Chief attraction: the unique Showcase page template.
Chief drawback: no sidebar on single posts and static pages (Duster), no sidebar on single posts (Twenty Eleven).
In addition to standard posts, Duster and Twenty Eleven support Aside, Link, Gallery, Status and Quote formats.
Aside, Link, Status – on main posts page: no title, no categories or tags under post.
Link – on main posts page: if post includes a link to another webpage, title of post will link to that webpage.
Status – on main posts page: author avatar added.
Gallery – on main posts page: one thumbnail, note on number of photos contained, post excerpt instead of full post, read-more link.
Quote: more prominent blockquotes (larger font size, column not narrowed).
Note: If there’s no Format module on your post editor screen, click Screen Options (top right) to activate it.
“Duster Ephemera” / “Twenty Eleven Ephemera”
A widget unique to this theme. Displays clickable titles of Aside, Link, Status and Quote posts.
Optional sections and “showcase” front
In most themes the blog front can be either your latest posts or a static page. In Duster and Twenty Eleven your front can be a complex page that includes both static and dynamic content. To create this complex showcase front, you go to Pages > Add New and create two pages, then go to Settings > Reading and set the one as your posts page and the other as your front page. The first one must be blank. For the second one you must have selected the showcase template in the Page Attributes module of the page editor.
Sections (from top to bottom):
|(Title section on, header image off,
featured post option 1)
|(Title section off, header image on,
featured post option 2)
1. Blog title, tagline and search box.
2. Header image.
3. Top navigation menu.
4. Static content.
5. “Featured” post(s).
6. Left: showcase sidebar. Right: latest posts.
7. Footer widget areas.
Sections 4-6 are particular to the showcase page; the rest apply to the whole blog.
Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 are optional (default: 1-3 on, 4 & 7 off).
Section 1 – the title area
In Appearance > Header you can
a) change the color of the blog title and tagline;
b) remove the whole section by selecting Display Text > No.
Section 2 – the header image
In Appearance > Header you can
c) remove the header image;
d) upload your own one (must be 1000×300 px for Duster, 1000×288 for Twenty Eleven);
e) restore the original one (Duster) or select one of the eight original ones (Twenty Eleven); you can also set the header image to random: any one of the original images (Twenty Eleven only) or any one of those you have uploaded.
If you set a featured image (see relevant Support doc) to a post or static page, that image will replace the default one when you view that post or static page.
Note well 1: This will only happen as long as you have chosen to display a header image in the first place (either the original of the theme or your own one).
Note well 2: Such featured images display at a width of 1000px, but (in contrast to the default header image) their height is unlimited. So make sure the width of the images you’ll use is 1000px or they’ll be pixellated, and make sure their height is short or they’ll occupy too much space.
Section 3 – the top menu
The default top menu includes a Home link plus links to all your static pages (with dropdowns to child pages, if you have created any). It can be replaced by a custom menu (see Support doc on menus). It can even be removed, if you create and set a blank custom menu.
Section 4 – the static content of the showcase page
Whatever content you add to the static page you set as your showcase front will show up as section 4.
Section 5 – the featured post(s) of the showcase page
This section is designed as a showcase for special posts. You set those posts as stickies (post editor > Publish module > Visibility), and you set a featured image to them.
Option 1: featured image 500px wide or less. Result: clickable post title, auto or custom excerpt, read-more link, right-aligned image with a grey tab along its right side.
Option 2: featured image 1000px wide, and “Large” option in Settings>Media set to the same width. Result: clickable post title, clickable full-width image as a background to the title.
Note: As explained above (Section 2), the featured image of the featured post will also become the header image when you click to view the complete featured post alone. If you don’t like that, then you must either choose to display no header image in general, or choose to set no featured image to your featured post. In the second case you can still have an image almost as in Option 1: insert a right-aligned image the normal way, switch the editor to HTML, copy the image code, paste it into the Excerpt module of the post editor, and add the beginning of the post text or a custom description.
Also note that in Duster you must only set one post at a time as a featured post; if you set two or more posts as stickies, the most recent one will show up as your featured post, and the other(s) won’t show up anywhere on the showcase front. In Twenty Eleven, multiple stickies will give you a series of round buttons (top right corner) that allow for alternating view.
Section 6 – the latest posts and the showcase sidebar
The right area of this section displays your latest posts. The number of posts to display is set in Settings > Reading > “Blog pages display at most”. The latest post is shown in full (unless you use the read-more tag), the rest as clickable titles plus comment tabs only.
In the left area (showcase sidebar) you can add whatever widgets you like; if you publish Aside, Link, Status or Quote format posts, you must include the Ephemera widget, because the right area displays the latest Standard and Gallery posts only. Think of what widgets you’ll need to add in the “main” (right-side) sidebar too, as it replaces the showcase sidebar on all the regular dynamic pages (main posts page, category and other archive pages).
“Pull” images and blockquotes
Thumbnails or very prominent blockquotes pulled outside the content area when you view a single post or a static page. Set by modifying the code in the HTML editor. [*]
The HTML of left-aligned images includes this: alignleft
Change to: pull alignleft
|(if inserted image is up to 110px wide)||(if inserted image is wider than 110px) *|
Right-aligned images accordingly.
* If the text is too close to the image, as in the screenshot above, you can add top and/or bottom margins; change this:
<img [etc etc]
to this (replacing NN with the numbers you see fit):
<img style="margin-top:NNpx;margin-bottom:NNpx;" [etc etc]
Regular blockquote code:
<blockquote class="pull alignleft">TEXT HERE</blockquote>
<blockquote class="pull alignright">TEXT HERE</blockquote>
<blockquote class="pull">TEXT HERE</blockquote>
Other theme options (Twenty Eleven only)
• You can select a light or a dark color scheme, plus set the color of links (Appearance > Theme Options).
• You can select sidebar right, sidebar left, or no sidebar at all (Appearance > Theme Options). Note: selecting the no-sidebar layout will result in narrower theme, not wider main column.
• Any static page can display the sidebar (Page editor > Page Attributes module > Template pulldown).
Other details – demos
See relevant posts under my general theme surveys.
[*] For the record, these codes were added in the WP intro to the theme after we had to spell them out in the wp.com forum.