3 Reasons Why I Love Genesis and Eleven40 Theme

Just before the New Year I wrote an article where I mentioned I’d like to change the look of my blog.

I really like the clean and simple layout of the eleven40 theme by StudioPress.

But, I wanted to put a landing and portfolio page which this theme initially doesn’t have as an option.

Another thing I noticed that Simple URLs plugin didn’t work. I use it mostly for my affiliate links.

Although StudioPress has a great support and after trying everything this thing just didn’t work.

1. Keeping up with the updates

Since its release in January 2012, eleven40 has been one of the top-selling themes, originally created by Brian Gardner for his own blog.

What makes a great company is keeping up with the updates.

You know that WordPress is constantly improving and after releasing ver. 3.5, Genesis Framework was also updated to ver. 1.9.

Along with the updates, came the new version of Simple URLs plugin and everything was back to normal.

I find this extremely important because you don’t have to worry about things that have nothing to do with your business.

2. Genesis web designer is never been so easy

Have you seen my portfolio and landing pages?

If you think I hired a web designer – you’re so wrong.

I did it all by myself and I’ll tell you how you can do the same, and even more.

Early mentioned Brian Gardner, founder of StudioPress and now partner with Copyblogger Media, on his own blog writes code snippets for the Genesis-powered websites.

All you need to do is to follow the tutorial and basically nothing more than copy-paste is required.

You wouldn’t believe me but this can turn your desires into reality knowing how simple it is.

Of course, if you need any help with your site you can always file a ticket to StudioPress support team.

Do I see some hidden future web designers here? ;)

3. Eleven40 is still a modern theme

Recently I was cleaning my mail inbox and noticed that some of my blogger friends left some comments about my blog design.

Hi Dragan,

Wow, that looks so great! I really like the layout of your site… it’s so clean and modern. ~ Lisa Fox, writer for the college career blog DegreesThatPay.com

Hi Dragan,

I am sincerely impressed by your blog. It is clean, simple, nicely written, nice fonts, no “noise”. ~ Tanya McTavish, marketer and co-founder at Codex-Soft.com

Hi, just want to let you know that I absolutely love this theme. I was searching Studiopress for a theme and overlooked this one for a while. Found your site and went wow! ~ Rick Jantz, blogger at BabyBoomersLearnToBlog.com

Hi Dragan, I really like the Eleven40 Genesis child theme you are using. I love wide pages (maximal use of screen real estate) and also the zen-like white spaces when things are not so squished up. ~ Helena Lim, creator of NetWebbing.com

Actually this was the trigger for me to write this post.

The main purpose of DomainsFlow is delivering valuable content and informations without unnecessary “noisy” staff.

Of course, reader’s experience means a lot to me, so I definitely changed my mind about changing the look of my blog. I just like the way it is now, simple and clean.

Eleven40 is still a modern theme and with all those great tutorials from Brian, regularly updates and team support you can really take your WordPress site to places you’d never thought it could go.

Check out Genesis and all 44 Genesis-powered designs today.

If you have any questions or problems related to your StudioPress theme, just put it in the comments below.

And one more thing, what do you think about Genesis Framework?

Comments

    • says

      Great to see like-minded people when it comes to blog design ;).
      I see you prefer sidebar/content layout. Somehow I find sidebar/content/sidebar more suitable for my blog.
      Thanks Amal for stopping by.

  1. IELTS Singapore says

    I am almost going to get this theme for one of my IELTS sites. However, I don’t want to use a blog homepage, but more of a pages/corporate kind of look on the frontpage. I’m wondering if this is a good theme for this?

      • says

        I’ve used the Executive theme for a client before…super clean and professional looking.

        I know I just commented saying I was ready to make the switch to Eleven40 on my own website (internet marketing), but really what I want is something that looks simple, fun, and professional but not too corporate and “blah”. Any Genesis themes that come to mind?

        Thanks for your reviews on Genesis! Been loving learning the framework and playing around with it!
        David

        • says

          Hi David,

          I checked your site and since you also run a blog I would recommend the Metro theme.
          As far as I’m concerned, it’s one of the best looking themes yet simple and professional.

          If you’re having some other doubts don’t hesitate to ask.

          Thanks David, appreciate your comments.

          • says

            Dragan, thanks for the reply and the tip! The Metro theme looks pretty stylish and fun. Do I have to have featured stories or can I have featured pages? I’ve only used the executive theme so I’m still learning the nuances of the various child themes.

            Thanks again!
            David

  2. nick says

    Honestly I really loved the content management of domainsflow,I have used Eleven40 for one of my projects,could you give me an insight of how did you get the Secondary sidebar setup at the top right corner?How can we make it dropdown when a mouse is pointed? as shown on http://demo.studiopress.com/eleven40/
    I spent a lot of efforts searching for answer,but couldn’t find one.Any help would be highly appreciated.Keep the good work up! Thanks in advance :)

      • nick says

        Thanks for the quick link,but the problem is my colleague bought the theme and I’m playing around with it.Would it be possible to get a tutorial without a studiopress account(in this scenario)?Just the dropdown of sidebars.

        • says

          OK Nick try this.
          The menu on the demo is a custom Menu widget placed in the header right widget area.
          Go to Appearance -> Menus and create a new menu. Add your menu items. (Mine are Home, About, Blog…)
          Navigate to Appearance -> Widgets. Chose the Custom menu widget and drag it to Header Right. In the widget settings, choose the nav menu you created.

  3. Mike says

    Hi Dragan,

    I have a couple quick questions about the eleven40 theme:

    1) How easy is it to not just upload a new logo, but to position it within the header (without having to know a lot of code)? If I wanted it to be, say, bigger than your current logo, is that relatively easy to do? Is it easy to change the color of the black horizontal header, too?

    2) I noticed you have an opt in form after your posts, and that it’s a different opt in form that’s on the demo for the eleven40 theme. Therefore, does Studio Press offer you a variety of opt in forms that yo can use for this theme?

    3) And lastly, how easy or difficult would it be to add in an opt in form to my home page, sort of similar to the Balance theme by Studio Press?

    Thanks.
    Mike

    • says

      Hi Mike,

      Genesis is a very flexibile framework when it comes to modifying the existing themes. But certain knowledge of CSS is required. For most cases you don’t have to do hard coding but to find and correct the initial code to your needs.

      1) Positioning of the new logo as well as changing the header background is a matter of CSS styling. Basically you need to replace existing code to your needs. All these things can be found in StudioPress support forum.

      2) No, StudioPress doesn’t offer various opt-in forms along with the demo themes. I’ve made a custom opt-in form based on Brian’s tutorial here.

      3) Again, it depends on your CSS skills but it’s not very difficult. I added an opt-in from Generate to eleven40 home page just to see how it works. If you need I can give you all the code.

      For a novice, it will take some time to catch all the things. But eventually it can save you a lot of money ;)

      Best,
      Dragan

    • says

      Hi Giriraj,

      Yes, eleven40 is SEO friendly. Under each post/page you have SEO theme settings with custom document title, meta description, meta keywords…

  4. suraj singh says

    Hi Dragan,
    whenever i make a new post it shows full summary on my homepage, how can i show the post in excerpt form on homepage

    • says

      Hi suraj. i know what u mean.
      You could disable home.php by renaming it to something like home-old.php, which would remove the grid entirely and allow you to use excerpts or full content according to your Genesis theme settings. In other words, your posts would display normally like any other blog. (by Andrea Whitmer of nutsandbolts.)

  5. says

    Hi Dragan,

    Are you using a plugin of some kind to create your end of post opt in form? I really like it and was having trouble with the font in the one I tried to setup. Thanks in advance.

    • says

      Hi John,

      No it’s not a plugin. I just followed this Brian’s tutorial How to Add a Newsletter Signup Box After Your Posts.

      Give it a try, it works.

    • says

      No, this is a paid premium theme! As I mentioned early in my posts, paying $79.95 consider as an investment. After all your site/blog is your asset and it’s very important to put it on a solid foundations. If you think seriously than you won’t regret paying this one-time fee.

  6. says

    Hey Dragan, nice site. I’m also trying out this theme on a new site of mine. Got to love genesis and its child themes!
    You’re added to my blog feed :-)

    • says

      Hi Neil,
      Yes, Genesis with its child themes really rocks and I’m glad to see eleven40 as one of your choices. Good choice! ;)
      Thanks Neil, appreciate your comment and nice to know you as well.

  7. Tanya says

    Hi Dragan,

    Thanks for your article, it’s been really helpful. What I would like to ask is if it’s possible to have the 3-column layout for the entire website (vs. just the homepage) and whether I will be able to use my own logo and header (to span across the entire top of the page), on top of the nav menu. Thanks in advance for your response!

    • says

      Hi Tanya,
      The answer to both your questions is YES it’s possible.
      As you can see I use 3-column layout for the entire blog. Genesis is so flexible that you can set column layouts individually for each category, page, post…
      Of course you can add your own logo and header-it’s practically very easy. Today I published my first Genesis tutorial so I might cover that in the near future. ;)
      Just to have a feeling of the possibilities (for the eleven40) take a look at this showcase.

  8. says

    Hi,
    I like your website much. particularly when I put the mouse on your logo , it goes inward . great idea :-) .
    my question is whether eleven 40 is better than prose .
    my criterion are responsiveness and addition of adsense later to the blog . I am a java programmer with php hands on. so coding is not a problem. pls advise. my blog would have programming tutorials.
    regards
    vinodh

    • says

      Hi Vinodh,
      Well there’s no big difference between eleven40 and Prose. Both match your criteria with mobile responsiveness, adding adsense code…
      However it all depends how you see your blog in terms of design. Most people use Prose when they want custom design while eleven40 is more for blogging without changing too much the inital design.
      I hope I helped a little bit with your decision.

  9. says

    Thanks Dragan. I’ve been thinking of making the switch to Eleven40 for my personal website and after reading your review and a few others, I’m feeling like it’s time :)

  10. says

    Hi David

    I reply on your question about Metro theme here.
    You can set your features posts or pages on a home page. I find this useful if you want to highlight your services or products. Inside the dashboard it’s very easy to control where you want to place featured work because it’s the matter drag-and-drop thing.
    However, you can use this theme as a pure timeline blog (like I do) or combination between blog and featured page.
    As you can see, this theme is very flexibile and I think it would fit nicely to your site.

  11. Pradeep says

    Hi, I have just purchased eleven 40 theme from Studiopress but could not find a contact form. How to create a contact form for this theme.

    Also one note on your blog, it just looks awesome. Congrats and keep it up.

    Thanks in Advance,
    Pradeep

    • says

      As contact form I’m using Contact Form 7 plugin and you can download it here.
      All you need to do is to create a new page, I called it “Contact”, put some text and at the end copy the shortcode in the text editor. You’ll see the shortcode after activating the plugin in dashboard under the “Contact” button. Save your page and test it by sending yourself a mail.

  12. Pradeep says

    Hi,
    Please tell me about the image that you put for all the posts on your blog. What should be the size of the image and where do you get the images from?

    • says

      Hi Pradeep,

      I’m using 600px wide and arround 200px in height pictures. Somehow this dimension fits nice to my posts. Sometimes I get pictures from Fotolia, BigStockPhoto or Flickr. There are also great places to find stock images for publishing on your blog like iStockphoto, stock.xchng, Shutterstock, Stockvault and Everystockphoto. I highly recommend using images in the blog posts so go for it.

  13. says

    Hi Dragan,

    We have the Eleven 40 theme on several websites but the problem we are having is the small orange logo. It is the same size that contains your site name, Domains Flow.

    We would like to keep the same orange brick logo but how do we increase it and make it longer in length?

    Thank you.

    • says

      Hi Tony,

      I suppose you have a version V1.0, i.e. you bought it before 1/26/2012. If so, the only way to make your logo longer in lenght is to make the new logo.png (I use PhotoShop for this).
      Then you need to put the dimension in px into your style.css file.
      For example, if your new logo is let say 300x60px (by default is 265x78px) then you need to upload your new logo.png here:

      wp.content >themes >eleven40 >images

      …and change a few things in your style.css:

      In “#header .wrap” change min-height to 60px.

      In “.header-image #title-area, .header-image #title, .header-image #title a

      height –> delete
      change width to 300px;

      That should work now.

      If you have a version V1.1 then you may find your answer here.

      Anyway I’ll make an update soon for changing eleven40 theme logo since a lot of people would like to do that.
      So stay tuned ;).

  14. says

    Hey Dragan
    I am really impressed with your clean blog design.
    Can you please write a post on how we can customize the homepage in eleven40 theme.
    Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Satish,

      What do you have in mind when you say customizing the homepage? Please be more specific or link to something so I can understand better.

      • says

        Actually I am not able to find any Homepage customization option in this theme except putting an image or text in the header right widget.
        what If I want to divide my homepage in columns and put boxes with images and texts. For example take your own portfolio page. Do we need to write code for such customization? or is there a simple way? Thank you in advance.

        • says

          I see now, you’re talking about the custom homepage. Well it all depends on your css skills, because you have to write code for this and create a new home.php script. Not so easy, I’m afraid.
          The same was with my portfolio page which btw I could write how I did it. If you don’t like to mess with your code maybe it would be easier to change your theme. I’m sure you can find something that fits your needs.
          Anyway if you need any help, contact me.

    • says

      Hi Greg,

      This is music to my ears, inspiring people to use eleven40. :)

      Now, the dilemma between the “old” eleven 40 and pro. In my latest post I mentioned what I like and don’t like about pro version.

      I like the eleven40 Pro and StudioPress made a good decision not to change the initial design. After all this is one of their most successful themes.
      What I don’t like is that they left that orange logo :-( , but that’s just me.
      A little bit higher price is in line with the latest updates.

      I decided not to go with the pro version. I upgraded to HTML5 and slightly changed my header, portfolio and landing pages. I took “about author box” from pro theme. That’s it.
      Somehow I still like the way it’s always been, simple and clean.

      I think you’re doing the great work at your seo company, although I’d recommend some fancy logo. (If interested in one send me PM).

      Thanks Greg for leaving your comment, I appreciate it.

  15. says

    Good job with the blog Dragan, I’m a fan. :)

    My blog uses the eleven40 theme, like yours.
    I also have the menu like you, but when the screen is smaller, I don’t have that second menu bar appear like you do.

    Would you mind sharing how you did it?
    It would mean a lot.

    • says

      Hi Henry,

      Since you changed header background you lost it in the responsive sections.

      Try this.

      Under the Media Queries (in your style.css) find section “iPads (portrait)” and put this code after @media only screen and (max-width: 1023px):

      .site-header ul.menu {
      background: url(images/texture.png);
      float: left;
      }

      Check in your images folder if you have texture.png image.

      That should work.

  16. says

    Hi Dragan,
    Nowadays I’m your regular reader coz you write worthy about Genesis Theme.
    Today i came here with a query i hope you will help.
    I’m also using Eleven40 child theme as your site,but i’m not able to make my ‘Page List’ situated on my header horizontally. My header shows my PageList vertically.
    Please help me to make my header as same as yours but not fixed as yours.
    I’m waiting your solution.
    Here is the link of my site if you want a glance. http://nepaligajalsansar.com
    Thanks in advance.
    Hardik recently posted..एक दिन तिम्लाई दिवानी बनाउँछु !

    • says

      Hi Hardik,

      The menu I’m using here is a custom Menu widget placed in the header right widget area.

      1. Go to Appearance > Menus and create a new menu. Add your menu items (Home, About, Blog…).

      2. Navigate to Appearance > Widgets. Choose the Custom menu widget and drag it to Header Right. In the widget settings, choose the navigation menu you created. That’s it!

      I’m glad you like my posts about Genesis.

  17. says

    Thanks Dragan,
    Now i got wonderful custom menu.
    Dragan you do have such fine and awesome page design that not only me but all your follower wants their own site as yours………..hats off to you.
    Now another thing I want as yours is the Social media sharing line (ie:like,tweet,IN share,buffer) which is situated before and after your post.
    1.) How can i add it on my site as yours,before and after my post.
    2.) And second one is “Related Posts” after that social media share/like after post.
    I hope you got me. :)
    Hardik recently posted..Earn money with a incoming call

    • says

      Hi Hardik,

      I think I already reply to that questions earlier but never mind I’ll repeat it, since I’ve been receiving the same emails.

      1) I use Really simple Facebook and Twitter share buttons. When you install this plugin, if you don’t see all social networks, press ‘Reset to Default Value’ button at the end of that page. Then it should show up all social network options.

      2) For the related posts I use YARPP.

      Both plugins are very easy to install and manage. Oh, did I mention, it won’t cost you anything :).

  18. says

    Yes now my site have somehow good appearance and its happens only with the help of Domains Flow,I can’t help myself to thank you once again Dragan.
    Now again I have a Query, lets hope this one is last. :)
    -I do not want to show “Tags” after my post which is showing just below the “Related Posts”.
    I have tried but cant do….. Need your help.
    Waiting you over here.
    Hardik recently posted..Earn money with a incoming call

    • says

      Hardik,

      Put this code in your functions.php:

      //* Remove the post meta function
      remove_action( ‘genesis_after_post_content’, ‘genesis_post_meta’ );

      This will remove your post meta on your site.
      You’re very welcome Hardik, I’m glad I could help.

    • says

      Hardik,

      You need to put the mentioned code after this line in your functions.php:

      /** Start the engine */
      require_once( get_template_directory() . ‘/lib/init.php’ );

      Maybe you’ve put it before and that’s way it won’t to remove your post meta.
      If it still won’t work, send me again for functions.php via email.

  19. says

    To style my “Read More” link, I have added following code on my function.php

    “add_filter( ‘the_content_more_link’, ‘sp_read_more_link’ );
    function sp_read_more_link() {
    return ‘[Continue Reading]‘;
    }”

    And I added this css code on my Style.css

    “.more-link {
    background-color: #F05123;
    padding: 4px 8px;
    border-radius: 4px;
    -moz-box-shadow: 1px 1px 1px 1px #d4d4d4;
    -webkit-box-shadow: 1px 1px 1px 1px #d4d4d4;
    box-shadow: 1px 1px 1px 1px #d4d4d4;
    }

    .more-link:hover {
    background-color: #9C2C0B;
    }

    .entry-content a.more-link {
    color: #fff;
    font-size: 90%;
    } ”

    But Nothing happen and still my continue reading link is simple.
    Hardik recently posted..Lock and Hide Your File/Folder

    • says

      Try this code in your functions.php file to change [Continue Reading]:

      //* Modify the Genesis read more link
      add_filter( ‘get_the_content_more_link’, ‘sp_read_more_link’ );
      add_filter( ‘the_content_more_link’, ‘sp_read_more_link’ );
      function sp_read_more_link() {
      return ‘ [Read More]‘;
      }

  20. says

    I have pasted it after start engine and Ops again it reply error on line 9.
    “syntax error, unexpected ‘[‘ in /home/a7888901/public_html/wp-content/themes/eleven40/functions.php on line 9.

  21. says

    Hi Dragan,
    Here I’m agian.
    1) which plugin are you using for your “Popular at DomainsFlow:”
    2) which plugin is running for your cache? coz your site loads so fast.

    • says

      Hi Hardik,

      Sorry for my late reply but you New Year, holidays…
      Now I advice you to upgrade your site with the latest eleven40-pro version. Why you should do that you can all find in my post here.
      You’ll notice that eleven40-pro already has static header. Before making any changes make shore to backup all your files.

      Best,
      Dragan

  22. says

    I never mind Dragan,
    Ok Dragan after reading your suggestion I’m planning to upgrade to Pro.
    Thanks for sharing Buddy.
    But im my another Blog I want my header/menu transparent as yours so please can you tell me which color code made such transparent Menu.
    Or its also a Genesis Pro feature?
    Thank you.
    Hardik recently posted..Lock and Hide Your File/Folder

  23. Fiona says

    Hi Dragan
    Lots of generous help here!
    I’m an art therapist working with adult cancer survivors. I’m going to set up in private practice and shopping for a good Genesis theme. I want something spacious, creative and welcoming in style. What would be your Top 3 suggestions? I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Fiona,

      Well it’s difficult to say what would be my top 3 Genesis themes since every business needs individual approach. Art therapist is really interesting niche and web design should be definitely creative. I think these 3 themes should be a good start point Minimum Pro, Agency Pro and eleven40 :). Now you might be suprised why eleven40, but take a look at this website and you’ll get the picture about the power of eleven40. Anyway, you made an excellent choice by choosing Genesis and if need any additional help, you can always contact me.

      Have a great day.

      ~ Dragan

      • Fiona says

        Thanks, Dragan. Minimum and Agency look a bit ‘sparten’ at first glance, but that might just be the drab colour schemes. I will dig into them and assess further. I want a creative, spacious, easy to get around site with room for engaging and inspiring images. The design needs to facilitate those elements. I also need space for a pinkspoon off/email signup. Can that be easily inserted in any of the 3 themes you suggested?

        • says

          Fiona,

          Genesis framework is known by flexibility in design, so it all depends on your CSS/PHP skills. The possibilities here are endless, you can take a look in the showcase. Based on your requirements, I would recommend custom design because you know what you need (which is great btw). However if you decide to DIY, maybe Minimum would be the best choice and don’t worry about the demo colors, that can be easily changed in your css style sheet. Email sign up is ready out-of-the-box for all themes.

          I hope I helped a little bit.

          Best, Dragan

  24. says

    Hi Dragan,I emailed you and you replied like a premium support thanks very much.the landing page problem is solved but the logo problem isn’t.see i wanted to have that image without LOGO written on it just like your image with domains flow written on it.how you edited the text on it.cause i want my own domain name on it.one more thing how you created that portfolio page with that title background and the first content box featuring genesis at the top.
    abdul recently posted..10 Free Blog Marketing Tips To Get More Traffic:Part 2

    • says

      Hi Abdul,

      As you can see in that tutorial, you have a download link to PSD file which means you make all changes in PhotoShop. I’m not sure if provided code works now in HTML5, check it out and if not I’ll take a look how I did it.

      My portfolio page is full with page and I added custom div classes for my Genesis intro. Basically in my text editor I put div class named ‘genesis.intro’ and some styling in css:

      /* Genesis Intro———————————————————— */

      .genesis-intro {
      background: none repeat scroll 0 0 #FFFFFF;
      border-radius: 5px 5px 5px 5px;
      box-shadow: 0 0 2px #999999;
      text-shadow: 1px 1px #FFFFFF;
      margin: 25px auto 35px;
      padding: 10px 30px 30px;
      width: 1060px;
      }

      .genesis-intro p {
      color: #555;
      margin: 0 0 3px !important;
      padding: 20px 0 0 0;
      text-shadow: 0px 1px #FFFFFF;
      }

      That’s it and have a nice day.

    • says

      Hi Abdul,

      As you may know eleven40 pro is using 1140px as full width layout. This is set up in your css under .wrap tag (max-width:1140px). Now, what you have to know, changing this width will mess all other settings in you header, body, footer etc because all the units are set for 1140px. If you think you can adjust all these parts for a new width go ahead otherwise I suggest you leave the way it is now.

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