Task 16: Theme Features: Front page layout

Your theme may provide alternatives for the basic layout of your front page. The “front page” is sometimes called the “home page” for your site. Since the front page is the first thing people see when they visit your site, getting it to look good is a top priority. Themes vary in the number of templates they offer. In this task you will learn the difference between two different types of front page layout and will test them on your site.

WordPress has two basic format types for your front page. There are thousands of variations on these two basic types, but you must start by telling WordPress which category you want to use. You will choose a basic setting for your front page that will, at the most simple level, pick one of these methods:

  1. You can have your site display your latest posts on the front page, which will update automatically as you add new content. If your site is mainly concerned with presenting blog articles, news, or other information that changes often, the “latest posts” format may be best for you.
  2. You can have your site display a static front page, which will remain the same unless you take steps to change it manually. If your site is mainly concerned with presenting standard information that does not change often, or if you want the front page design to be very predictable, the “static front page” format may be best for you.

There are many other features that will determine the look and feel of your front page that you will work on in later steps, but this basic format choice will determine some of your options as you continue on.

To complete this task…

Go to the WordPress Dashboard and navigate to the menu option for Appearance > Themes > Customize > Static Front Page. This menu item is used to switch between using a static front page and a page showing your latest posts.

Experiment with both settings, and see how your current Theme looks under both formats. These tests will only be useful if you have already put up enough test content so you can see the difference between posts and pages.

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