Since the “Twenty Eleven” WordPress theme was release, I’ve been dying to put it to use. Until now I’ve been using the “Twenty Ten” theme as a base to create custom child themes that perform more like a regular website than a blog. Twenty Ten was easy to tweak and customize via template pages and a few additional custom functions, and it worked great. However, I spent a lot of time figuring out how to get a few things to show up on the home page, which was a static page, like my recent posts and other custom post types that I wanted to display in the sidebar. All of these features and more are built right in to the Twenty Eleven theme. It’s all built on HTML5 too. Very cool.
Over the past couple weeks I’ve been rebuilding my site. I created a new child theme with Twenty Eleven as the parent template. It hasn’t been as easy as I’d hoped. While most of the template pages and functions work similar to Twenty Ten, the new way of doing things is a bit different than the Loop used to generate posts and pages through template pages in Twenty Ten. “Content.php” loads the appropriate template pages depending on the content (makes sense, right?). For example, if you choose to use a static page for your home page, like I usually do, there is now a template page called “showcase.php” that you can select as your front page template, which then loads “content.php” and “content-featured.php” for example, to display Sticky Posts with a nice big image right smack in the middle of your front page. You can choose the “sticky” option for several of your important posts and they will show up all together in a nice little slider that your users can flip through. Again, really cool.