Adding a Blog page to your site is pretty straightforward, although there’s some variation from one theme to another. There are four areas you need to cover:
- Create a Blog Page
- Tell WordPress you want a blog page
- Give your theme some instructions about how to display it
- Add it to the Menu
We’ll also look at some specific variations in how themes from StudioPress [aff], Elegant Themes [aff] and bundled WordPress themes handle the job.
Create the Blog Page
From the dashboard, Click on Page / Add New.
In the Title area, name your page — something clever like “Blog” is good.
Look over on the right. If you’re using a StudioPress or Elegant Themes theme, you’ll see a box labeled Page Attributes.
Click on the arrow under Template to show the dropdown box, and select Blog. (If Blog doesn’t show up as an option, go on to the next step, then come back to this point.)
if you have more than one page nested under another, you can assign a number to order them the way you want.
Tell WordPress You Want to Use a Blog Page
After adding your blog page as above, click on Settings / Reading on your Dashboard menu. You’ll see a page that looks like this:
Change the setting from “Front page displays your latest posts” to “a static page.”
Select the page you want to use as the homepage, then select your new Blog page to use as the blog page.
Specify the number of posts you want to show on a page, and whether you want to show a summary or an excerpt.
Hint: Unless you’re already well versed in SEO and plan to create custom excerpts for each post, select the post content option here.
Click Save Changes.
Now, when you save your draft and click the Preview button, you’ll see a blog page.
Instruct Your Theme How to Display the Blog
Do you want the blog page to show each post in its entirety? Do you want to display thumbnails? Some themes let you specify all these, including the size of the thumbnail you want to use.
If You’re Using StudioPress
StudioPress themes give you more control over how your blog appears than many other theme designers do.
#1. Click the Genesis / Theme Settings menu on the left-hand side of the dashboard.
#2. Scroll down until you find the Content Archives box.
Here’s where you choose how to show content on any archive page, which includes your blog page. You can specify how many characters of the post you want to show, whether you include the Featured Image, and the size of the thumbnail.
Post Navigation Technique just refers to whether your archive pages say Previous/Next at the bottom for navigation, or whether you use numbers.
#3. Make your selections in the Blog Page Template box.
You can choose to show posts from all categories, or just from specific categories. If you want to show posts from all your categories except one or two, you can specifically exclude those by typing in those categories numbers next to Exclude the Following Category IDs.
(To find the category ID, navigate to Categories and hover your mouse over the name of the category you want to exclude. While hovering, look down at the bottom left of your screen — you’ll see a grayed-out line of text, starting with your site’s URL. Keep looking until you see category&tag_ID=X. The number after the equal sign is the ID for that category.)
The number of posts you choose to show here will override the number you set previously in the Settings / Reading menu.
If You’re Using Elegant Themes or a bundled WordPress Theme
You may not have the option to choose how much of your content shows up in the blog, or the size of the thumbnail. Using TheCorporation theme, I was able to specify thumbnail size, but most of Elegant Themes’ other themes use predetermined settings. The only way to change them is by getting into the code.
If you’re using an Elegant Themes theme that gives you some of these choices, you’ll find it on your Page on the right, labeled ET Template Settings It’s usually just underneath the Page Attributes box.
Add the Blog Page to the Menu
Once you’ve added and configured your blog page, just add it to the menu and you’re in business.
6 thoughts on “How to Add a Blog Page to your WordPress Site”
I’m a fellow MMW student/alum and have been following your helpful posts in the forum which lead me here. Great site!! VERY clear how-to steps and nice, clean layout. Love it. I have been manually listing my “posts” as article teasers on a static page with links to the full posts. A bit of a work around but served my purpose at the time. Now I want to add a blog to the site with more “personal thoughts” style posts. Your instructions helped me figure out how to have both using categories – so thank you! I’ll definitely be mentioning your helpful site in one of my posts. Keep up the great work!
Anyway…here’s my question (actually 3). I have been studying top food blogs to see how the “big kids” do it. They frequently have a “my favorite blogs” list. Easy enough. But one actually had a live feed to her favorite blogs. I really like this idea for building quality backlinks as well as providing my readers with helpful content. Do you know if this can be done on WP? If so, how? And finally….do you know if these feeds count as backlinks? Thanks!
Glad you’re finding my site helpful 🙂
As to your question, the answer is, “it depends.” Certainly there are ways to add a live feed, but whether or not it provides backlinks depends on how it’s done. Can you email me the link to the site you’re looking at?
Sure. The website is one of the top food blogs and the specific page is here. http://www.simplyrecipes.com/food_blogs/.
You’ll notice a link to this page about mid-way down the left column on all her pages, “latest news from favorite food blogs”. Usually I see a blogroll with just a list but hers actually updates. I think it’s a fun way to provide readers with easy updates via one site…mine! 🙂
Christine, what she’s got set up there is an iframe on the page which links to a page on blogger.com. It’s pretty simple to do.
Thanks so much for looking into this for me. I’ll see if I can figure out how to add it to my blog. If not, are you available for hire for this type of stuff?? I’m sure I’m not the only one who could use a “techie” for just such occasions. I’m a big believer in “do what you do best and hire out the rest.” 😉 I’ll keep you posted.
Absolutely! Just shoot me an email and we can work out the details.
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