? Maybe it doesnt matter but I just find this aspect really confusing! Would appreciate some advice.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hello,

    When I try to post, nothing shows up on the homepage! I'm a little concerned. Instead of using the tabs, I made pages and custom made my buttons. Does this effect the posts from showing up on the home page? Any help would be great, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thank you for the great tips, as I personally implemented the "1 post only" option for my writing blog. I guess I could say I don't have much to especially include as "home" or "welcome" page, as it goes right into the blog. The secret and attractive part about that is, it would help returning visitor see that I wrote a new entry, and still have the option to choose more entries to read on the side of blog. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've followed the instructions and it worked until I tested it on my iPhone in Safari. The page came up with a message saying "Could not open the page, too many redirects"

    Is there a way to overcome this problem?

    ReplyDelete
  22. I like your article and would like to try it but I am finding a lot of my users use cell phones and have an app compatible for cell phone users. Have their been any new updates for the cell phone template users? I really like your ideas for changing the orders of your posts. Please leave a comment on my new blog and let me know. Thanks. Http://www.bloggingsites-whatsup.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have what is probably a very stupid question but here goes...how do I make the comments appear under my posts in blogger, without having the user click the comment button. I want it to appear like it does on your page here. This is my blog so you can see what I mean...http://diaryofanordinarytraveller.blogspot.ca/
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Really very nice informations......................
    How to make a will

    ReplyDelete
  25. The Show a "welcome gadget" on the home page only will work on custom mobile template if you set it to mobile='yes'

    ReplyDelete
  26. How about just disabling the whole mobile version so that only the web version is shown? (but maybe that would be too little on the screen and load longer)

    ReplyDelete
  27. There is some wrong information you have posted. You said that static page option is not valid for mobile template but its working on mobile templates too. I think you must update that information. For confirmation, there is a blog which uses this feature. http://codplex.blogspot.in?m=1

    ReplyDelete
  28. If i do static page as a home page, then where blog posts will be displayed..

    ReplyDelete