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  4. Solving issues with the front page / widgetized homepage

In WordPress you can create a static front page instead of displaying your latest posts on the front page to create professional websites – instead of regular blogs. Most of our WordPress themes make use of the static front page in combination with a fully widgetized Homepage template which allows to create flexible layouts with widgets – simply via drag & drop. If you are having trouble creating a static front page or if you have created your front page but something is not working as expected, please see the following common issues and their solutions.

How to create a static front page in WordPress

Out of the box, WordPress will display your latest posts in chronological order, which usually probably is not what you want if you plan to create professional online magazines, news websites or business websites. To change this, you can create a static front page in WordPress which allows to use any custom page in WordPress as your front page. If you want to create nice magazine sites as shown in our theme demos, you need to create a static front page and make use of the widgetized Homepage template as stated in this tutorial: How to set a static front page in WordPress.

Do you need a static front page?

If you simply want to display a list of your latest posts on your front page, then there is no need to create a static front page. But if you want to configure your theme to make your site look like a professional online magazine, dynamic news portal or business website (see examples in our theme demos) with a flexible front page based on awesome custom widgets, then creating a static front page is essential. How to achieve this, is explained in the previous section.

How to create a front page based on widgets

In order to create a widgetized front page, you'll need to create a static front page properly first and ensure that you've selected the Homepage template for your static front page. For more detailed information, please have a look at this tutorial: How to set a Static Front Page in WordPress. After you've created your static front page and have assigned the Homepage template correctly, you can navigate to Appearance => Widgets in your WordPress dashboard and place widgets into the Home widget areas as stated in the theme documentation of your theme.

Widgets are not showing on front page / homepage

If the widgets are not appearing on your front page as expected, then it's very likely that you haven't set your static front page correctly or that you haven't placed widgets within the Home widget areas in your WordPress dashboard under Appearance => Widgets. It's very important that you properly select the Homepage template for your static front page and ensure to set the static front page in your WordPress dashboard under Settings => Reading. If you haven't taken care of these basic steps correctly, the widgets won't show on your front page until this has been done.

Images don't appear on the front page

Our WordPress themes make use of featured images to provide thumbnails for archives, custom widgets and usually also display a featured image within the post content (this can be disabled). If you see grey placeholders instead of images on your front page, then you haven't set featured images for your posts. For more information, please see: How to use featured images in WordPress.

As most of our WordPress themes are supposed to be used for professional online magazines or news websites, the themes make use of automatic excerpts that are being generated by WordPress. These short excerpts contain text and no images or other elements. That means the images within the content of your posts and pages, won't appear within these automatic excerpts.

Usually your theme will have a Sidebar widget area and widgets within this widget area will appear in the sidebar on all posts, pages and archives, unless you've selected a different page template for particular pages or make use of a plugin that is affecting this. If you've created a static front page in combination with the widgetized Homepage template, widgets placed in the Sidebar widget area won't appear on your front page anymore!

In that case you'll need to place widgets in the Home widget areas that are being used by the Homepage template which you've assigned to your static front page. If you're for example using our popular MH Magazine theme, you could make use of the Home 6 widget area to have a sidebar on your front page (depending on how you've placed the widgets on your front page). For more information about the available widget areas, please see the theme documentation of your theme.

Where to place widgets if the 2 sidebars layout is enabled?

If you're using our popular MH Magazine theme, you'll have an option where you can enable an additional sidebar to make use of two sidebars on your website. After you've enabled the second sidebar layout, you'll have an additional widget area Home 12 available for an additional sidebar on your static front page and the Sidebar 2 widget area which is for widgets on all other posts, pages and archives (not widgetized static front page).

When you've enabled the two sidebars layout, please always ensure to place widgets in the Home 12 and Sidebar 2 widget areas, otherwise you'll either have blank space within the sidebar area on your front page or within the sidebar area on other posts and pages because the sidebar will be missing widgets and there simply won't be shown anything within the particular sidebars.

Front page no longer widgetized after upgrading from lite to premium version

In case you've upgraded from a free lite theme to the premium version of your WordPress theme, you usually can install and configure the premium version of your theme as stated in the theme documentation of your theme. After installing new themes in WordPress, usually some basic settings need to be quickly re-arranged (e.g. custom menus, front page, etc.).

That means to restore your widgetized static front page after you've upgraded your WordPress theme to premium, you usually simply need to re-assign the widgetized Homepage template for your static front page. Please also see: How to set a static front page in WordPress.

You have not found a solution to your issue?

In case you have not found answers to your questions in this support article, please also take a look at our other support topics, as it is very likely that you will find your answer there. If you have purchased a WordPress theme by MH Themes and have a valid license to gain access to theme updates and support, then you may also send a support request for additional assistance.

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