Many of us are using WordPress to run our online business where a proper homepage can better introduce your business instead of hoping right into your blog. Actually, even if your site is primarly a blog, a homepage can better introduce who you are and what you blog about. By default, WordPress displays you latest posts as a homepage but you can easily change that behaviour in your Settings > Reading section (and pick a static page to display).
Note that you may be limited in the layout of your page based on your theme. Therefore, when you are looking for a theme, try to look for one that has a “full width” page template. You can still manipulate your page without it but it’s nice not to have a sidebar.
Now the fun part: What do you want to put on your homepage? In this post, I’ll show you some great WordPress plugins that you can use to help build your Homepage.
Slideshows are wildly popular for the homepage. They can be used to display services, promotions or even great brand photos. The Meta Slider WordPress plugin is currently the top rated slider plugin and I’ve used it quite a bit on my projects because it allows you to choose between the Nivo Slider, Flex Slider, Coin Slider and Responsive Slides (all slightly different implementations).
It’s surprisingly hard to find a good plugin that will display your latest posts so I was pretty excited to give Post Slides a try! Once activated, go to Options > Post Slides and edit your display. You can display your latest posts as a full-width slider or 3 columns showing your featured image. The plugin also lets you create different shortcodes where you pick to show posts from certain categories.
My only complaint is that you can’t turn off the title showing on of the featured image or change it’s colour. Otherwise, works great!
Beaver Builder is my favourite builder plugin right now because it allows you to edit your page in their “page builder” which lets you drag and drop rows with 1 to 6 columns. The premium version allows you to add different interface elements in the content areas while the free version lets you use the visual editor.
On your homepage, I’d recommend using Beaver Builder to give your text some visual appeal by displaying it in columns and adding a supporting image or icons (check out iconfinder.com).
Advanced WP Columns (also has a drag and drop column builder)
If you want to add interface elements to your page like buttons, call-out boxes, testimonials boxes, etc then the way to do so in WordPress is by using shortocdes. A shortcode is inserted right in your visual editor and looks something like “[testimonial-shortcode] This is where your testimonial content goes [/testimonial-shortcode]” (the name in the square tags depend on the plugin you use). I recommend WP Canvas Shortcodes for the job – delivers everything you’d need without going overboard where it feels bulky 🙂