How to Change Your Homepage in WordPress to a Totally Custom Design

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If you’re new to WordPress, customizing the homepage can be confusing.

By default, WordPress lists your latest posts on the homepage, but it doesn’t add a page into the “Pages” menu.

The solution is to publish two new pages, one for your homepage and one for your blog posts. Then you can assign them via the Reading settings menu.

Let’s look at how to do that now.

Publish the new pages

You can follow the steps below or learn how to edit the front page by watching this video tutorial:

Subscribe to Compete Themes on Youtube

The first step to display a custom page on your homepage is to publish a new page.

Login to your WordPress dashboard, and add a new page from the Pages menu. You can name it “Homepage.”

Add Homepage

Next, create another new page and name it “Blog.”

Add Blog Page

The next step is to assign the pages from the Reading Settings menu.

Assign the pages

Now that you have both pages published, visit the Reading Settings menu and switch the first option over to “A static page.”

Set Static Page

This allows your site to display a regular page on the homepage instead of a list of posts.

Next, assign the two pages you created to the matching locations, and click the Save Changes button below.

Pages Assigned

You now have a custom page displaying on the homepage and a separate page displaying your posts.

How to customize the homepage

Now that you have a plain page displaying on the homepage, you can add whatever content you want using the WordPress editor.

Beyond simple text and images, the editor can create complex layouts with buttons, galleries, multiple columns, and more. You can follow this detailed tutorial if you want to learn the ins-and-outs of the editor:

How to Use the WordPress Block Editor: The Essential Guide to Gutenberg

Wordpress Gutenberg Editor tutorial

If you want even more creative freedom, you might prefer using a page builder plugin instead.

Elementor is the most intuitive page builder available and will let you create an entirely custom design for your homepage.

How to Use the Elementor Page Builder Plugin

Elementor Tutorial

Between the WordPress editor and Elementor, you can create any design you want for your homepage.

How to use the blog page

Before wrapping things up, I want to clarify a few points about the “Blog” page.

Now that the “Blog” page has been designated as the “posts page” in the Reading Settings menu, it will only list your latest posts. Any content you add into the editor of that page will not show up on your site.

You’ll want to add this page into your menu so that visitors can find it, and that’s easily done with a custom menu. This video tutorial will show you how to create a custom menu and add any page to it:

Homepage updated

Once you know where to look, changing your homepage from posts to a static page is easy.

Then the key is to use the advanced features in the Gutenberg editor or install a page builder to create a more interesting homepage design.

I hope this article helped you change your WordPress site’s homepage, and please consider sharing this post with someone else by using the buttons below.

Thanks for reading!

Ben Sibley
Ben Sibley
This article was written by Ben Sibley. He is a WordPress theme designer & developer, and founder of Compete Themes.