Posts and Pages in WordPress

I spent a couple of hours yesterday puzzling over a WordPress mystery: how exactly a static page could, without being told to do so, display a series of posts.  I found several ways to make it happen with custom templates, custom functions, and custom fields – but of course, none of these were what was happening on my site.  I was told to “perturb the environment” in an attempt to break the behavior, but with no luck.

That is, until this morning, when the combination of a quick email and a file changed to “THE BLOG 2: Electric Boogaloo” caused me to notice a feature whose existence I had been searching for all afternoon:

Can I tell you how dumb I felt? Pretty dumb. But also pretty smart! as I’d figured out and tested several other ways, one of which being the way we’re going to actually implement this feature.

So, in case you’re interested, this is how you make a static page display posts:

  1. First, create the page you wish to have display your post content.
  2. From the WordPress admin screen, select Pages then Add New. Create and publish your page.
  3. From the WordPress admin screen, click on Settings then Reading.
  4. By default, the Your latest posts will be selected.  This will result in your posts being displayed on your homepage, which is standard blog behavior.
  5. If you would, instead, like your posts to be displayed on a particular page on your site – replacing the content of that page, select A static page, then select the page you’d like to use from the drop-down menu.
  6. Specify the number of posts you would like your page to display, then scroll to the bottom and Save Changes.
  7. Et voila, a page of posts!
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