I have set my front page set to be a static front page, "Home," and my Posts page is set to my "News" page.

When on my News page, is_home() returns 1 as expected but is_archive() returns 0. I would expect that it would return 1 also. The WP doc for is_archive() doesn't make it clearer for me. It reads,

checks if any type of Archive page is being displayed. An Archive is a Category, Tag, Author or a Date based pages.

I would expect that to be true. Something isn't connecting for me.

What is the difference between is_home() and is_archive()?

  • Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I forgot to come back here after I got it working. I'll close it now.
    – Jeff
    Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 19:20
  • No problem. Enjoy :-) Commented Jan 13, 2015 at 19:26

3 Answers 3


To properly understand the difference, you have to dig into the Wordpress Core

  • is_archive() (defined in wp-includes/query.php#L140) checks any type of archive page. These archive pages is defined in the WP_Query class in wp-includes/query.php#L1615 lines 1615 and line 1616

    1615    if ( $this->is_post_type_archive || $this->is_date || $this->is_author || $this->is_category || $this->is_tag || $this->is_tax )
    1616    $this->is_archive = true;
  • is_home()(defined in wp-includes/query.php#L443) will return true when you are on the home page, which is whenever any of the conditions/pages returns false as defined in the WP_Query class in wp-includes/query.php#L1648 lines 1648 and 1649

    1648    if ( !( $this->is_singular || $this->is_archive || $this->is_search || $this->is_feed || $this->is_trackback || $this->is_404 || $this->is_admin || $this->is_comments_popup || $this->is_robots ) )
    1649    $this->is_home = true;

As for your question, whenever a static front page is set, Wordpress uses front-page.php, page.php or any other custom page template. The proper conditional to use here is is_front_page()

For the page set as the blog page, Wordpress uses home.php or index.php. This is your actual homepage of your blog, and not an archive page. is_home() will return true and is_archive() will return false as expected

For futher reading:


if you have home.php/index.php on your theme it's your first page and function is_home() return true in this page.

but when you are on archive.php function is_archive() will return true. archive.php is for displaying posts of a year or a month or a day. you can test archive functionality with adding it's widget to your site.


To expand on @AmirMasoud's answer, when you're on your news feed, it is not actually displaying a category, tag, author, etc specific set of posts.

Also in your options there is a place you can define home. That page may be outside of using index.php and will be the only page that returns 1 as is_home().

Archive can be set a lot of different ways. Look up the template hierarchy to better understand home, archive and the other page file options.

  • "Archive can be set a lot of different ways" Please explain what you mean. You cannot set an archive page Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 8:11
  • Well that is a good question... it isn't really the developer setting them that was more of a wording mistake. But there are defaults that are set. So archives are set for multiple ways. But you can set a variety of php files that all act as archives. Not just archive.php.
    – Cayce K
    Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 11:12
  • You can create the following archive pages, archive.php, category.php, taxonomy.php, tag.php, author.php and date.php and any of their hierarchial pages according to the template hierarchy ;-) Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 11:26
  • Exactly! :D Your answer is much more in depth. I wanted to go a little bit more, but was on my phone so I'm very glad you were able to do that!
    – Cayce K
    Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 12:05

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