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Lesson 11 – Part 1 – Understanding the parts of a Genesis/Agency Home Page

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Good evening everybody. Welcome to Lesson 11 of How to Build a Professional Website Using the Genesis theme and WordPress. Tonight, we will be setting up the Agency Home Page using plugins and widgets. Before we actually start setting it up, I want to talk about the elements of the Agency Home Page.

Typical Genesis Page vs the Home Page

You may remember from a couple of lessons ago where I showed you a graphic of a typical Genesis theme page. The home page and the typical Genesis page differ in that section that we call the inner section. On a typical page, the inner section is the title, the content of the page and the sidebars. On the home page, it doesn’t have an inner area like that. The home page inner layout is completely different. Actually, the home page inner layout really has 3 parts to it.

Home Page Inner Layout

The first part is the welcome area or what is referred to as home welcome and that is this section right here, this area with that text. It doesn’t have have an absolute height so it can be as big as necessary or can be as small as necessary to fill up the space.

Next you have the home slider which obviously is this section right here and this is its own special space. Then you have this area right here. This bottom area is the home widget area which is divided up into 3 parts. The home left widget, home middle widget and home right widget and you can see that from the widgets dashboard. Let’s go to the site that we’re really working on.

As it sits right now, this is the home page and it hasn’t been configured yet so all it does is show the latest posts. If we go over to our widgets dashboard, the rest of that home page is made up of the home welcome, the home slider, the home left, home middle and home right. This is where the content ends up going for the home page.

WordPress Default Configuration for the Home Page

Now, I’ve said this before but it bears repeating. The way WordPress ordinarily works is you determine what’s going to happen on the home page in Reading Settings. This is a typical WordPress default configuration and in WordPress by default, the home page shows your blog posts.

If you want to have a static front page, what you would ordinarily do is come over here to your Reading Settings and address this question here, Front page displays, either your latest posts or displays a static page. If it displays a static page, you would pick the page that is going to display that and pick the page that is going to have the blog posts. If you hit save changes to that, now your home page would actually be this About page.

The home page and the about page are the same thing at this point so you take one of them off of the menu if that’s the way you wanted it. You can still continue to use the static front page in the typical WordPress way if that’s what you want to do however, you can’t do all those cool things with the slider, the welcome area and all those things on a typical static page.

What you do instead is just keep a backup of your latest posts and once it’s set back to your latest posts, the way in which you make your site customized with all those cool pieces is by simply sticking content in one of those widgets. For example, let’s come back over here to our widgets dashboard and throw a text widget into home left, “Hello World”, hit save and now the home page is completely different. It has lots of blog posts and it doesn’t have the primary sidebar.

Setting Up the Home Page

Right now the only thing that’s showing is the widget area because we didn’t put anything in our welcome area and we didn’t put anything in the slider area so only our widget area is showing right now but that’s how that system works.

I’ve noticed from the Genesis theme forums that trips people up a lot. They can’t figure out how to do their home page because they don’t realize that they have experience with WordPress so they expect to create a home page that is a static front page and they go to the Reading Settings and they can’t figure out what to do from there. I’m really saying that because it’s an important element to keep in mind when you’re setting up your home page.

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