If you’re just getting started, take a look at the Absolute Beginners Guide to Joomla!. There are a great many conceptual ideas there that you need to understand.
There are five parts to setting up your frontpage.
- Choose a desirable template for your site. Install it, and get it basically working. The template determines the column layout for your site.
- Choose and configure your modules, so your frontpage displays the right menus, etc. Modules are those things like menus, login forms, banner-ad positions, “Breaking News” boxes, etc., that show up on the pages of your site.