Now that you know how pages and posts matter for site structure, we’re are going to begin by creating pages. We will get to adding blog functionality a bit later in this process of creating a Professional Services Website.
We’ve got an outline of our pages that we just looked at. This is the website that I’m using Thesis dot byobwebsite.com to build this. This has a fresh installation of WordPress and a fresh installation of Thesis and my Agility skin with essentially no configuration whatsoever.
Come over here to our dashboard and then we’re going to come over to pages. You can see that there’s a sample page here, right? We’re going to create a whole new series of pages.
Create the Front and Articles Page
The first page is going to be our front page. So we’re going to clicking add new. We’re not going to worry about optimizing our titles just yet. For now I’m going to say Home. It has no parent.
Then I’m going to add another one called Articles. This is going to be the blog posts page. It also has no parent since this too is a main page.
Setup Front Page and Posts Page in Settings
Before we finish creating the rest of our pages, we’re going to come over here to settings and reading. We’re going to say our front page displays a static page and we’ll choose the home page. Posts page is going to be our articles page. Let’s save our changes.
Let’s take a look at the site. It looks like this because Agility is designed with a bunch of default layouts assuming that you have a static front page. When we saw it first there was no static front page and now we got a static front page. We’ll come back to all that here in a little while but for now we can go back to creating new pages again.
Create Additional Main Pages
Our next top level page is Services and it has no parent. Hit publish. Then we’re going to add new again and the other one was Finished Projects.
Services Page Title
Actually I changed my mind, we are, in fact, going to talk about page titles right now. Architecture is a local business. That means telling people what town you’re in or what your service area is very important. So, instead of having Finished Projects as the title we are going to call this Seattle Area Finished Projects.
We’re going to come back and look at the URLs in a minute. Let’s, update the page and go back to all pages. Come down to Services. Again, we’re going to say Architectural Services We Provide in the Seattle Area. We’re trying to localize ourselves. We’ll just get rid of that URL.
Instead of Home, we’re going to choose a more appropriate name. This really should be a big statement, almost as if it were your value proposition. Let’s just call it “Unique Architecture Design in the Seattle Area”. That’s going to be our home page title.
Come back to all pages. Add new again to create the About page, About Rick Anderson Architects. Then we’ll create one more for the testimonials page, What Clients Say About Rick Anderson Architects.
Create the Child Pages
Now that we have some good top level pages done, we need to create our child pages. There aren’t any child pages under testimonials but there will be child pages under Architectural Services We Provide in the Seattle Area and Seattle Area finished projects.
Add Page Order
So we’ll create six more pages. The first is West Seattle View Home and now you can pick a parent over here. This is going to be child of Seattle Area Finished Projects and I’m going to give it an order of one. That order means that it’s the first one on the list when the list shows up. Publish that.
Then we’ll add another one. Edmonds View Remodel. And again, we’re choosing the Seattle Area Finished Projects. Give that an order of two. I’m going to show you what this order does in a little while. And add new once more and this last one will be East Side Craftsman Home. And again, it’s Seattle Area Finished Projects. Give it an order of three, hit publish.
We also have three services to offer. We have Custom Home Design Services, and that would be a child of Architectural Services We Provide. That’ll be one. Publish that and we’ve two more pages and we’re done with this little bit of repetition.
Add new. This is Custom Home Design. This is Custom Remodel Design, no Home Remodel Design. You can see how this permalink changes. We’re going to optimize this permalink yet but you can see how the permalink changes, byobwebsite dot com architectural services we provide in the Seattle Area home remodel design. That’s not a good URL so we’re going to come back in and finish that.
Finally, the last one. Add new. This is Builder Spec Home Design. That’s its title. Its parent will be Architectural Services and its order will be three. Publish that.
And that gets our architecture, if you will out of the way. That is, we’ve got the site structure fully and completely setup by having our pages and sub pages set up. It’s not fully completely setup because we have articles that have to be set up yet.
Organizing Pages for the Menu
I’m going to delete this sample page and then I want to show you a way of organizing pages. What I like to do is organize pages in the order of the menu. Come over here…the home page is the first one in the menu. You can just go over to quick edit, scroll down to order here and just say one.
Everything with the zero is going to be on the top, so we’re going to number all these pages. Then the second one is going to be Services. Again, we’ll do a quick edit and make that two. The reason I do it this way is to help me visualize the pages in this view and you’ll see what I mean in just a minute. Three is Finished Projects and four is About.
When you reload this whole page you can see that these two pages here don’t have numbers yet so they’re at the top. But the front page is here, the next one is the services we provide and then we’ve got the three services. Next we’ve got finished projects. Then our three services under that. Next is our about page and then we have our testimonials page which is five and our articles page which is six.
Create a 404 Error Page
Now we’re going to create one more page and this final page is going to be your 404 error page. We’re just going to say “we’re sorry but that page doesn’t appear to exist” in the title. We won’t add any additional text . This will become our 404 error page.
You get a 404 error when you try to go to a website address that does not exist. When that happens you’ll get a 404 error page. For example, in our example site, if we try to go to fishsticks we’re going to end up at a 404 error page. Whoops, I forgot to set up the 404 error in this case but that’s what this is going to be for – when somebody gets the wrong URL or something.
There’s one other thing I want to do and that is to explain this system to you. I should have given this a 404 page a number. I’ll do a quick edit and give this a number of 300 under Order. This number will drop this page all the way down to the bottom of the pages list. Since this is a utility page I don’t really need to see it very often so it’s okay with me that it’s all the way down at the bottom all the time.
Generally, the way I choose to display the pages here is I’ll have 1 through less than 10 be the main pages in my menu. Then 100 through 200 will be pages that are not in the menu and that are not child pages of pages that are in the menu. In another context, you might have those as store pages like a register or checkout. 200 pages are usually utility pages again, like those on membership websites. So I might have a members download page or members registration page or something like that. Those I put in 200s and then in 300s I just put utility pages.
In this case, we don’t have any use for the 100s and 200s. I’m still sticking with my system though putting a 300 for the 404 page. That makes it go all the way down to the bottom essentially.
These top pages are the pages I’m going to be working on all the time so I want them to be easily found in a nice simple structure at the top of this page list. Note that child pages are shown under their parent’s which is a cool thing.