Creating a Custom WordPress Homepage

There are not as many things that are as important for your business as your site’s homepage. It’s the best representative of your business, as well as everything that’s good and bad about it, so naturally, you want it to be memorable. And how does one manage to leave a strong impression of uniqueness on his/her website visitors? By creating a custom WordPress homepage, of course. If you had trouble with creating landing pages before, you might think this will be mission impossible. For the constantly-developing and always evolving world of WordPress, there isn’t such a thing.

Selecting a page to be used as a homepage

Usually, the first step is always the most complicated one. And it might look like that’s the case here but you’ll soon realize otherwise once you start the process. To start off the process, go to Pages – Add New, create a page that you will name Home and then publish it. At this particular moment, the design and the layout of the page shouldn’t be your main concern. That comes later. Now, providing that you want to incorporate a blog section on your website, create a separate blog page by repeating the same process. The only exception is that you should name this page as Blog as opposed to Home.

People making a business strategy that includes creating a custom WordPress homepage.
You should approach creating a custom homepage as seriously as you would approach your business strategy.

Head over to Settings – Reading page, and under ‘Your homepage displays’ section choose ‘A static page’ option. Choose the two pages you previously created as your homepage and blog page and don’t forget to ‘Save changes‘ once you finish. Didn’t we tell you it’s not as complicated as it seems? One of the benefits of using a WordPress website is precisely its simplicity. And now that you have a blank canvas in the form of a homepage, we can start customizing it!

Using the Gutenberg editor for creating a custom WordPress homepage

When the Gutenberg editor launched in December 2018, the public opinion was divided. Some saw it as a great improvement and others couldn’t imagine switching to Gutenberg after working with the classic editor for so long. No matter which side of the coin you believe in, one thing can’t be denied – the Gutenberg makes it easy to create some beautiful pages and posts. The Gutenberg editor uses blocks for each content element and makes their maneuvering as simple as it gets. You have blocks that can be used as media, text, cover images, columns – you name it.

If you want to make editing even more simple (and more fun), you could use a Gutenberg ready WordPress theme, such as Astra. All you have to do is import a template and let your imagination soar while editing and customizing. The end result? A beautiful, professional, and unique-looking homepage!

Page builders will help you create a custom WordPress homepage

If we had to choose the easiest way to create a custom WordPress homepage, it would probably be this one. It doesn’t require any coding skills – all it requires is that you install and activate the WordPress page builder plugin. It will allow you to create beautiful layouts with its drag and drop interface. Surely, it sounds appealing, doesn’t it? Well, using page builders is as simple as it sounds.

A showing of different website page templates.
Have you envisioned a creative or engaging homepage? Your options are limitless.

Once you choose a page builder you want to use, opt for a custom homepage template that you should be able to install with a few clicks. You will now be able to replace the text, pictures, and content with your own, and you will even be able to extend the template by adding different sections. Remember, all of this without having to write a single line of code!

Creating a custom WordPress homepage manually

Now, this is where things get complicated. While the previous two methods required no coding skills whatsoever, this one does. In order to even dare to try this method, you need to be familiar with CSS, HTML, PHP, and some basic coding practices. So, how will this work and how exactly will you have to put your coding skills to use?

With WordPress being made out of different files and some of them being called templates and controlling different areas of your website, you need to find the template that’s labeled as front-page.php. In case there isn’t one, you’ll have to create a brand new font-page.php. This template will be used to show your homepage by WordPress. If you have created a new page, this template will be completely empty. That’s when you can start adding HTML code to show different elements of your soon-to-be beautiful homepage.

This approach requires at least some experience in coding. It’s not for the faint of heart.

In case you choose to create your homepage manually, we advise using a child theme or your own custom theme. Changing files of your parent theme can be dangerous, as it can make your changes get overridden if you update your theme. And did you know that instead of using front-page.php, you can also create your own template and use it for your homepage? Here’s how you can create this template in the child or custom theme.

Make a new file in the root of your theme called homepage.php.
Add the following code:
<?php / Template Name: Homepage*/ ?>*

<?php get_header(); ?>

<div id=”primary” class=”content-area”>

<main id=”main” class=”site-main” role=”main”>  

</main><!– .site-main –>

</div><!– .content-area –>

<?php get_sidebar(); ?>

<?php get_footer(); ?>

Create a new page in WordPress and under Page Attributes, you should now have a Homepage under the template. Choose this instead of the Default Template. Of course, don’t forget to go to Settings-> Reading and Make this page your homepage. Now you can customize your homepage as much as you like with HTML CSS PHP and Javascript.

Of course, it would be much easier if you were to use an already existing code and a template as opposed to creating completely new ones. In this situation, you could use some elements such as the header and footer, and remove others. We don’t know about you, but our WP Full Care team finds this to be a much easier approach. And our team will also take it upon ourselves to create a beautiful custom header and footer for your lovely new website.

Which method will be the winning one for you?

In case you are a beginner in the WP world, the answer is quite simple, isn’t it? Writing lines of code will be too big of a task for you at the moment. Luckily, you have two great and simple methods for creating a custom WordPress homepage. After all, the Gutenberg editor and different page builders make it super easy to create unique content. If, on the other hand, you feel ready to challenge yourself, why not go for the third method? Although you will have to keep your guard up with this one. Writing lines of codes is never a simple task. Far from it. There’s plenty of room for error, and it can happen when you least expect it. Besides, with all the simpler options out there, you really have to think about whether going through the trouble would be worth it.

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