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How to create a homepage

Creating a homepage for your site has many benefits including:

Showing your best content first
By using the "Our Picks" blocks, you can display your best content first. This content sets the tone for the site and will encourage engagement across your site.

Display multiple areas of the suite
Each application has its own feed blocks that can be used to display content on the home page. If your members use Gallery heavily, then showcase those photos on the homepage. If you use Calendar a lot to schedule events, then show event feeds.
By displaying feeds to content is a great way to showcase all areas of your site on a single page.

Reduce confusion
For those of us that grew up with forums are used to viewing a list of categories and forums. We find it easy to scan the list of forums and dip into the ones that interest us.
For those that are not so familiar, a homepage displaying easily accessible content reduces the confusion and invites true content discovery.

 

Basic Homepage

While the pages application can be as complex as you would like to make it, creation of a basic homepage can be quite simple to do, even if you are a beginner in using the platform.

The following video shows how to create a basic application using the block manager

Whilst creating your home page, and re-organising you site, you may also find the following guides helpful in obtaining more information about some of the items discussed in this video.

Databases

There may be times where you wish to add your own database driven content to your homepage. For example you may want to add some articles in there, which are not driven by any other area of your site, such as forums. For this you can use the databases part of our pages application.

The following 2 guides discuss databases and how to create them within your ACP

Databases are added, and connected to only one page. In this example we would be using your home page. Note, this is not to be confused with being able to add feeds from a database, which you can do in various places around the site.

You would add a database to your site once created, using the block manager. Once added, you can select the database you have created, as shown below

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Database Selection

By default this would show the categories of your database, as you can see in the background of the above image.

For our purposes, we only have one category named articles, and want these to show up on the page itself, rather than showing the category name. In order to do this, you would need to edit the database you have created, and change its 'Database index' setting so 'Show as Articles'. This would the give an article layout to your database.

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Database in article layout

More advanced options

For our more advanced users, pages can be created in the 'Manual HTML' style editor, which you would select instead of using the 'Page Builder' option, when creating a page.

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Manual HTML

One important option here for advanced users, is the 'Use suite HTML wrapper' option. If this is selected, you would be creating HTML within the suite wrapper. So you would already have the standard site header, footer, CSS, includes etc. This can be helpful if you want to add content within the page itself. If you do not choose this option, then you would be responsible for the whole page, including the doctype, head, body etc.

All html content for the HTML version of a page would be added to the content tab.

Edited by Marc Stridgen

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