Before you start, especially if you are migrating existing content, it's best to organize your information and find an intuitive page order and hierarchy. rThere are many methods to develop or find your site's architecture, you can use software or just pursue an analog card sort. Once you understand your information architecture, you can start building your homepage using wireframes.
Once you have a notion of the overall architecture of your site, you are ready to layout what you want your homepage to look like through wireframing. This can be performed with sketches or software.