So, now that you've got your blog setup, you may want to customize it.  Make it look less straight-line blog-gy.

The blog layouts with some themes are nice and others are pretty vanilla.  It ultimately comes down to what you like and how you want to present your content to your audience.

A static page, or home page, is the usual way to do this.  It's pretty easy to set up and with a page builder, like SiteOrigin, you can make an awesome home page with just a few clicks.

What is a home page?

In essence, a home page is the main page of your website.  It is the first page that people will see when they visit your site and will usually be the top-level address.  So, when you look at the address bar in your web browser, it would look something like www.mywebsite.com.  Notice how there is nothing after the .com?  That is because you are at the top-level of your website.

This is where your home page will usually sit.  Your home page can be a static page, like a splash page or a page with custom content to direct your audience to targeted content.

Fun Fact: Your website can just be static pages.  You don't have to have a blog.

Your home page can be as simple or elaborate as you like (and are able).  And there are tools and plugins available to help you get it where you want it.

Here, I'll show how to make an awesome home page in just a matter of minutes.

5-Minute Home Page

I almost feel like I'm cheating.  Using the Suffice Toolkit and SiteOrigin Pagebuilder I have access to pre-built widgets and layouts that I can just drag and drop into my page.

Hopefully by now you have developed some basic familiarity with the WordPress Dashboard and can add new posts and pages.  If you haven't, I'll still help you along.

Create the Page

Start off by creating a new page (Pages > Add New). Easy enough.  Go ahead and give it a name.  In this case I'm going to call it something randomly arbitrary - Pudding.  Oh yeah, there is no rule that says your home page needs to be named "Home".

Set the static page

Publish the page and in the Settings, select the Reading option.  In the Front Page Display section, select Static Front Page and select your page in the drop-down.  Don't forget to Save your settings.

Using the Page Builder

Now, this is where the magic happens!  From here, make sure you select the "Page Builder" tab in your page editor.

SiteOrigin Pagebuilder comes with pre-built layouts that have a ton of awesome features.  However, you will still want to customize them to fit your style.  I think their real power is in showing the user (that's you and me) what is possible with SiteOrigin Pagebuilder or any page builder.

Select the prebuilt layout

In your editor, select the Prebuilt Layout button.  This show you the prebuilt layouts that came with SiteOrigin Pagebuilder.

For this exercise, and because I like to keep things simple, I'm going to choose the "About Simple" layout.  It looks like this is for an About page, but it doesn't matter.

When you click the Insert button, you will be given a set of choices for where you want to insert the layout on your page.  Since I'm starting with a blank page, I can select any option.  In the future, you may have to decide if you already have content on the page.

And there you have it, you have successfully imported the layout!

STOP HERE IF YOU ARE HAPPY WITH THE LAYOUT

If you want to make it yours, read on.

Now that the page has been successfully imported...

Making it like mine

I'm going to delete what I don't want, add a new row, and add a widget to that row. 

You may be asking, "Why did you just add the prebuilt layout only to delete most of it?"  The reason is, I really only wanted the header.  The prebuilt layouts are great, but they are all targeted for particular markets or purposes.  Since this is a blog home page, I want to focus on the blog aspect and not a multi-section page.

Adding the blog widget

From the Suffice Toolkit Widgets, select ST: Blog.  The widget will be inserted into the last row selected, which in this case is the one we just added.

Voila!

Go ahead and preview the page.  Pretty cool, huh?  There is a link to "Pudding" on the site menu if you ever want to visit it :).

So, there you go.  You now have a beautiful, modern home page with a banner and raspberry-ripple (not vanilla) layout.  AND I'm pretty sure that took less than 5-minutes.  There is still customization to do, such as changing the header image and text, and maybe even customizing the ST: Blog widget.  But that is essentially how I made the home page for MostlyFreeWebDesign.com.  Except I had to make all the mistakes first since I've never worked with this feature before.

Wrap Up

Well, what did you think?  Let me know in the comments.

If you liked this,  sign up for my mail list to keep up to date with the latest content for creating your website for mostly free.

Building a Home Page with SiteOrigin

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