Do you need to do some editing on a home page in WordPress? Not surprising—the home page is a central point of any website, regardless of the niche, so the ability to modify it is crucial. Whether you keep it relatively clean or jam-packed with content, it’s something that your visitors will often see first, and come back to time and time again. Therefore, it needs to be streamlined, load fast, make your niche clear, and, ultimately, do the job you want it to. To achieve that, you need to learn how to edit the home page in WordPress.
What is a home page, and how does the default one look on WordPress?
The home page represents the “front page” of websites and is the first page the visitor views when opening your website domain name in their browser. For instance, ours is “wpthinker.com”. By default, WordPress puts blog posts (this can be configured in Admin Dashboard → Settings → Reading → Your homepage displays — Your latest posts). These posts are accompanied by standard elements such as header, footer, sidebar, and main menu. However, not all websites are blogs. Also, some prefer their visitors to see a different page temporarily or permanently.
Therefore, they often need to edit the home page to represent their portfolio, online store, business information, a search bar, a calendar, a call to action such as newsletter sign-up, or even a simple sign-in menu. Additionally, instead of editing the home page itself, especially if the need is temporary, they make another page a homepage in WordPress. For this to work, A static page must be selected as the option in the aforementioned homepage settings instead of Your latest posts.
1. Edit your home page via WordPress Theme Customizer
We’re starting our guide with a built-in method that is compatible with lots of WordPress themes, including the default ones. Not only can you see a detailed list of user-friendly options in the left sidebar, but any changes you make will reflect on the page immediately. With that said, you can begin editing your WordPress home page through the Customize menu this way:
- Access the WordPress Admin section.
- In the left sidebar go to Appearance then Customize.
- A Live Customizer window will now open. You’ll see five distinct elements.
Key elements of WordPress Live Preview
These are key elements of Live Customizer to understand:
- A menu on the left-hand side — This is the list of options that let you customize different parts of the home page. This includes the header, footer, site logo, background image or video, and multiple sections. Besides some general ones, like Site Identity, Homepage Settings, Typography, Color Options, and Additional CSS, theme developers are free to add options, and many chose to.
- Pencil icon — This option, Edit, appears on top of a variety of compatible on-page elements. Clicking it lets you modify that element, such as an image, blog post placeholder, text, or button.
- Eye icon — The eye icon represents a Hide/Show button and also appears over elements. Selecting it will show or hide that particular element and Theme Customizer will account for the missing space. That lets you see the page with or without that element.
- Publish icon — This option lets you make changes to the home page permanent.
- Cogwheel icon — A gears icon next to the Publish button lets you access 4 options under “Action”:
- Publish — The default option.
- Save Draft — This will change the button to Save Draft, letting you save that version of the home page for future use instead of making changes live.
- Schedule — An option that lets you schedule the changes you made for publishing at a later date and time. If you decide to do so, we suggest picking a time when the traffic is low, so you can correct any mishaps before the number of visitors ramps up.
- Discard changes — If you think you messed the work up, you can revert all the changes you made to the home page.
- Bonus. If you want to show the page to other user roles without making them public, you can copy the URL under “Share Preview Link”.
- When you are done making changes to the home page, click the Publish button or one of the options under step 3, option 5. At this point, we think you’ll want to start editing WordPress menus.
2. Modify your home page via Gutenberg (Block) Editor
Do you plan to edit your homepage from scratch rather than editing one that comes with your theme? While it will still look like an example of a new page your WordPress theme uses, Block Editor or Gutenberg Editor is a nifty way to build it entirely out of blocks. It also requires no additional plugins or manual code writing. Before you start, if it isn’t already, ensure Gutenberg Editor is activated. With that done, use Block Editor to edit your WordPress home page like this:
- Open the Admin Section yet again.
- Go to Pages, then All Pages.
- Select your home page (may be called “Home”, but doesn’t have to be) on the list.
- Click the name if it’s your default editor or select Edit with Block Editor.
- You’ll now see a page similar to that of your posts.
- Add blocks such as images, paragraphs, heading, gallery, Latest Posts, and so on.
- Clicking on any block and expanding the list of options on the right-hand side (under the cogwheel icon) gives you more options such as Page Attributes or Sidebar (to make the page full-width, with theme-defined sidebars, or customized).
- At any moment, after clicking Save Draft, you can use the Preview button to see changes on desktop or mobile.
- As usual, clicking the Publish button makes the changes you made public.
3. Use a WordPress page builder to create a home page
Some themes are incompatible with Gutenberg Editor or don’t add as many options to Live Customizer. Instead, they use a custom page builder, or, in most cases, support one or multiple page builder plugins for WordPress. Though we have no ties to the developers, we propose trying Elementor Website Builder. After opening a page via Pages → All Pages, you’ll see an extensive list of elements (templates, blocks, widgets) on the left-hand side and can even import custom or premium ones.
Choose a structure for your home page under “Select Your Structure” then continue dragging and dropping. Clicking on any element opens a list of options on the left side. After checking the “Global” tab, you can preview or publish the page using options in the bottom left corner.