I essentially want to create several different front-page.php templates with different loops and layouts and then present an option in the admin panel to select one template on one day and a different template on another day.
This can be done, I suppose, by fooling Wordpress and selecting a static page to appear as the front page and selecting a custom page template from the page edit screen which really is not a "static" page, but instead a page with a full loop – one of the several custom page templates that would have been my front-page.php options.
Another way would be to have all my loops and custom layouts enclosed in if statements in the one front-page.php and presenting options that engage one of the if statements each time. (This seems reasonable – though a bit clumsy to me – but I have a feeling it's not so great and that there are problems, like load times increasing.)
Are there any options I'm missing? Or perhaps plugins which do this for me? I must admit I'm surprised that I haven't been able to find a plugin which allows you to select from a list of templates to display as the front-page.php/index.php page without having to resort to the static page hack – variations of loops and homepage layouts must be a common request.