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 four 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, and now described here.  This was my recommended method of home-page implementation for a while.   However it did not work on mobile themes for a while, so I changed my mind.  But it does work on them now, so I'm back to recommending it again.

Advantages and Disadvantages of each option

Option Advantages Disadvantages
Static page and custom re-direct No theme 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 both desktop and mobile visitors.
Back in 2011, I wrote:  
"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".
But it's now 2017, they haven't removed it yet.   So I'm thinking that it's not going away any time soon.
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 theme to make this work.

You need to re-do the theme customisation every time that you change to use a different theme.

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 theme - but the words inside it are not 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 theme enabled, unless you some some specific things to make the gadget show on mobile.

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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