How to edit a WordPress homepage

When you have a WordPress website, sometimes, you want to be able to change a thing or two. Whether you need to edit just the menu bar or change the entire layout, knowing how to edit a WordPress homepage can come handy. And it is not even so hard as it might look at first. With a couple of advice and a little practice, you will be able to customize it the way you wish.

Several ways to edit a WordPress homepage

In most cases, your homepage is the first page that opens when someone visits your URL address. For this reason, the good first impression this homepage leaves on visitors should be the priority. In general, it’s like the store window to your website and it should be representative. Just enough to intrigue the users’ attention, but not to much complex to overwhelm them. It needs to be pleasant to the eye, intuitive, and allow easy navigation through the rest of the website. Given these points, you can hire professionals to take care of your website, but for small editing like homepage edit, you can learn to do it by yourself.

Let’s start with setting up a theme in WordPress

WordPress has one great advantage. It allows you to quickly set up a website without vast coding knowledge. Thanks to the themes that already exist, you can set up an attractive and simple website quite fast. Of course, advanced functions will require advanced knowledge. But, here we will discuss just and basic layout of your homepage.

Choosing the theme

To select the theme of your choice, go to Appearance>Themes. There, you can choose between a couple of default themes, or you can click on “Add new” to choose between hundreds of other themes.

Themes Appearance tab in WP.
You can sort themes by popularity once you click on “Add New”.

After you activate the selected theme, by pressing the “Activate” button, you are pretty much done. However, a good practice would be to create your theme’s child theme. It will look the same but will allow you to customize it further without breaking the original theme’s functionality. In general, this step is required so you don’t lose all your customization when the original theme updates.

Creating a child theme

For this, you will need access to your CPanel, presuming you already have a domain for your website. Once inside the panel, use the file manager to navigate to the wp-content>themes folder. First, create a new folder and name it without using special characters nor spaces. Don’t forget to add “-child” as a suffix to the name.

Second, create a style.css file inside this folder, open it in a text editor, then copy-paste this content inside:

/*
Theme Name: Name
Theme URL: https://yourwebsite.com
Description: Your theme’s child theme description
Theme Author: Your Name
Author URL: https://yourwebsite.com
Template: Name of the parent theme
Version: 1.0.0
Text Domain: child theme name with -child suffix
*/

Next, create another file, name it functions.php, and copy the following code inside:

<?php
add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'enqueue_parent_styles' );
function enqueue_parent_styles() {
wp_enqueue_style( 'parent-style', get_template_directory_uri().'/style.css' );
}
?>

And that’s it. All you have to do now is to go back to Appearance>Theme in WordPress and activate your child theme.

Define or edit a WordPress homepage

By default, WordPress places a post as a homepage. For a brand new website, you need to change it to a static page. Add a new page, name it “An example of Homepage”, for example, then publish it. Now set this new page as a homepage by going to Settings > Reading and there select this new page.

Reading settings in WP where you can set your homepage.
Make sure you select your designated homepage for a static page.

Display your latest posts vs display a static page

Displaying your latest posts has the most sense if your website is a blog. As it says, it will show your latest post on your homepage. On the other side, the static page has much wider use. From small business websites to online stores to various other purposes, the static page can be a perfectly representative homepage.

Customizing a WordPress homepage

After your homepage is set, you can customize it further. There are two basic ways to do this:

The first way is to go Appearance>Customize. This will take you to a simple page where you will be able to edit many details regarding your WordPress homepage. Depending on the type of theme, you will find different customization options inside. So, to edit any part, you can simply click the blue pencil icon next to the text. Or explore additional options on the left.

A basic, simple, homepage layout.
By default, some themes require more customization before you acquire a preferred look.

The second way will require considerable coding knowledge. So, you should use it only when you are sure of what you are doing.

Complex code to edit a WordPress homepage.
It can be tricky to edit the code.

On the right side, you can see different files you can edit to accomplish a desirable layout or functionality.

Advanced customization and editing tools

There are also a few additional methods you can use to create and edit a WordPress homepage. This can be achieved by using, so-called, page builders. This way, changing a background image, or adding various elements, will be a piece of cake.

Installing Beaver Builder page builder to edit a WordPress homepage

Beaver Builder is a popular plugin you can use to create a beautiful homepage.

Beaver Builder plugin on a plugin page.
It’s a straight forward installation.

You can simply go to plugins and type “Beaver Builder” to find it, install, and activate it. After that, go back to your homepage in pages, and you will see the tab “Beaver Builder”. Simply click on the tab and you can immediately start editing your homepage.

Beaver Builder activation tab in the text editor.
Just click its name and you will start the builder.

Generally, the fastest way to design your homepage is by using one of its templates. Meanwhile, you can test and edit anything you wish in those templates with just a few clicks. Overall, it’s quite intuitive and user friendly.

Installing Divi to edit a WordPress homepage

Divi installation is a bit different from the previous one. You will first need to register on Elegant Themes, to be able to download the builder, plus themes. They provide excellent instruction about how to install it and many more. Once you’ve got everything up and running, you can start editing up your homepage. Generally, the main principle of how it’s working is WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get).

Installing Elementor to edit a WordPress homepage

Another one in the group of the most popular website builders is Elementor. Just like other builders, it allows you powerful editing and creation of modern page designs with advanced capabilities. Also, the installation is quite simple. Simply go to plugins>add new and install Elementor from there.

A button to install the Elementor website builder on the plugin page to easy edit a WordPress homepage.
Install and use it with just a few clicks.

There are more than a few ways to edit a WordPress homepage to acquire your much needed perfect design. Some of them are simple, just a few clicks away. While others require some time, and a bit of practice, but provide more advanced configuration options. Whether you are a small business owner or just a website enthusiast, it’s definitely useful to know how to do it.

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