- Build A Custom Home Page For Your WordPress Blog
- Branding Your WordPress Home Page
- Your Best Chance To Build Your Very Own Custom Home Page!
- How to Display Your Latest Post on Your WordPress Custom Home Page
I’ve now taught you budding WordPress theme-modifiers a fair bit. I’ll recap in a sec.
I’ve taught you some of what I’ve learned by trial-and-error, so that you have less trial-and-error experience. Now here comes the bit you might not like so much: ‘Just like any teacher, I set homework: Yours is set out below: -
(‘Not compulsory of course; but you’ll learn a heck of a lot if you do it.)
To Recap: -
In the previous article which I posted on this blog we looked at a WordPress theme-hack that I devised and tested. This hack provides the user with an extra template that masks an existing page with a configurable notice. This makes it possible to temporarily withdraw page or pages from viewing without the user having to delete the page.
Previous to that I posted an article entitled “ A php Contents-List For Your WordPress Blog “, which demonstrated a short php routine that returns a listing of a pre-set number of your posts.
The first of the WordPress-related posts recent to this post was on the subject of creating multiple footers for your WordPress blog. – A post which I wrote a day before my birthday and thus took the liberty of wishing myself a happy birthday when it was auto-posted next day.
This chronologically-randomly-spaced series of WordPress-related articles should provide you with almost enough information, when the sum of the content is added together, to create your own customised version of a barebones-fully-functional-Home-Page, similar to mine, with a recent-contents listing and an individual customised-footer. The latter is a point on which I still need to do some work, as my Home Page’s footer does appear on other pages too at time of writing: However I do intend to work on this matter in the foreseeable future.
It’s time to brush up on your php and HTML coding skills; because your mission – should you choose to accept it, is as follows: -
It’s not obvious from looking at it; but my Home Page is, in the main, a template. The actual “page” part of my Home Page is the section entitled “Additional Items and Announcements”; from that heading down to the Universal Currency Converter. The Google AdSense advertisement is hard-coded into the foot of the actual page itself. The currency-converter is near the bottom of the template with the advertisement for David Risley’s BlogMasters Club hard-coded into the foot of the template before the php instruction to get the footer.
- So my secret’s out: – and my blog is not the only blog that uses this method. Bigger and more meaty blogs than this one use a similar method, with an extended and far-more-complex php-loop to call and display captions of their latest-posts with associated scaled-down illustrations and hyperlinks; made possible with a little css wizardry, in addition to vastly-better php skills than mine.
Visualise This: -
Allow me to drift off-topic and rabbit on for a while: -
If you’re using the standard WordPress method of ‘Front-Paging’: That is – blog post on top of blog-post on top of… You get the meaning. – Well there’s nothing really ‘wrong’ with that as such, particularly if you have a personal, non-profit blog… But I suggest if you’re doing that on a self-hosted blog, then you’re shelling out on at least hosting costs + domain renewal. You can do the standard Front-Paging on a free wordpress.com blog for no cost: It’s the done thing… But if you’re paying for hosting and domain renewal having set up a self-hosted blog using the platform you downloaded from wordpress.org, then you may as well at least make it your own with a little customisation – simply because you can; if for no other reason. Where to start with that is to lead from the front: Get the Home Page; your shop-front, or even the front of your ‘house’ in cyberspace if you like, (Is that term, ‘cyberspace’ becoming too dated? I like it anyway.) looking good, looking how YOU want it to.
Where I live in the UK we have private residential housing; where people own their own home – and we have what we term as ‘council-housing’; where the residents pay a rent to the local authority for their home. The visual difference between the two becomes obvious when you wander from a road of private houses onto a council estate: No longer does each property have its own style: Different external renderings on the walls for instance, or maybe a wood-effect uPVC door with a set of tiny double-glazed sealed-units sporting leaded-lights and stained-glass designs, a Georgian-style porch with a hibiscus draped from it at the end of a well-built driveway… That kind of thing. – No; It’s like entering a different world: Each property looks virtually identical. The same design of cheap and cheerful white uPVC door adorns each doorway in the the terraced rows of properties; most of which have nothing but a lawn between their front walls and the road, up which runs an unkempt path with a few cracks in it here and there: They’re largely identical and if you weren’t familiar with the area you’d be forgiven for getting horribly lost, like walking into a hall of mirrors, just by turning a corner and losing sight of normality.
Whenever I make such a journey, I liken it to walking from the customised world of individuality that is a wordpress.org self-hosted blog – into wordpress.com-land, or bloggers.com…
Let’s Do It…
‘Visualisation over; it’s back to the topic in hand: If you’re running a self-hosted WordPress blog then customise it. Brand it; so that when people arrive at it they see something unique and individualistic, and if they return they’ll recognise it.
I’m not going into great detail over this matter: This is your baby, and personally I’ve found that the only way to really learn how to do this is to keep getting it wrong until you eventually get it right. – The more you get it right the easier it becomes to get it right: practice makes perfect. – But to give you a slight unfair advantage I’ll drop a few hints in the form of guidelines: -
Tip: After reading this lot; check out the page source of my Home Page. – That should give you a few ideas – particularly as far as using images is concerned.
If you’re starting to make improvements, having previously used the standard method of ‘Home Paging’ mentioned above; then the great thing when designing your Home Page and Home Page Template is that nobody need see it while you’re building it within WordPress: First you create a new page template and name it something like home template; then you associate it with a blank page – titled something like, just for example, “This Is My Page” - with it, on which you set the visibility to ‘Private’, so that when you’re building either/or the page bit or the template, and you initially publish or update the combination, only you can see what it looks like.
I suggest that you use the php contents-list routine coded in above the existing php-loop on the template, and set the value of ‘showposts’ to around 8 – At least I have found that figure to be best. – You might or might not agree. Also I suggest that you create and customise a unique footer for your Home Page.
Settings Advice: -
When you’re satisfied with it an the page and the template in tandem look exactly like you’d want your blog’s Home Page to look, then, after changing the ‘Private’ setting to ‘Public’, I suggest you do the following: -
Go into the WordPress Admin panel and looking in the sidebar on the left under the heading Settings. Click on Reading, and set things as follows: -
Front page : “This Is My Page” <—Example
Posts page : – Select -
Blog pages show at most: 10 pages
Syndication feeds show the most recent: 10 items
For each article in a feed, show: summary
Encoding for pages and feeds: UTF-8
Having saved settings, go to your blog’s URL and you’ll see your amazingly designed Front Page that you put so much effort into.
To your readers; they see a bland ‘council-housing’-style-blog, they’ve become so used to it that they expect it; but suddenly they arrive at your blog and absolutely love the facelift; after they work out that they’ve not been secretly redirected…
Now eat ads: -
You’re looking at Kkomp.com – Beyond. <--Link to Home page.
The URL of what you see is http://kkomp.com/2011/11/28/build-a-custom-home-page-for-your-wordpress-blog/
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Post Footer automatically generated by wp-posturl plugin for wordpress.