I recently selected a Genesis Child Theme as the basis for a client’s new website (Going Green Pro Theme). But my design required a Home Page with widgets so that the client could easily maintain the content without compromising the look and feel. So my solution was to create a Home Page Template to add to the theme.

The steps to do so are below. To see the Home Page that we ended up with, go to the Sexton Mountain Meadows Planned Community Association’s Home Page and see the two columns of content below the main image and welcome message.

1. Register the two widget areas

Update the theme’s function.php file to add the following code:

[snippet id=”73″]

2. Create two files and upload to the Theme directory

Create two files (sidebar-homeleft.php and sidebar-homeright.php) and these will be uploaded to the directory with your theme files. The filenames are important as they are specifically tied to the “id” when registering the sidebars in step #1 above.

[snippet id=”74″]
[snippet id=”75″]

3. Create the Home Page template file and upload to the Theme directory

Create a new file named page_Home.php and upload it to the directory with your theme files. There is NO closing php tag included.
[snippet id=”76″]

Now you are ready to use your new Home Page

To user your new Home Page, create a new page, and select the Page Template as shown. The page content will be what appears at the top, and your widgets will follow whatever you have on your Page.

In settings under “Reading” you will need to assign your Front Page to the new Home Page


And of course it is up to you to populate the widgets. Below is our final screen shot.