Page Templates – Three Different Templates Provide Different Formats for Your Static Homepage or Blog Style Homepage
In Twenty Twelve the variations Include Choosing Whether to Have Blog Style Sidebars or Website Style Bottom Widgets.
WordPress Twenty Twelve Homepage Templates have three template choices and two Settings choices.
Note: There have been many questions re:Adding Social Media Icons and Site Search field to the top of the Homepage. The template you choose determines whether you will have sidebar widgets available or bottom widgets available to add things like this. If you want to have social media icons in widgets and a search site field widget in a sidebar near the top right of the homepage or other pages then choose the Default template which will have a sidebar. If you want to use bottom widgets with a traditional static homepage with no sidebar then choose the Front Page template and add the social media icons, site search field, subscribe widget or other feature to the bottom widgets area. There are two bottom widgets.
Question: If the Front Page Template is more limited because it does not have a sidebar with all the features offered by widgets then why would someone use it?
Answer: The simple homepage using a Front Page Template looks clean, uncluttered, easy to use. Visitors only have a few choices about where to click. Whether you use a Front Page look or a Default Template with a blog look depends upon your typical visitor profile. Do they want a more complex array of features there or a quick, simple look with a few important links to help them get into the rest of the site?
1. Traditional looking websites with pages across the top, bottom widgets and without sidebars can be created by using the Front Page Template.
2. Blog style looking sites that have a sidebar can be created by using the Default Template.
3. Remember that you will also need to make a choice regarding Comments from readers. If you do not wish to have comment forms and Leave a Reply then go to Settings, Discussion, and click to remove a check in the box for Allow Visitors to Post Comments on New Articles.
Traditional looking websites without bottom widgets but with pages across the top, no sidebars, can be created by choosing the Template for Full Width No Sidebars.
You can also choose of course to have a completely blog style style instead of having a static homepage. The blog style homepage that is not static means it will show the most recent article posted at the top. The static page will always look the same.
If you want to have a certain message on your homepage that stays the same then use a static page. Otherwise use the blog settings.
Templates and Steps:
Static Page Settings – Option #1
- If you want a static page: go to Pages and create a page labeled Home. It can be left blank. You can choose the Template later when you come back to create the page.
- Go to Settings, Reading.
- Put a dot in Static Page
- Click the down arrow for Front Page and Choose the page you created labeled Home.
Blog Page Settings With Latest Posts – Option #2
- Go to Settings, Reading
- Put a dot next to Latest Posts
- Save. You won’t need to select which page to show because your latest post will automatically show at the top of the front page.
Option #3 Static Homepage Plus a Blog for the Rest of the Site With Standard Menu Not Custom Menu
- Create a Page labeled Home that can be left blank as you can format and write it later. Save it.
- Create another Page with a title of Blog. This page will be the first post of your blog and will show at the top of the blog. Page labels automatically show at the top of the site in the horizontal menu. You will later choose the blog style template for this page that is labeled Default and has a sidebar. This will start the blog.
- Go to Settings, Reading.
- Put a dot in the radio button next to A Static Page below Front Page Displays.
- Click the down arrow next to Front Page and select the page created labeled Home.
- Click the down arrow next to Posts Page and select the Page you created to start the posts of the blog. Later you will go to that page and select the Default Template which will show a sidebar and that will get the blog started.
- Because the first article is actually a Page it will automatically show in the horizontal menu bar across the top. You can also choose to take a different route and use a custom menu but that is another set of steps. Please see the articles on custom horizontal menus for those steps.
Template for Front Page Style – Template Option #1
- Go to your Page titled Home that you created a while ago.
- Templates choices are located on the right side next to the text box where you will create the text and images for the page.
- Click the down arrow and choose Front Page for the Template.
- The Front Page Template has no sidebars and bottom widgets.
- It looks like a traditional website with a full width page without sidebars and has two bottom widgets where you can add social media icons, subscription sign ups or other widgets.
- This can also be used like a landing page. If you want the bottom widgets to show in the landing page screen where they are “above the fold” meaning there is no scrolling needed to see them just keep the text and images on the text box short so they don’t take up much room.
Template Default Style for Blog Style With Sidebars, No Bottom Widgets – Template Option #2
- If you are using a static front page then go to the Page you created titled Home.
- Templates are located to the right of the text box.
- Click the down arrow and choose Default.
- Your homepage will be static, meaning it will stay the same, but it will have a sidebar with widgets.
- You can include categories, collapsing categories,a keyword cloud, or a custom menu in the sidebar so people can navigate to other parts of the blog.
- There will also be a horizontal navigation bar with page titles.
- You can create some pages for traditional page titles such as About, Contact or other information.
- A typical number of pages is about five pages. This keeps it from getting too crowded in the horizontal menu bar and fits the space. Too many pages make it cluttered or make it create a second layer of page titles.
- Type your homepage and add images. Remember if you choose static page it will stay the same. If you choose Latest Post then the latest article you have posted will show on this page.
Template for Full Width No Sidebars – Template Option #3, Does Not Have Bottom Widgets
This template will not have bottom widgets.
If you are going to choose a template without sidebars it is actually very helpful to have those two bottom widgets. If you want to keep the widgets simple you can just drag over a Text widget and type some useful text information into it. So the Front Page template would be a better choice.
Go to your page titled Home if you are using a static homepage in the settings.
Go to Templates on the right of the text box.
Click the down arrow and choose Full Width No Sidebars.
Type the text and add the images you wish to show on the homepage.
If you do not want comments go to Settings, Discussion, and remove the check in the box for Allow Visitors to Post Comments on New Posts.