Modifying the Aurora Home Page

With the new code base in the WebSphere Commerce Aurora starter store it is even easier to modify things like the Home page. If you have not seen the Aurora store front you can check out a three minute YouTube video I posted showing the slick new look here. Basically all of the store “templates” are now abstracted out into a single folder and are individual JSP pages. If you want to learn how to create a new template for a page “type” you should check out this great article by Drew Harvey. In Aurora, there are several different template types out of the box:

  • HomePage
  • HelpPage
  • PrivacyPolicyPage
  • ProductPage
  • ReturnPolicyPage
  • SiteMapPage
  • StaticKitPage
  • ContactUsPage
  • CorporateContactUsPage
  • CorporateInfoPage
  • TopCategoryPage
  • CategoryPage
  • ItemPage
  • ProductPage
  • BundlePage

You can have as many page templates for a specific category as you would like. This way you can have different extended sites or categories in a single site have their own look and feel/layout.

In the developer version the page templates are located in this directory:


What I want to do is instead of actually creating an alternative layout, I just want to modify the existing template. I want to get rid of the banner ad on the home page:

So what I am going to do is remove this particular eSpot. I could blank it out using a web activity but I want to make sure there is little to no space between the category navigation and search bar and the next advertisement and I also don’t want a business user from putting content there. So I will modify the file HomePage.jsp in the directory above and remove the following block of code:

<!-- Start Double E-Spot Container -->
<!-- End Double E-Spot Container --->

This will then have a home page look and feel like so:

6 thoughts on “Modifying the Aurora Home Page

  1. Hi Bob, great post!

    You are right when you say that is easy create and change page layout for the Aurora Store. And it’s not limited to only ContentRecomendation Spots. You can also add or remove CategoryRecomendation and CatalogRecomendation spots.

    The spot variables also turn this activity more customizable like:

    Background, ESpot Name, adWidth,adHeight scroll and others.

    It’s true that in FEP 5 is still not possible to create a new page layout directly by the Management Center, but for sure, it’s easy to create a new page Layout just copying and pasting spots, even if you are not a developer.

    And the activities you can apply to these spots in the Management Center.. Well, that’s story for a new post =)

    Best Regards,
    Sergio Bazilio

  2. Hi Bob, thanks for sharing this useful article. It’s great to see these features. To confirm, can auto complete be also applied to products? I see in the video that landing pages are mentioned to be indexed, I assume those are PDPs, so I’m asking just to confirm.


  3. Yes definitely, you can configure WebSphere Commerce search to show products, categories, static pages, PDF’s, videos., etc. You can essentially index “anything” in your system and have it show in the type ahead.

  4. Hi! Bob, Thanks a lot for this post.

    I have published Aurora store but I am not able to view the store. I always get 404 error. And in feature pack 5, I am not able to find Madisons store for publish. I have tried creating few different stores but no success. I am following same steps for publishing Aurora store as I do for Madisons store.

    Please help.

    Thanks and regards,

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.