Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Stopping some pages appearing on the home page

This article is about how to make sure that a given post never appears on your blog's so-called "home page".

Blogger's usual approach to "home pages" is to show new visitors to your blog your most recent post - since hopefully they are return visitors coming back to check what you've written recently.

However there may be some things that you don't want to appear first when users go to your blog.

For example, contact details or lists of committee members, which users normally reach by clicking on a menu or link.

Option 1: pre-date the post

To ensure that a page is not what a reader sees when they arrive at your blog's home page, you just need to: make sure that its Post-date (which can be set in the Post Editor) isn't in the top N dates used in your blog, where N = the number of posts per page that you have selected.   This is set:in the Layout > Blog Posts tab.

By default, in most templates, it is set to 7.  In many of my blogs, I've set in to 1, so there is only one post on each page.  And even if Blogger chooses to show less posts than you have selected per page due to applying auto-pagination this approach will still work.

So what you need to do is give a far-enough-in-the-past date to pages that you never want to appear first.  But don't make it so far in the past  that they will seem like nonsense if Google ever converts historic posts.   A date like 2-3 years ago might be a good compromise.

However if you follow this approach, then it would be a good idea to not display the post-date on ANY of your posts.   If you do display it, and it's out-of-date, the reader will think 
"gosh, those contacts haven't been updated since <>, they can't be right".   
So you need to turn it off (also on Blog Posts), and if date is relevant, put it in the text of your posts.

Option 2: Use a Page instead of a Post

Blogger's so-called "static" pages are a far simpler was to meat this goal.  Simply put the material that you do not ever want onto one of your regular Pages", an d"home page", and guaranteed not to show up on your home page or in your RSS feed.

This option was not available when this post was originally launched, but it has a lot to in its favour - and it is now the approach that I recommend.

Related Articles

Giving your blog a home-page

.Changing the date for a post

Putting Posts into your Pages

Why RSS is important to your site

The difference between Pages and Posts

Converting Posts into Pages

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