Last update: March 2018
Twenty Eleven is the oldest graphic theme on Hypotheses. As a result, it lags somewhat behind in terms of ergonomics and available features. It is likely that in the relatively near future, WordPress development teams will stop maintaining this aging theme in favor of more recent and efficient graphic themes. We will then be forced to remove this theme from the Hypotheses platform and users who have chosen it will have to choose a new look for their blog. Therefore, a good option to take the lead might be to choose another theme now.
Hypotheses offers its users access to the graphic themes developed by WordPress teams, in priority, to ensure the platform’s long-term durability, homogeneity and flexibility. Find all the graphic themes proposed in the “Appearance” category of the House of blogs.
By default, Twenty Eleven is a graphic theme that traditionally follows the “blog” presentation: the main column of the home page displays the entire posts anterchronologically. But one of the biases of the theme is to only show the widget column on the home page. This column is therefore not visible when you are on the page of an article, to give as much space as possible to your text.
But, as you will see at the end of this post, the theme also offers a “Showcase” template, which gives blogs a more original look.
Initial configuration steps
It only takes a few minutes to customize your blog so it looks unique. Simply add a banner, your choice of colours, and widgets in the right and left sidebars.
The header of your blog
To differentiate your blog, the first thing to do is to change the header image (of course, make sure you have the necessary rights to use this image). To do so, go to the Appearance menu > Customize > Header image. Choose an image by clicking on “Add a new image”. You then have the choice between uploading a new image file from your computer or choosing an image already present in the media library of your blog. The Twenty Eleven graphic theme recommends the choice of a 1000 by 288 pixel header image. Think about optimization: prefer .jpg format and a resolution of 72 DPI for a lighter image.
If you have integrated the title and subtitle of your blog into the header image, you may not want to display the same title and subtitle as text on the blog. Under no circumstances should this information be deleted from Settings > General or Appearance > Customize > Site Identity. This removes the “Title” and “Subtitle” metadata from your blog and greatly hinders its proper referencing and indexing in search engines and databases. In Appearance > Customize > Site Identity, you can uncheck “Show site title and description”, which hides this data without deleting it.
A bit of color
If you want to stand out a little more, change the colors by going to the Appearance menu > Customize > Colors.
You can select two color sets: either black on white background or white on black background. It’s quite radical, but it seems that white on a black background rests the eyes… The choice is yours.
In this menu, you can also determine the color of the display of links in your menus and texts, the background color, and the color of the header text. Just click on “Select a color” and a fairly intuitive selector allows you to choose the right color.
A different header image for each article
Each post can be accompanied by its own banner. To do this, click to edit your article and look for the “Set featured image” panel. If you choose a featured image, you can make it a banner that will appear only said article. This image must be 1000 by 288 pixels to work in an optimally (recommendation: .jpg format and 72 DPI resolution).
Here is one last feature of the Twenty Eleven theme: the Showcase template for the homepage. It is a little more complicated to configure, but the result is a slightly more original homepage.
In Showcase mode, the homepage is separated into four new zones:
- a presentation page (shown in orange in the image below);
- a Showcase zone (shown in blue below);
- a widget column (shown in green below);
- a classic articles column (shown in purple below).
Three criteria must be met to activate Showcase on your blog.
First of all, you need to create a presentation page and choose “Showcase template” in the Page Attributes (see the red box in the screenshot below).
Once you have created and published this page, go to the menu Settings > Reading. In the “Front page displays” section, select “A static page” and then choose the page you have just created (in this example, “Presentation”).
You’ve almost finished configuring Showcase. All that remains is to choose the posts that will be displayed in the Showcase zone. To add a post to the Showcase zone, go to the menu Posts > All Posts, then choose the Quick Edit option for the post. Tick “Make this post sticky” and update. You can also do this on the edit page of each post: in the Publish panel, choose Visibility and click “Stick this post to the front page”, then click OK. Don’t forget to update the post. When you go back to your homepage and refresh it you will find an attractive homepage in Showcase mode.
To round up, here is a little tip for those of you who wish to display images in the Showcase zone on the homepage. Go to the edit page of a sticky post and choose a featured image with a width of at least 1000 pixels. This image will automatically be displayed in the Showcase zone.
To learn more about this theme and its features, see Twenty Eleven’s presentation on the Codex WordPress.
You now have all the necessary information to get started with Twenty Eleven. For any questions regarding this topic, if you do not find the answer in this post, do not hesitate to contact the community of bloggers (hypocommunity[at]groups.openedition.org), who will certainly be able to help you in the handling and use of your notebook. If you are not subscribed to the list, send us a request to hypotheses[at]openedition.org.
This post is a translation of this one, by Helen Tomlinson.