Should i use a blogroll or static page

If you’re building a website, one of the first questions you may ask yourself is, “Should I use a blogroll or static page for my website?”

Which is better when it comes to the design and user experience of the home page of your website?

Should I Use a Blogroll or Static Page for my Website?

If you want to focus attention on your published articles, using a blogroll will work nicely. If you want to showcase the features and resources your website has to offer, then a static page may be a better option for you.

Creating either one is easy, so choosing which is the best for your niche website depends on the message you want to get across.

Understanding the Purpose and Function of Blogrolls and Static Pages

There are two different approaches when it comes to designing the homepage of your website: blogrolls and static pages.

Each serves a unique purpose, so choosing which is best for your website means understanding the pros, the cons, and the functions of each.

The blogroll is the more traditional approach and often the default option when you’re building a website. It is simply a list of your latest posts, usually listing them from newest to oldest.

If you’re writing new posts regularly like you should be, this means the blogroll is dynamic and always changing.

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Here’s an example of a blogroll from my Dominate Chess website:

sample of a blogroll

With the chess website pictured above I’m looking to showcase the articles I’ve published over a wide variety of chess related topics. A blogroll is perfect for doing this.

A static page, however, is great for showcasing the features and resources your site has to offer. You also have full control over the design.

A static page gets its name because every time you arrive at a static page, for the most part it’s exactly the same as the last time you visited.

It is often considered a more modern approach to presenting your homepage because of the freedom in design.

This website you’re currently on features a static page as its homepage. You can check it out here. (link will open in a new window).

With the Work From Your Laptop website homepage I’m looking to showcase the features and resources the website has to offer on is homepage. In this case, a static page is a perfect option.

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How to Create a Blogroll or Static Page on Your Website

Creating either a blogroll or static page is easy to do. I’ll be showing you how to create both using WordPress since it is the global leader for website builders.

By and large, the default setting for most websites you build with WordPress is the blogroll. This setting can be found from your WordPress dashboard under Settings>Reading.

blogroll option in wordpress

As you publish post after post they will automatically be listed on your homepage in the order of newest to oldest.

The most user friendly setting for listing your published blogs is to show the title and an excerpt of the article along with a featured image.

You can choose to paginate the blogroll so that it lists a certain number of articles before offering the option to go to the next page.

And remember, because this is normally the default setting for WordPress websites, you don’t have to do a thing.

It’s automatic.

Setting up a static page allows for much more freedom and creativity with your home page and it only takes a few steps to set up.

First, you’ll have to select the static page option from your settings in your WordPress dashboard. Again, this option is found under Settings>Reading.

static page option in wordpress settings

You’ll also need to create two pages that you can then designate as your homepage and your posts page.

In this case I’ve already created a page called Work From Your Laptop and designated it as my homepage, and created a page called Blog and designated it as the page that will show my posts.

Now, to bring that homepage to life all I have to do is open the page editor, select the page I designated as my homepage, and start designing away.

If you’re a visual learner like me, here’s an easy to follow video detailing the process.

Pros and Cons of Blogrolls and Static Pages

Blogrolls and static pages each have the benefits and downsides. Choosing which one is a better fit for you completely depends on the message you want to get across on your homepage.

Do you want to focus on your articles and content? Or do you want to focus on the features and resources your website has to offer?

Pros of blogrolls:

  • No work to implement since it is the default setting
  • Always changing, automatically showing newest content at the top
  • Great way to feature your content and the wide array of topics you cover

Cons of blogrolls:

  • Sometimes considered a “boring” approach to your homepage
  • Limits the different features and resources you can showcase on your homepage by only listing published content

Pros of static pages:

  • Great way to showcase the features and resources your website has to offer
  • Complete freedom in design

Cons of static pages:

  • More steps to implement than blogrolls
  • Additional pages have to be created
  • For the most part, static pages don’t change and can potentially become stagnant

One additional point I’d like to make is that blogrolls don’t have to be so “blah”. You can modernize your blogroll with a sleek design. Done correctly, both serve their purpose very well.

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Final Thoughts

Deciding between a blogroll and a static page depends 100% on what you’re trying to accomplish with your homepage. Both are great choices for the homepage of your website and both are very easy to implement.

What’s your preference when creating a homepage? Do you tend to use the traditional blogroll more or are you using your creativity to go nuts with static pages?

Let me know what you think in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you and I always respond!

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