Often users ask us if it’s possible to create a custom homepage in WordPress.
By default, WordPress shows your blog posts on the homepage. However, as a business website, you may want to create a more engaging homepage that helps users find what they need and boost your sales conversion.
In this article, we will show you how to easily create a custom homepage in WordPress. We will show multiple methods, and you can choose the one that’s easier for you.
What is a Homepage?
A homepage is a default introductory page or the frontpage of a website. It is the page that appears when someone enters your website’s domain name in their browser’s address bar.
The main purpose of the homepage is to introduce users to your website or business. Ideally, it should provide users essential information about your business, so they can continue exploring other pages on your site.
By default, WordPress displays your recent blog posts on the homepage. This is not good as it only shows a few of your current articles.
If you run a business website, then the default homepage does not tell users about your business, products, or services. It also doesn’t provide users a way to contact you.
The good news is that WordPress already comes with built-in functionality to create custom home page.
Selecting a Custom Page to be Used as Homepage in WordPress
WordPress allows you to easily use any page on your website as your homepage. You can simply go to Pages » Add New page inside WordPress admin area to create a new page.
Let’s give this page a title ‘Home’ and publish it. You will use this page as your custom homepage.
Don’t worry about layout or design at the moment. We will show you how to design your homepage later in this article.
Now, if you want to run a blog on your site, then you need to create a separate blog page to display your posts.
Once again, go to Pages » Add New page and create a page titled ‘Blog’. Go ahead and publish the blank page.
After creating the pages, you need to visit Settings » Reading page in your WordPress admin. From here select ‘A static page’ option under ‘Your homepage displays’ section.
Next, you need to select the homepage and the blog pages you created earlier.
Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save changes’ button to store your settings.
Now that you have set up a page to be used as your custom homepage, let’s start designing the custom home page for your WordPress site.
Method 1. Create a Custom Homepage in WordPress using Gutenberg
WordPress introduced a new block-based editor called Gutenberg in December 2018. This new editor allows users to not just write content but create beautiful layouts as well.
It uses blocks for each content element which enables you to organize content blocks to create a page structure that you like.
Each block comes with its own settings, which allows you to customize its appearance to meet your design requirements.
You can extend available blocks with Gutenberg block plugins to add more blocks to your arsenal. These plugins allow you to use advanced elements like testimonials, sliders, services, and other common design features.
You can also use Gutenberg ready WordPress themes which give you more flexibility to work with blocks.
Once you import a template, you can edit it using the default WordPress editor and create a highly professional looking homepage for your website.
Method 2. Create a Custom Homepage in WordPress using Page Builders
This method is very easy and does not require any coding or design skills. For this method, you will be using a WordPress page builder plugin.
A page builder plugin allows you to easily create custom page layouts using a simple drag and drop interface.
We recommend using SeedProd because it is the most beginner-friendly page builder plugin on the market. It comes with a lot of templates and offers multiple customization options.
For this tutorial, we will be using the SeedProd Pro version and show you it wide range of premium templates and customization options. There is also a free version available but it has limited selection of templates and features.
First, you’ll have to install and activate SeedProd Pro on your website. You can follow our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.
Once the plugin is active, you’ll be taken to the SeedProd page in the WordPress admin panel, where you’ll need to enter the license key. You can find the key in your SeedProd account area.
After entering the key, go ahead and click the ‘Verify Key’ button.
Next, you can navigate to SeedProd » Pages to create a homepage. Simply click on the ‘Add New Landing Page’ button to start.
On the next screen, you can choose from a template for your homepage. SeedProd offers many professionally designed templates that you can customize according to your business needs.
To select a template, simply hover over the template and click the orange tick button.
A popup window will now appear where you’ll need to enter a name for your landing page template and edit its URL. Once that’s done, go ahead and click the ‘Save and Start Editing the Page’ button.
Next, you’ll be taken to the SeedProd drag and drop page builder, where you can customize your homepage the way you want.
The plugin offers different blocks which can be added to the existing template. For example, you can drag and drop standard blocks like buttons and images or use advanced blocks such as countdown, contact form, and more.
Besides that, you can also click on existing blocks in the template and edit them. You can change their color, font, text, alignment, size, and more.
Once you’re done customizing your homepage, don’t forget to click the ‘Save’ button to store your changes.
Next, you can go to the ‘Page Settings’ tab to publish your custom homepage. Simply click on the Page Status toggle to change it from Draft to Publish.
There are more options under the Page Settings tab. For instance, you can change the SEO settings, edit the page title, add scripts, and connect a custom domain.
After changing the page settings, go ahead and close the landing page builder.
Next, you’ll need to navigate to Settings » Reading and tell WordPress to use the newly created landing page as your site’s homepage.
Under the ‘Your homepage settings’ section, go ahead and select the ‘A static page’ option. Then choose your custom homepage from the dropdown menu for ‘Homepage’.
Once that’s done, save your changes and visit your website to see the new custom homepage in action.
Method 3. Manually Create a Custom Homepage in WordPress (Coding Required)
This method is not recommended for beginners as it requires coding. You need to be familiar with the WordPress coding practices, PHP, HTML, and CSS to use this method.
Let’s see how this works.
Your WordPress theme is made up of different files. Some of these files are called templates and control the display of certain areas of your website. See our WordPress template hierarchy cheat sheet for more details.
One of these templates is called front-page.php. If your theme has this template, then WordPress will automatically use it to display your custom homepage.
However, if your theme does not have it, then you can create one for yourself/
Simply create a blank file and save it as front-page.php. After that you need to upload it to your current theme’s folder on your WordPress hosting account using FTP.
As soon as you upload this file, WordPress will start using it to display your homepage. However, since this file is completely empty, you will see a blank white page.
To fix this, you can start adding your HTML code to display contents of your custom homepage. An easier approach is to use the existing code and templates in your WordPress theme.
For example, you can use the same header and footer. WordPress makes it super easy to include those templates.
Here is a sample code where we removed the content and sidebars while preserving the header and navigation templates from the theme.
<?php /* This page is used to display the static frontpage. */ // Fetch theme header template get_header(); ?> <div id="primary" <?php astra_primary_class(); ?>> <div class="custom-homepage-container"> You custom homepage code goes here </div> </div><!-- #primary --> //Fetch the theme footer template <?php get_footer(); ?>
Tips on Making an Effective Custom Homepage in WordPress
Your website’s homepage is the most important page on your website. Users look at it to learn more about your business, products, and services.
We recommend keeping your homepage design as simple as possible. On our own websites, we have learned that our users find simpler layouts more helpful.
Try to avoid clutter, but don’t hide important information that your users would want to see on the homepage. You also need to prioritize which content appears first in your layout.
Write down the goals you want to achieve before making a custom homepage for your website. This exercise will help you come up with a clear design goal.
For most businesses and blogs, the number one goal is to convert website visitors into customers. To achieve this, you’ll need OptinMonster.
It is the best WordPress popup plugin and lead generation software. It helps you convert website visitors into subscribers and paying customers.
Next, you would want to track how your custom homepage is performing. For this, you need to install Google Analytics on your website. It helps you see where your users are coming from and what they do on your website.
Lastly, we recommend you to look around at your competitors and other popular sites in your industry/niche. We are not asking you to copy their design, but to learn from their best practices and then apply it on your own homepage layout.
We hope this article helped you easily create a custom homepage in WordPress. You may also want to see our proven tips to increase your blog traffic.