I've done a lot of searching and I think I have a general idea of what I need to do, but need some direction. I'm not super-strong in PHP, though I can muck my way through, & would rather do this in a way that is preserved if/when we upgrade the theme.
Here's what I want: a dynamic front page with a custom center column. At the top would be the "Welcome," followed by category "boxes" with a single post or page excerpt in each box. I really like the way this page has been laid (the center column) but I've been Firebugging it for hours and still haven't figured out exactly how they got the layout.
So far, I've gathered that I have several options:
1. Use the "add New Widgets Area" - but how? Do I put the widgets side-by-side in the loop area? Do I create a four cell HTML table, and if so, how do I insert the widget code into each cell? The directions in the "new widget area" show for a single widget and a four-cell widget HTML code but not how to stick individual widgets in each section. (And on that note, does anyone have recommendations for a widget that will pull only 1 post/page at a time for that box?)
2. Modify the PHP per this thread - something I'd prefer to avoid with my rather flaccid PHP skills.
3. Create a four-cell HTML table and manually insert PHP code (see #2).
I've tried Page Blocks, but it didn't play with Ata (never showed).
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I will be using the logic plugin to make sure it appears only on the front page.