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An effective insight into setting up a custom home page in WordPress

Although WordPress themes are structured as per the expectations of site owner and clients, yet there are times when a specific set up for the home page might actually turn off the visitors. Like for example, it may not be a great idea to throw your visitors right into the recent posts page and expect them to find their way. It is under such situations that WordPress' custom home page settings come to the rescue. With these easy-to-use settings, it becomes possible for you to define an entirely different front page for your WordPress powered website. Keep on reading this blog as I unleash some impressive details about setting up a custom home page for WordPress sites/blogs.
What exactly is a Custom Home Page in WordPress?
Whenever you install a responsive theme for the very first time for your site, the custom home page feature will be activated. If you're inclined on changing this custom home page, you can do the same using the “Theme Options” panel available under the “Home Page” options. Here, a selected checkbox represents the activated status of the custom home page.
Flexibility to display the front page as “Static Page” or as a “Blog”
As an approach towards setting up a custom home page, you need to be familiar with the fact that by default, WordPress renders you the freedom of displaying the front page either as a “Static Page” or as a “Blog”. While the static page look is popular among users who don't intend to have a “blog” on their site, the “Blog” look is custom-made for WordPress users looking forward to include a Blog section within their website. If you're the one who's opting for the static front page look, then make it a point to let WordPress show all your most recent posts within a virtual directory called news, blog etc.
Therefore, to change the settings for your site's home page, simply go to Settings-> Reading in the admin console and select “Page” if you want to display a static page or you can choose the “Posts” option for displaying all your latest blog posts on the site's home page. Here's a screen-shot for the selection I'm talking about:


On the above screen, if you've chosen to display a static page as your site's home page, simply create a new page called “Home”. Likewise, if you want to have a blog as your site's home page, then simply create a different page and name it as “Blog”. The basic idea behind doing this is to control the blog's URL.

Do note that before tweaking the home page settings, you need to deactivate the custom home page.

Here's a screen-shot for how you need to deactivate the site's custom home page:


What if you don't wish to set the “Static Page” and/or “Blog” look for your WordPress website's home page?
Well, if you don't want to set the “Static Page” and/or “Blog” look for your site's home page then you're supposed to create a brand new home page. One of the most effective techniques of creating a custom home page is using the Custom Page Template. Here, all you need to do is simply create a new file and name it as home.php. For this file, you're free to use any WordPress parameters. This home.php file will then automatically take over your usual index.php file and be displayed as your current homepage. This method is best suited for WordPress users who don't want to include an individual blog page for their website.
Custom Page without a Primary Menu is meaningless
Now that you've created a new custom home page, opt for setting up a primary menu for the same. This menu will allow you to display all the pages in a well-organized manner, making website navigation simple for all visitors. You need to follow the below mentioned steps to create your own primary menu:
  1. Go to WordPress administration panel and there click Settings-> Appearance-> Menus
  2. Towards your left side, you'll be able to see options including Pages, Links, Categories, Tags etc. based on your theme.
  3. Towards the top portion, you'll be able to see two tabs viz: Edit Menus and Manage Locations. The options displayed for “Manage Locations” will depend on the current theme installed into the site.
  4. If you're using iFeature Pro, then you'll have two theme locations viz: Primary Menu and Footer Menu. Towards the right of these options, you'll see a plus”+” depicting that you haven't created a custom menu till date.
  5. Click on this plus “+” symbol to create a new primary menu.
  6. Enter a suitable name for the new menu, followed by clicking the “Create Menu” button.
Wrapping Up
So that's it from my side for now. Hope you'd have enjoyed going through the aspects related to tweaking the custom homepage in WordPress. The best part of using WordPress is the utmost level of flexibility attached to modifying the web pages and elements included within them.
Thanks for reading this post. Hope the information delivered here would prove helpful for you. Please do share your views/opinions on the above post, using the comments box below.
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