There is no need to buy a landingpage theme. You can easily build one for free with the new default WordPress theme 2012 (Twenty Twelve)!
First install WordPress
Of course first you need to install WP on your webserver or webspace. If you have a decent hoster this can easily be done by one click through your user-interface. If that is not the case you’ll find lots of howtos on the web how to install WordPress. Don’t be afraid it is really easy!
After you made sure that your WordPress is successfully installed log in to the backend. Switch to the menu point Appearance.
Second remove clutter
With the landing page you basically want a user to do a specific action. That could be anything from a newsletter sign-up, filling out a contact form, call a phone number, register for a service to to doing a sale. To get to that point there has to be only one (main) action the user can actually do on the website. You have to lead the user to the action and there should be no distractions that move your user away from fulfilling the actions. For building our landing page with the WordPress theme Twenty Twelve this means that you want to get rid of navigations (main, sidebar, footer), additional blocks (widgets) and misleading site elements.
Helpful page templates
Most of the stuff is actually removed with just one setting! The new theme brings by default two templates which are suitable for a landing page design. One is called Front Page Template and the other is called Full-Width Page Template, No sidebar. You can choose either one, they will both work.
Remove main menu
Ok, I have to admit on this part I do a trick. Instead of really removing the menu we use an empty custom menu. To do that you first have to create a custom menu. In Appearance you’ll find the menu entry “Menus” which gives you all the options you need! Just create a new menu with a random name. Do not add any menu points to that menu. Choose the menu in Theme Locations as Primary menu. That’s it! You just made the menu disappear.
Change footer link in Twenty Twelve theme
In my lovely country (I live in Germany) there are some legal obligations to show an imprint on every commercial website which has to be reachable from every page on the website. There already is a link which fits this description and is a bit annoying for our purpose anyway: the WordPress default footer link. Luckily WordPress is very customizable and we can take over this hyperlink. Here is how you change the footer link in the Twenty Twelve theme. Other themes are very similar. You just have to look for other strings.
In Appearance you will find the on-board Editor. If your webserver settings are correct you can easily edit some of the WordPress sourcecode directly online. Look for the following string:
<?php do_action( 'twentytwelve_credits' ); ?>
<a href="<?php echo esc_url( __( 'http://wordpress.org/', 'twentytwelve' ) ); ?>" title="<?php esc_attr_e( 'Semantic Personal Publishing Platform', 'twentytwelve' ); ?>"><?php printf( __( 'Proudly powered by %s', 'twentytwelve' ), 'WordPress' ); ?></a>
</div><!-- .site-info -->
It is HTML markup and some PHP code. Strip it to:
<a href="" title=""></a>
</div><!-- .site-info -->
And paste your link (URL) in between the apprentices after the href-tag and also set a title for the link by writing something in between
<a href=...> and
Now you should have a result similar to the following picture.
A few more steps with Twenty Eleven and Twenty Ten
So start building your landingpage by removing everything. This is how you do it with WordPress:
- In Appearance again switch to Widgets.
- Check all widget areas for widgets and remove them
Now you can concentrate on building the content for the page!
I hope you liked my howto. If you have any questions or suggestions please leave a comment. Share this tutorial with people that might find it helpful as well and don’t forget to subscribe to our feed for future tips and tricks.2 Kom.