Default Front Page template in WordPress

Banner for article about default front page template in WordPress

WordPress, by default, displays recent posts on the front page.

However, as website administrators often prefer a static landing page, WordPress offers to set a default front page template.

Default template

The front-page.php template is a specialized template located in the root of a WordPress theme folder.

When present, WordPress will use front-page.php as the default template for a front page (home page).

If it’s not available, WordPress will revert to other templates, determined by the set choice under: Settings > Reading > Front page displays.

What exactly is “Settings > Reading > Your homepage displays”?

This option in the WordPress dashboard determines the content displayed on the front page of a website.

To navigate to this setting:

  1. Log in to WordPress dashboard.
  2. On the left sidebar, hover over or click on the ‘Settings’ option. This will expand a submenu.
  3. Click on the ‘Reading’ option from this submenu.
  4. Once in the ‘Reading Settings’, you’ll find an option labeled ‘Your homepage displays’.

The ‘Your homepage displays’ option provides two choices:

  1. Your latest posts: Selecting this will show recent blog posts in chronological order on front page of a website.
  2. A static page: By choosing this, assign a specific page as a front page and, when needed, designate another page where blog posts will be displayed.

Adjust preference by selecting the appropriate radio button and then save changes.

Alternative approaches

Themes Harbor always strives to simplify the user experience. As such, its hybrid WordPress themes have never utilized the front-page.php template.

Instead, the themes come with a custom global template.

This is a predefined template that website administrators can choose when they want to set a custom front page under: Settings > Reading > Front page displays.

However, this approach is no longer needed for block themes because of patterns.

Block themes

For block themes, WordPress has transitioned to using front-page.html, located in the templates folder.

For example, the initial version of the ProWP block theme had one. However, because of potential confusion it might introduce, the theme is shifted to using a predefined pattern.

Template challenges

While the front-page template helps to set a front page in WordPress, this approach has its challenges:

  • Dual Configuration (block themes): The front page’s content is managed in the Site Editor, where users design and configure site-wide elements. Conversely, other pages like ‘Blog’, ‘About’, or ‘Portfolio’ are curated under ‘Pages’ in the WordPress dashboard.
  • Overriding the Index Page: The front-page template, when present, takes precedence over the general index page of a website. This can be confusing, giving an impression that the new theme has overridden original main page.

What are your thoughts and experiences with the default Front Page template in WordPress?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.