The Front Page Template – No Sidebars, Two Widgets at the Bottom, Add a Featured Image
What is a Widget? It’s a piece of code that adds a feature to a website. Widgets are usually added to the site by adding plugins. The Widgets for Twenty Twelve are in the sidebar or in the bottom of the homepage if you are using the Homepage Template. The Homepage Template is found by going to Pages and is in the right side of the screen.
Homepage Widgets at the Bottom of the Front Page Are a Good Place to Add Social Media Buttons for Follow Us.
WordPress theme twenty twelve comes with an optional Front Page Template that has widgets at the bottom of the page and is without sidebars.
This template is useful if you are creating a static page for the homepage. This means the homepage will not change even if you add blog posts for another part of the site that has a blog. The static homepage with the homepage template will look like a standard website without a sidebar. It has a “Featured Image” you can add along with the two widgets at the bottom of the page.
Keeping the Homepage and Widgets Above the Fold If you Can
The trend now with static homepages is to keep the homepage short so there is not too much scrolling. People can click on links to go to the rest of the site. If all of the homepage shows up above the fold then the visitor can read it all without scrolling at all. If you can not get all the important information you want to add in a page this size at least you can try to keep the page short. Research shows people using mobile devices prefer easy navigation, not too much scrolling, easy buttons to click.
Creating the Static Homepage for the Homepage Template
The Homepage Template works well if you are creating a standard website with a static homepage. The sidebar will be removed from the homepage if you use this template. Elsewhere on the site you can choose the templates that eliminate or add the sidebar. The Homepage Widgets are a good place to put some links to the rest of the site, an email newsletter signup form, or other useful information. To use the Homepage Template and the widgets at the bottom follow these steps.
Homepage Widgets At the Bottom of the Page Can Be Used for Social Media Icons, Newsletter Subscribe Forms, and Other Useful Purposes
Steps for Static Homepage, Setting the Homepage Template, and Creating the Homepage Widgets
1. In the Dashboard go to Settings and Reading.
2. Under the words “Front Page Displays” near the top click to put a dot in the radio button next to Static Page.
3. On this same screen where it says “Front Page” click the down arrow next to the box and choose “Home.” Click Save at the bottom.
4. Now go to Pages in the Dashboard and to Add New.
5. On the right hand side of the screen you will see Page Attributes (this means characteristics) and below that you will see Templates.
6. Click the down arrow and you will see the choices are Default Template, Homepage Template (this has the two widgets at the bottom) and Full Width Page Template No Sidebar.
7. Click to choose Homepage Template.
8. By the way below that on the right you will also see where you can add a featured image. There is another video on this. But briefly, it’s an image you can add that will not show up in your page text box but will show up on the homepage of the website.
9. Write and format your homepage, uploading a featured image if you wish and click Save.
10. Now go to Appearance and Widgets in the Dashboard.
11. You’ll see the usual widget areas near the top under Sidebar and farther down on the right you will see First Front Page Widget Area and Second Front Page Widget Area.
12. If you want to add an email newsletter signup drag a text box over to the widget area and paste in the code that you got from the supplier of your email marketing software.
13. If you would like to add a graphic that is also a link, such as some type of button so people can jump to the rest of the site here is how to do it. Create a button in your favorite graphic art program, upload it, and add a Simple Image widget that has room for you to add a link that will go with the button or graphic.
14. To get the simple image widget go to Plugins, Add New, and Browse. Then click Install and Activate to have that widget appear in your available widgets.
15. There are thousands of widgets and you can search plugins to see the variety and make choices.