Choosing The Right Theme
So, the first thing you want to do, is to choose proper theme for your new site. Now, you CAN on the one hand create your website using just about any theme you want… pretty much any theme can be customized to look like a standard site, but, why go through all that extra trouble? It’s much easier to just choose a theme which ALREADY looks like the type of website you want to create. Now, there are countless themes that have this appearance, and they’re not really particularly difficult to find. Some of them are free, others are premium, but, you can pick whichever one works best for you.
Of course, there are pre-made themes, such as Responsive, or Hatch (these are two examples of many), and by uploading a theme like this, you pretty much have a website that looks more like a standard site than a blog right off the bat. So, go to through the various different themes, and just find one that looks like what you want to go for. Some really customizable themes exist, like Genesis, which will allow you to create just about any look and feel to a website, including one that looks a lot like a standard site, so that’s always an option. So, case in point… choose the right theme for your site up-front, and most of the work’s already done.
Changing The Proper Settings
Now, the next thing I want you to do, is change the settings. So, go into your WordPress backend, and then go to the “Settings” tab at or near the bottom. Underneath the Settings tab, you’ll see a “Reading” sub-tab, so please click on that. At the top of the page which you’re now seeing, is a setting called “Front Page Displays”. Now, you’ll see by default that this is going to be automatically set to “Your Latest Posts”. This means that on the home page of your site, your latest blog posts will be shown at the top and in descending order. Now, clearly, this is for a blog type site, so we want to change it. We can see how WordPress was at first a blogging tool, because this is still to this day, the default setting.
So, click the other radio button in the list (there’s only two) called “A static page”. You’ll then see a drop-down box where you can select the page you want to make as the default, static home page of the site. If the page isn’t created yet, you can do that first (just create a place-holder page for now), but this will immediately make your home page look far more like a regular site, just with this one easy change.
Removing The Final Blogging Features From Your WordPress Site
Believe it or not, we’re almost done making our WordPress blog into a regular site, there’s just a couple more things which we need to do, and we’ll be good. So, next, you’ll see that there are still comment sections all over the site. Clearly, this is a blog feature, and so, it’s got to go. Now, there’s a very easy way to do this, all you have to do is go over to the Plugins tab, click “Add New” and then type into the search bar “Disable comments”. Now, once this is done, you’ll want to install and activate this plugin, and you’ll be able to easily disable all comment sections from your site. Comments really have no place on a typical website, but if for any reason you want to keep them on pages, for example, you can do that from within this plugin also.
So, last but not least, we’re going to want to deal with our widgets. You’ll notice that the majority of widgets are really designed for blogging, and again, have no real place on a typical website. So, I want you to head back to the “Appearance” tab, and then click on the “Widgets” sub-tab. Now, mostly what you’re going to want to do here, is remove these widgets. You can remove these widgets by simply dragging them from the right hand column and dropping them in the “Available Widgets” area in the middle.
The widgets you’ll want to get rid of are: “Recent Posts”, “Recent Comments”, “Archives”, and of course, “Categories”, as all these are very blog-focused widgets geared around blog post and comments, so no need to have them on your site. The “Meta” widget is optional, and it simply gives you a place right on the website itself (wherever that widget is) to simply log into your WP backend with your username and password. I’d recommend removing this one for slightly more professional websites as it’s a bit unsightly.
The final one’s the “Search” widget, which you probably won’t need, but it’s there if you want to allow people to search around your website for a specific page (or post, if you’re making them). Again, this is an optional feature, which you can take away if you want. Not having any widgets really isn’t a bad thing for these types of sites, but you can pick and choose which ones you want to use.
So, that’s about it. All you have to do now is go over to the “Pages” tab, and create the pages you want. You can still have a “Blog” page which displays a blog also, but that’s totally optional. I hope this helps, and good luck creating your standard WordPress website!