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Twenty Eleven theme - are these features possible?

  1. eatingwithderek
    Member

    I just switched over to the Twenty Eleven theme and am loving it so far. I have a food blog and pictures of food is very prevalent to my site. However, there are a few presentational tweaks I want to make but am not sure if it is available for wordpress.com free theme templates and without the paid custom design.

    1) I am using the showcase template as my home page. At any given time, I will have multiple featured posts. Is it possible for the featured posts to automatically cycle through by itself on the home page? Or does a visitor have to manually click on the circles at the top right in order to navigate through the different featured posts that are presented? If possible, I would like it to automatically cycle through.

    2) Right now all my sticky featured posts have full size featured images. As such, on the home page showcase template, the featured post section shows a full picture (header size) and the title of that blog post. Is it possible to add a short description underneath the title of the blog post that also shows up in the featured post section, but also keep this full-sized featured image? I know that if I make the featured image smaller I can have part of the blog post show up to the left of the featured image, but I would like to keep the full image as well.

    3) Currently on my showcase template home page, I show 5 recent posts below the featured post area. The theme is designed so that the first recent post shows in full, and then the next 4 are just titles of blog posts. Is it possible to add a brief description or even the beginning of the blog post that will show up underneath these 4 titles? In addition, I would also like to add a thumbnail picture to the left of the title/description if possible.

    Thanks in advance for any help that can be provided. I know these features are probably a long shot without paying for it.

    The blog I need help with is eatingwithderek.wordpress.com.

  2. Though you have no blog linked to your username and have not posted an active link to the blog in question I am responding in the free hosted WordPress.com version of the theme context. This theme is also available for those with WordPress.ORG installs but they run on different software and the theme may be coded differently. Assuming you are referring to the WordPress.com version then have you read this helpful guide to the theme? The workings of Duster / Twenty Eleven
    http://wpbtips.wordpress.com/2011/05/04/workings-of-duster/

    Here's the main link to all other threads on the theme as well > http://en.forums.wordpress.com/tags/twenty-eleven

  3. eatingwithderek
    Member

    Thank you for the prompt response. My apologies, my blog link is below:
    http://eatingwithderek.wordpress.com

    I have looked through the guide link you provided and it doesn't seem to answer the questions I had. Maybe the lack of guidance means its not possible.

  4. 1) Latest post will always reflect the latest post on the blog. If you make a new post, that is the one that will show up there.

    Featured posts are completely manual (featured post only show on the showcase page if you set them to "sticky" and there is no way to make the process automatic here at wordpress.COM. There is also no way to set up a "next" button or page link either to see additional posts.

    When using the showcase template on the main page, you are virtually forced to also create and set a "blog" page otherwise the only way to navigate posts is to click on one of them and then use the next and previous links at the top of each single post page.

    2 & 3) No there is not a way to add an excerpt or comment in either case.

    This is just my opinion, but I have not yet been able to sell myself on the twenty eleven theme. There just isn't enough flexibility and too much "hands on" required for my taste. It has certainly gone in an interesting direction, but for my money not far enough to make it useful to me. There needs to be a lot more options as far as settings go in my opinion.

  5. eatingwithderek
    Member

    Thanks for your response thesacredpath. I see what you mean in terms of not having enough flexibility now. Not being able to do 2 & 3 I can deal with, but what you pointed out for 1 is more of a headache.

    Not being able to set up a "next" button or page link to see additional posts is definitely a weird problem the developers didn't really think through. There are only 5 recent posts on the showcase template and I have 10 links in my sidebar widget for recent posts. Other than that, my readers won't be able to go to older posts unless they dig through the archive or search for specific content.

    And you mean the only way I can get around this problem is to set up a separate page just as the main blog page that people can navigate to right? That seems to defeat the whole purpose of making the showcase template my main home page.

    I like the layout a lot, but these are annoying problems to have.

  6. Perhaps looking at the demo site will also help make the Twenty Eleven features a little clearer http://twentyelevendemo.wordpress.com/showcase/

    Otherwise, you might want to look at buying one of the premium themes. A couple of them seem to answer at least part of your needs. If it doesn't work out, you can ask for a refund before the end of the 30 day refund limit. http://theme.wordpress.com/themes/sort/premium/

    Premium themes come with their own special support forum where you can get assistance from the theme author.

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