Monday, April 28, 2008


Two skills that have deteriorated due to the excessive use of computers are:
  • writing with a pencil/pen.
  • reading, but not really reading.
Sure, the latter is, to some extent, a result of laziness. But having the option to search keywords in digital documents when reading them on a computer screen has contributed significantly.

The direct effect of this was felt very recently as I have been trying to manage a small personal website using Wordpress as a Content Management System (CMS). I am not web-development expert, though I do volunteer as a project manager/web developer for an organization that helps non-profits with their website needs.

Wordpress is great, pretty simple to use and with very little php or sql knowledge, you can have a pretty decent website (blatant link promotion) ready in minutes. Besides a few other things, I had a simple desire to have the first page/home page/front page be static and the dynamic content (blog, etc) be linked from there. Fairly simple as a feature, yet I managed make it way too hard on myself by not RTFming (this is a G-rated blog folks...) the manual.

As it turns out, it is fairly simple, and here are a few methods to do this:
a) Page-template + Configuration option
Create a page template for static home page and configure your wordpress settings to show static page and point your blog/posts to another static page. This is also a good way to have your static page also be dynamic, where say it shows your most recent 5 posts. You would do this by coding that part in the php template that you create.

b) php hacking
This seems more like a hack. And it worked well until I upgraded to Wordpress 2.5. Since then the link for pointing to the blog/posts always ended up taking me to the static homepage.

c) Adding a Wordpress plugin
A google search points me to more than one Wordpress plugin that is supposed to make setting (and managing) a static home page fairly easy to do. Never tried it.

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