How to Build the Perfect, Conversion Focused Homepage

Check your analytics and you'll likely see that your homepage is the highest-traffic page on your site (or among the highest traffic pages). The question is: does this page do your business and brand justice? Does it do the best possible job of serving all those visitors that come to it?

Building that perfect homepage layout is a tall order, so in today's post, we're going to make it as easy as possible for you.​

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The page templates shown in the video (and an additional one that wasn't shown) are all available right now, as part of our Thrive Landing Pages plugin.

I'd love to get some feedback from you: what do you think of this guide to creating an effective homepage? What are some of your favorite homepage designs from around the web?

Leave a comment below and let me know!​

Shane

P.S.: if you're interested in taking a deep dive into the dos and don'ts of homepage design, check out this post on the topic.

Author: Shane Melaugh

Shane Melaugh is a co-founder and the CEO of Thrive Themes. When he isn't plotting new ways to create awesome WordPress themes & plugins, he likes to geek out about camera equipment and medieval swords. He also writes about startups and marketing here.

  • ethan s says:

    I noticed these templates in TCB a few days ago and was happy to see them added as I never hear a “landing page” being talked about as a home page.

    I’m curious as to why a text element was used for the navigation instead of the “custom menu” widget. Perhaps with only 2 links, (essentially a choice between opt-in or move on to the next page) you didn’t think it necessary to do so.

    Minor detail.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Ethan,

      With the text, it’s easier to have one of the menu items trigger a lightbox and with a simple, minimal menu like this, it’s also easier to set up, as it doesn’t require that you create a menu in a separate interface first.

  • Nicolas P says:

    what about membership site pages ? or e commerce sites ?

    • Leon P says:

      I am curious can i use last hybrid landingpage as a ecommerce homepage?

      • Shane Melaugh says:

        You can use the post grid element to display lists of products, which makes it suitable for ecommerce.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Those would be different types of pages with a different focus. Something that perhaps we can take on at some point in the future.

  • Joe Heiser says:

    You can also do a full screen popover that loads a page like you showed here to put over your normal home page. I guess it is all a marketing choice. Love these themes!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      You can create something similar to this using a screen-filler lightbox. However, I’d recommend keeping that more minimal and really focusing on the opt-in only, if you create an opt-in gate like that.

  • Marjolein M says:

    Hi Shane, thanks for the video. I have a question: if there is not a lot of text on a homepage, will it harm ranking? Because I had only a video and optin and some testimonials (videos) without actually much text, but now I changed that and put a long post beneath the video because I was thinking that is perhaps the reason that my homepage does not rank higher than it is now. It sticks on #5 since a year now. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Marjolein,

      I wouldn’t worry about SEO, for your homepage. Google will recognize this as the homepage of your site, no matter the content on it. And usually, if you’re going for rankings for specific keywords, that’s done via extensive content pages and precise targeting. A page like that generally doesn’t belong on the homepage anyway.

  • Johnn says:

    I’ve got a Lead Pages home page right now and will switch to a Thrive Themes template asap. To do that, do I create a new page in WP admin and then change my admin settings to make the new page the home page?

    • Tony b says:

      That’s exactly what you do Johnn :o)

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Yep, that’s exactly it.

  • Jesse G says:

    They’re excellent for segmenting out offers.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Yes, indeed. While we didn’t create a template like that, you can also display multiple offers on your homepage and let your visitors self-segment into interest groups.

  • Hi Shane

    Very good video, I’m about to launch a new website tomorrow and those tips are very welcome. I’m using all Thrive products and I hope I’m doing a good job following your guidelines. I’m excited to see the results sometime after the launch and do the necessary adjustments.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for your comment, Claudemir. I hope our tools and advice are useful to you, as you build your site.

  • Byron says:

    Shane, you guys keep raising the bar. Awesome job!!!! I love using ThriveLeads and ThriveLanding pages. The personal branding page is going to be very useful page for me because I teach coaches and solo consultant a tech for building authority using something like this I designed using one of your other landing page templates. Keep up the great work.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you very much, Byron! I’m glad to hear that the templates are useful for you.

  • Matt H says:

    Shane – how the heck did you make the link in the navigation a 2 step-light box link? The short code “URL” can’t be used as a custom link menu.

    Thanks!

    • Matt H says:

      NVM, found this – https://wordpress.org/plugins/shortcode-in-menus/ Works great!

      • Shane Melaugh says:

        Our solution is actually simpler: the navigation is a text element. But this plugin is a good find, for doing the same with a WordPress menu. Good stuff! :)

      • Trish Jones says:

        Could you share how to do this Shane or point us in the right direction. Have been trying to implement this for weeks. Thanks!

      • Louise G says:

        Me too ! It’d be great to have a few pointers.

    • Tony b says:

      That’s why a “text link” was used in the 2 link ( free report – blog) menu setup and not a custom menu :o)

  • John H says:

    Awesome as always Shane. Is it possible to customize the opt-in box to have 3 or 4 steps instead of just 2? Could I use a lightbox with a contact form instead of the opt-in box that pops up?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi John,

      Yes, absolutely. You can have any content you want, showing in a lightbox. :)

  • Brad H says:

    Great video. Not sure what I’m missing here, but I don’t see any of these 4 options in my landing page choices. Any help? I’ve looked through them several times.

    • Brad H says:

      I figured it out. My bad.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Brad,

      Please make sure you update the plugin to the latest version. If that doesn’t work for you, please post in our support forum to get help quickly.

  • Kevin E says:

    These are fucking badass, nice job Shane!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you, Kevin!

  • Emil M says:

    Shane, thanks for another excellent new feature! Keep up the good work, you’re on the road to become the best WordPress toolset (themes and plugins) on the market. Well done and thank you!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you very much, Emil! We aim for nothing less.

  • Tony b says:

    Quality addition

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you, Tony!

  • Darryl Bray says:

    Hi Shane,

    Any chance of you developing a page template for professional service businesses such as law firms, engineering firms, etc.? There are literally hundreds of thousands of these types of businesses that could benefit from this type of page template. Or better yet why don’t you develop and release a new thrive themes template specifically for professional service providers.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Thank you for your comment, Darryl! We have plans for providing templates and themes for local businesses.

      • Gary W says:

        This would be amazing, and something that I am very much looking forward to seeing! Keep on being awesome!

      • Will says:

        Another vote for local business themes/templates asap!

      • Anita van Wyk says:

        Hi, Any idea when this one might be available? I’m really looking forward to it :)

      • Tim says:

        I have been using Thrive Themes and plugins for months and, without a doubt they are the very best in the industry. Adding a local business focused theme that I can build for plumbers, electricians, coffee shops, bakeries, etc. would be major advantage. Count me in on the vote!

        Thanks, Shane!

  • Cloud says:

    this may seems a bit unusual.
    i am going to have, over time, a very content rich site, many written, audio, video posts, and that content will fall into various subject specific categories.
    i am wondering if, on the grid post layout in the 3rd template, i could use the post boxes as a entry point into the various categories. essentially they would act in a similar way as menus. the benefit being that i could have some written text introducing/summarizing what they could expect in the category that they would link to.
    i have never seen anything like that, and while i am not at all tech-savvy, i sense that it could be doable, and beneficial in this sense of enticing a new visitor stay, enticing further exploring of the site , decreasing bounce)
    a) can this be done ?
    and, if so
    b) can you imagine any advantage, or disadvantage,
    from an SEO perspective ?

    Thanx

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Yes, you can absolutely do that. To do so, just add several content grids and configure each one to show posts of a particular category. This way, you can have multiple rows of posts, each showing the latest (or most popular) posts in a different category.

      In terms of SEO, I don’t know if this makes a difference either way.

  • Helmut Blum says:

    Thanks Shane, i wanted to know, how i can make the existing templates to a “Full width Layout” (without a border left and right). Is this possible?

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      The author focused homepage and the second hybrid homepage are full width layouts, so the easiest thing to do would be to modify one of those templates to your needs.

  • robert c says:

    Thanks Shane, This is great stuff. I have one question. I’m building the op-in page where i will offer my free ebook.

    I just can’t figure out how to edit the pop-up that comes up when you click “Free Report” at the top of the page. Can you help me with this?

    Thanks,
    Robert

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Robert,

      When looking at the page with the editor open, just click on that link and go to the “Event Manager” in the options. There, you can find the link to edit the lightbox content.

      If you have further issues with this, please post in the support forum to get help.

      • robert c says:

        Thanks Shane,

        I figured it out thanks to your instructions.

        Robert

  • Ansh says:

    But Shane, I guess these conversions are mostly possible for blogs only. What about other sites?

  • Teresa K says:

    Help – I’ve got my Focused-Home Page completed but I have had my posts as my home page. How do I connect my posts when I make my home page a static page. i.e. put my posts as a blog to connect to my home page??? without losing any thing?

  • Karsten K says:

    cool video….great work, thank you!

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Glad you liked it, Karsten!

  • Douglas G says:

    How to add a third ‘link’ the the ‘text element’ menu?
    Having difficulty adding it.
    Thanks.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hi Douglas,

      You can just click on the menu area in the editor and start typing to add new items, remove existing ones or rename them.

  • Joan B says:

    I love these new templates and the simplicity but not sure how I will integrate them with my current site as they look totally different, (gradually re-doing pages) Do you have a suggestion for a very simple site layout for a coach using Content builder? I’m beginning to think mine is too complicated.

    • Shane Melaugh says:

      Hello Joan,

      I think FocusBlog could be quite good for that.

      As for the design of the homepages, you can make them match your brand by adding your own logo, changing the colors and maybe changing the fonts to match the ones you use on your site. Even if the design isn’t 100% the same, if you make those change, it will look quite cohesive with the rest of your site.

  • Louise G says:

    Hi shane – how about a set of templates for coaching services? That would be great! Thank you!

  • Feber P says:

    I love when my visitor click on the Free Report menu. Instead go to the next page, it shows a new pop up (lightbox).
    My question is how to setup that feature ? I tried to use this template. I don’t understand how to show my lightbox when visitor click on that free report.
    Thanks for your help.

  • Alison says:

    Followed Shane for years & Thrive Theme customer since the beginning – part of the reason our family business is doing so well is because our online marketing stands out from the competitors.
    Another vote for small local business & ecommerce.

  • Elizabeth R says:

    I am interested in three of the home pages templates for my online blogging site. I am working on building my blogging site by sharing information for a new beginner that are interested in learning how, to begin with, the blogging process. I have a question about all of the homepages. Is it possible to use each of the homepages?

    At this time I have some affiliate program to offer others that are interested in learning how to setup a blog and provide some Internet marketing programs that I am using at this time.

    I had a different company working on my blog, and I was not happy about how the blog turned out. Not a techie but improving by learning how to work with the theme your company has to offer. I also have products to offer bloggers.
    I am having a problem with the email process in the Thrive Themes.

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