Static Homepage – Webpages With or Without Sidebars
Create WordPress pages for a traditional website look if you wish by using the Front Page Template and using other templates for the following pages. The Templates are easy to choose because they are right next to the edit box where you create your content. If you wish to create the other pages without sidebars you can use the Full Width No Sidebars Template. YOu can create blog style pages with a sidebar by choosing the Default Template.
For this example of a five page website we are going to create a static homepage and four more pages without sidebars. You can of course choose to create a blog style on the homepage and other pages. Or you can create a homepage without a sidebar that is static and create blog style pages for the rest of the site. It is very versatile.
This website example will have pages for Home, Services or Products, FAQ’s, About and Contact. You can use these steps to design and label your own pages.
The homepage will be static, use the Front Page Template and will have a Featured Image and two widgets at the bottom of the page. If you are not familiar with widgets they are areas where we can add some text, images or features.
This example uses WordPress Theme Twenty Twelve but these steps will be the same or similar in other themes too.
Create and Format a Static Homepage
In the chapter on Settings we created a page that was labeled “Home” with some sample text on it. Then we went to Settings, Reading. There we put a dot in the radio button near “Front page displays” to select “static page.”
Then we clicked the down arrow next to “Front page” and selected “Home.”
Write and Format the Static Homepage
- Go to Pages
- Go to the page labeled Home.
Choosing the Homepage Template – Writing Your Homepage
- To the right of the text box where it says Templates it will say “Default Template.
- Click the down arrow and choose “Homepage Template”
- Now go to the text box and type a phrase that describes your website and hopefully makes visitors want to see it.
- Highlight the phrase.
- In the text box on the upper left you will see where it says “paragraph” and there is a down arrow for choosing styles.
- Click the down arrow and choose Header 1.
- To align the phrase in the center click the align center icon in the menu.
- Now type another subtitle phrase that relates to your website.
- Highlight that phrase.
- Click the down arrow on the header format box and choose Header 2.
- Click the Align Center icon to put the phrase in the center.
- Now type a short paragraph or two about the site.
- If you want to change the colors of the text highlight it and click the down arrow next to the capital A in the menu to choose a color.
Adding a Featured Image on the Homepage
- In WordPress Twenty Twelve and many other themes you can add a Featured Image that will show up on the homepage.
- On the right hand side of the page screen if you look toward the bottom or scroll down you will see where it says set a Featured Image.
- Click there and in the screen that opens up click to browse for an image from your computer and upload it.
- You can fill in a title for it.
- Also fill in the box that says “alt” because this describes what the image is for search engines and in case a visitor’s computer is not showing images.
- Click to add the featured image. If it is not the size you want then go back to it and in the size box choose a different size.
- You can use the Create and Collage tools in PIcasa to create a Featured Image the way you create a custom header. For directions to do this please see the chapter on headers. You will need to select a shape such as square or rectangle or set a custom width and height.
Adding Homepage Widgets
Widgets are simple places where you can add some useful text, an image, or other custom features.
The Homepage Template in WordPress Twenty Twelve comes with two widget areas that will show up at the bottom of the website.
- Go to Appearance and select Widgets in the menu that pops out.
- Click on the little box that says “Text Widget” and drag it over to the right and drop it where it says “First Homepage Widget.”
- Let your mouse hover so the widget opens. It is simple a small text box with room at the top for a title.
- Type a title about a subject related to your website. It might be something like “Our Service Aims to Please.” Below that type a short paragraph with useful information.
- For instance if you own a restaurant you might type “Only the freshest ingredients and herbs. Made with our family’s secret recipes.” You can be creative and write something to help make readers feel they want to know more.
- There are an infinite number of custom widgets. For this introduction to creating a basic site we will keep things simple. You can add multimedia, linked images, calendars, lists, profiles and so on.
- We are not going to study Plugins yet. For now the goal is to keep everything simple and get your new website up on the internet. Later the site can be fine tuned, expanded and customized with additional steps.
- To add more complex widgets we will need to add some plugins. If you are interested now in plugins you can look at the topics under the WordPress Video Tutorials list on this site under Plugins.
- Often people put a widget that has a link to another webpage. A more advanced level widget can have a sign-up for an email newsletter.
- Click the Save button at the bottom of the widget. It could have some more lines to inform people about your business.
- Now follow these steps and add another text widget to the bottom of the page. Later you can explore widgets and add linked images or something more complex if you wish.
- Click the blue Publish button to the right of the text box.
- Next click on your website name in the upper left of the screen to jump to the front of the website so you can look at the homepage.
- If you want to make changes click the back arrow in the upper left of the screen to return to the dashboard.
- Click Pages.
- Click Edit under the listing for the Home page.
- Go ahead and edit the page and then click Publish again.
Adding New Pages – Click on Pages and Add New in the Dashboard.
- Change the Default Template to the Full Page No Sidebar Template.
- Click the down arrow next to Templates on the right hand side of the screen and choose the Template for “Full Page Width No Sidebar.”
- Type a very short title. This is because it is going to show up on the horizontal navigation menu bar across the top of the site. There is a limited amount of room. If the title is just one word long that is best. For example, if you own a restaurant the title could be “Menus.”
- Put the mouse pointer in the upper left side of the screen.
- Click on the Add Media button.
- Click to browse to your computer for an image that will illustrate your product or services.
- A small box will open for you to add a title, description, caption and alt for the image. The title and alt are the most important.
- You can write a caption that will show up under the image when you add it to the page.
- In the drop down box for size select medium because if you select thumbnail it will cut off part of the image.
- Click to add it to the site.
- If you want to resize it click on it and drag the handles.
- Next type a heading in the text box about your products or services.
- Highlight the heading.
- Click the text heading format down arrow in the upper left of the menu.
- Click to choose Heading 1.
- Now type a subheading.
- Highlight the heading.
- Click the format heading box and choose Heading 2.
- Below that heading type the information you would like to add.
- Use the text color choices by clicking the down arrow next to the capital A.
Writing Content for the Homepage
Description of Services or Products Plus a Call to Action
- Write several very short paragraphs about the servces or products offered by your business. Avoid large, long blocks of uninterrupted text. People use skim reading to quickly browse the homepage and decide whether to click on to the next website. It is important to show them your site has useful content.
- Add a Call to Action. This is when you ask people to click on a link to go to another place on the website. You can have a link to another page. While there is also a menu across the top research has shown people are more apt to click to see more of the site if you have a Call to Action with directions to click.
- The Call to Action could be asking people to click on a link that takes them to another page in the site, a request to sign up for an email newsletter, or a request to click on a link to go to the contact page.
How to Add a Hyperlink to Text or to an Image for the Call to Action
- Go to the page that will linked to and copy the link from the address bar.
- Click on the text or image you would like to use for the link.
- Click on the icon in the text box menu that looks like a chain link.
- Type or paste the link in the box that opens and click Save.
- Creating a Second Page for Products or Services
Creating a Third Page as a FAQ’s Page
Use the same steps described above to upload another image that relates to your business.
- Be sure to click to change the Template from Default to “Full Page Width No Sidebar.”
- For the title of the page keep it short by using FAQ’s.
- Add a heading the same way as described above.
- Below that list questions and answers. You can type the question, highlight it, then choose a text color to make it stand out from the answers. Make each question and answer a different paragraph.
- For instance if you own a carpet cleaning business you could add a question “How long does it take the carpet to dry?” Then hit the return button to add a space and type “You can walk on it later that day.” Or you might have a question such as “How much does carpet cleaning cost?”
Creating a Fourth Page for the About Page
- Go to Page, Add New.
- Change the Template from Default to “Full Page Width No Sidebar.”
- For the title type “About.”
- Add an image using the same steps as above.
- Add a heading phrase and a subheading phrase. The heading might be something like “About A1 Carpet Cleaning.” The subtitle might be something like “Our customers come first.”
- Then type some text about the services, your qualifications, your experience and education or other information about the company or yourself if you are the owner.
Create the Fifth Page for “Contact”
- Go to Pages, Add New.
- Click to change the Template from Default to “Full Page Width No Sidebar.
- Upload an image using the same steps. Having an image in the top left makes the page more inviting.
- Use the header formats discussed above and add information such as your Name, Email address, Business Address, Business Phone, and Cell Phone.
Congratulations again. You are done with your business website. You can customize it or expand it.
There is one more step that can be very helpful.
Letting people know about your website both online and offline creates visitor traffic. There are some simple basic steps you can do such as adding the name of the site to Google’s local search listing. It is like being listed in your local phone book.
The next chapter is Getting Website Visitors – Start Your Site – Complete Plan and Steps. It will be uploaded shortly. Check back in awhile.
Click to go to Getting Website Visitors – Create a Website – Complete Plan and Steps – Chapter 8