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      A Beginner’s Guide to the WordPress Front Page (Homepage)


      Your WordPress front page (also called the homepage) is the first thing most visitors will see when they land on your site. As such, it is vital for making a good first impression.

      While your front page will normally display your latest posts, you may want something more customized to help your most important content stand out. Fortunately, there are lots of options available on the WordPress platform.

      What is the WordPress Homepage (Front Page)?

      Your front page is the homepage of your WordPress site. By default, it displays your blog posts, starting with the most recent entries. WordPress enables you to set the number of posts displayed and even include teasers for other posts (depending on your theme’s options).

      Fortunately, WordPress enables you to select any page to use as your front page. This means that you can use either a static page or a customized page. The latter option is particularly interesting since it enables you to stand out from other sites that use the same theme.

      The benefits of a customized front page include the ability to:

      • Optimize your static content.
      • Better showcase what your site is about — its mission, distinguishing features, core values, etc.
      • Add multiple strong Calls to Action (CTA) that are highly visible.

      Customizing your WordPress front page enables you to fine-tune its look so that it meets your requirements. It can also give you an important edge over other websites with similar subject matter. Let’s take a look at a couple of ways to customize your front page in WordPress.

      3 Ways to Customize Your WordPress Homepage (Front Page)

      the WordPress posts page

      Before implementing any of these methods, it’s important to first back up your site. This will ensure that you can easily roll back changes you don’t like.

      1. Choose Whether to Display Posts or a Static Page

      To get started, go to your dashboard and select Settings > Reading. Here, you can choose whether your homepage displays your latest posts or static content:

      WordPress reading settings and homepage post settings

      If you run a blog, you may want to prioritize your recent posts. For this option, you can change the value in the Blog pages show at most field. This will set a maximum number of displayed posts.

      If you select a static page instead, you can decide which page to use:

      editing the homepage settings in WordPress reading settings

      You can also choose which alternative page will display your blog posts. Keep in mind that you’ll need to have these pages already created before you can select them.

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      2. Customize Your Static Front Page 

      After you set a specific page set as your static homepage, open that page in the Block Editor:

      Adding a new block in the WordPress editor

      To customize the page from scratch, you can insert new content blocks. Simply select the + icon and search for the feature you need.

      WordPress has a variety of blocks to choose from. You can insert standard options such as paragraphs, images, lists, tables, and buttons. Additionally, you’ll be able to use theme blocks:

      adding a new block to a custom homepage template in WordPress

      To save time, you can also use pre-designed Block Patterns. You can find layouts for your headers, footers, featured posts, photo galleries, and much more:

      the WordPress block editor

      After adding all the elements you need on your static front page, you can publish it! Alternatively, you can save it as a draft to continue editing later.

      3. Create a Custom WordPress Page Template

      Twenty Fourteen, a WordPress classic theme

      You can also customize your front page in WordPress by creating a custom page template. First, you’ll need to make sure you have a block theme activated on your website. This will support Full Site Editing.

      To find a block theme, open your dashboard and go to Appearance > Themes > Add New. Then, click on Feature Filter and select the Full Site Editing option:

      enabling full site editing in WordPress

      After you apply the filter, install and activate a block theme that best suits your needs. For this tutorial, we’ll be using the default Twenty Twenty-Two theme:

      WordPress themes

      Most block themes will automatically generate some default page templates for your website. To view these, go to Appearance > Editor. In this Site Editor, click on the WordPress icon and select Templates:

      editing templates in the WordPress site editor

      Here, you’ll see a list of pre-designed page templates that come with your theme. In many cases, you’ll have a Home template. You can select this to open a preview in the Site Editor:

      editing a WordPress page template

      By clicking on the + button, you can insert new blocks into the template. You can add standard text and media blocks, widgets, design elements, and theme blocks. However, keep in mind that this will affect all pages that use this template:

      browsing available text blocks in the WordPress block editor

      If you don’t already have a Home page template, you can easily create one. First, open a new post or page. In the page settings on the right, find the Template section:

      selecting a page template in WordPress

      Next, select New. In the pop-up window, name the template and click on Create:

      create a custom page template in WordPress

      This will automatically open the Template Editor. You can now build your custom template using blocks, patterns, and even template parts:

      WordPress block patterns

      After you’ve made your changes, hit Publish. If you want to assign your homepage to this template, open the Block Editor for the page:

      selecting a custom homepage template in WordPress

      You should see your new template in the Template drop-down menu. Select it, and when you publish (or update) the page, your custom template will be applied.

      There’s No Place Like Your Homepage

      Adding a custom homepage to your WordPress website has numerous benefits, including greater visual appeal and the ability to convey relevant information to visitors right away. Fortunately, WordPress is flexible enough to enable you to customize your front page in almost any way you need.

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      Creating the Top Section of Your Homepage With HTML



      Part of the Series:
      How To Build a Website With HTML

      This tutorial series will guide you through creating and further customizing this website using HTML, the standard markup language used to display documents in a web browser. No prior coding experience is necessary but we recommend you start at the beginning of the series if you wish to recreate the demonstration website.

      At the end of this series, you should have a website ready to deploy to the cloud and a basic familiarity with HTML. Knowing how to write HTML will provide a strong foundation for learning additional front-end web development skills, such as CSS and JavaScript.

      We will now begin adding content by replicating the top section of the demonstration website.

      Top section of demonstration website

      This top section is composed of a large background image, a small profile image, a text header, a text subheader, and a link. Each of these pieces of content are styled and positioned with HTML.

      In the remaining tutorials of this series, we’ll learn how to use HTML to recreate this content on a new webpage.



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      How To Create the Middle Section of Your Homepage With HTML



      Part of the Series:
      How To Build a Website With HTML

      This tutorial series will guide you through creating and further customizing this website using HTML, the standard markup language used to display documents in a web browser. No prior coding experience is necessary but we recommend you start at the beginning of the series if you wish to recreate the demonstration website.

      At the end of this series, you should have a website ready to deploy to the cloud and a basic familiarity with HTML. Knowing how to write HTML will provide a strong foundation for learning additional front-end web development skills, such as CSS and JavaScript.

      In this tutorial, we will recreate the middle section of our demonstration website using HTML tables.

      Middle section

      The middle section of our demonstration website contains a large profile image and a short paragraph of text displayed side by side. We can achieve this layout by using the HTML <table> element, which allows us to arrange content into rows and columns. Note that if you continue learning front-end skills such as CSS, there are improved methods for arranging content on a webpage. However, HTML tables provide an effective and simple way for arranging content when you are only using HTML.

      We will create a simple table that contains one row and two columns. First, let’s add all of our table elements to create the structure of our table. Paste the following code snippet after your closing </div> tag:

      <!--Second section--> 
        <table>
            <tr>
              <td>
              </td>
              <td>
              </td>
            </tr>
          </table>
      

      Let’s pause briefly to review each part of this code snippet:

      • The <!--Second section--> is a comment that will not be read by the browser and is used to help organize our html file for the purpose of human readability
      • The single set of <table> tags create the table
      • The single set of <tr> tags create a table row
      • The two sets of <td> tags (table data tags) create two columns

      The content that we place in the first set of <td> tags will constitute the first column and the content that we place in the second set of <td> tags will constitute the second column.

      Before we add content to our table, make sure you have selected a large profile image or other image to use. If you do not have an image, you can download the image from our demo site. Once you have your image, save it in your images folder. (For a refresher on how to add images to webpages using HTML, please visit our tutorial HTML Images from earlier in this tutorial series).

      Next, we will add the image by placing an <img> element inside the first set of <td> tags. Add the following <img> element in between the first two <td> tags.

      <img src="https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/ImageLocation" ; style="height:600px; margin:70px; margin-left:100px;" />
      

      Make sure to change the file path of the src attribute. Note that we are using the style attribute to specify the height and margin sizes of the image. We are also making the left margin 30 pixels greater than the other margins by using the margin-left property. The HTML code for your table should now be as follows:

      <!--Second section--> 
        <table>
            <tr>
              <td>
            <img src="https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/ImageLocation" ; style="height:600px; margin:70px; margin-left:100px;" />
              </td>
              <td>
              </td>
            </tr>
          </table>
      

      Save your file and reload it in the browser. The section below the top section of your webpage should be like this:

      Added large profile image

      Next we’ll add the text in the second column. Feel free to use the sample text for demonstration purposes. You can add your personalized text later.

      In between the second set of <td> tags, add the following code snippet:

      <h1> Hello </h1>
      
      <p> Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Et magnis dis parturient montes nascetur ridiculus mus. Purus semper eget duis at tellus at urna condimentum mattis. Turpis in eu mi bibendum neque egestas. Rhoncus dolor purus non enim praesent elementum facilisis. Ipsum nunc aliquet bibendum enim facilisis gravida. Cursus turpis  tincidunt dui ut ornare lectus. Enim nec dui nunc mattis enim ut. Sapien nec sagittis aliquam malesuada bibendum arcu vitae elementum curabitur. Ultricies mi quis hendrerit dolor magna. Elit eget gravida cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis. Enim tortor at auctor urna nunc id cursus metus. </p>
      
      <p>Email me at <a href="https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/mailto:[email protected]">[email protected] </a></p>
      

      In the table we’ve created text content using a variety of elements. The <h1> element creates a bold text heading, the <p> elements create paragraph text, and the <a> element creates a link to a sample email address.

      Save the file and reload it to check your results in the browser. You should receive something like this:

      Added hello text

      Note that the style of the text is different from the style of the text on the demonstration website. The positioning of the text content is different as is the font size and the line spacing. Let’s now add some attributes and properties to style this column of content.

      First, we’ll add the valign and style attributes to the second opening <td> element that wraps around the text so that the element is now as follows:

      <td valign="top" style="padding-top:45px; padding-right:110px; padding-left:40px;">
      

      Here we have used the valign attribute to position the text content to the “top” of the <td> element. The valign attribute is a special attribute for <td> elements that aligns content on a vertical basis.

      We have also added the style attribute to add padding specifications to the top, right, and left of the element. Padding creates space between the border of an element and any content placed inside the element, such as text.

      Save your file and reload it in the browser. You should receive something like this:

      Styled hello text

      Next we will change the font size and line height of the paragraph content by adding style attributes to the <p> elements. Add the highlighted attributes to both of the <p> elements so that the opening <p> tags are like so:

        <p style="line-height: 2.0; font-size:20px;">
                  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Et magnis dis parturient montes nascetur ridiculus mus. Purus semper eget duis at tellus at urna condimentum
                  mattis. Turpis in eu mi bibendum neque egestas. Rhoncus dolor purus non enim praesent elementum facilisis. Ipsum nunc aliquet bibendum enim facilisis gravida. Cursus turpis sa tincidunt dui ut ornare lectus. Enim nec dui nunc mattis
                  enim ut. Sapien nec sagittis aliquam malesuada bibendum arcu vitae elementum curabitur. sa ultricies mi quis hendrerit dolor magna. Elit eget gravida cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis. Enim tortor at auctor urna nunc id
                  cursus metus. </p>
        <p style="line-height: 2.0; font-size:20px;">Email me at <a href="https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/mailto:[email protected]">[email protected] </a>
      </p>
      

      Save your file and reload it in the browser to check your results. You should receive something like this:

      Final styling for middle section

      If you have errors, check to make sure that you have added all the HTML code in the correct area of the index.html file.

      You should now have an understanding of how to use tables to arrange content on a webpage and how to add styling elements to table content. To try arranging content on a page with different combinations of rows and columns, please visit the tutorial on HTML Tables from earlier in this tutorial series.



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