Twenty Eleven HUGE! Disappointment

I’ve just spent the afternoon looking at the new WP Default theme Twenty Eleven. I was a bit shocked when I found out there would be a new default theme so soon after WP making the switch to TwentyTen. But I wasn’t prepared for what I found in Twenty Eleven.

Twenty Eleven Dumbed Down

I’m going to guess that too many theme developers complained about how robust TwentyTen was as a default theme. My guess is based on the Dumbing down and convoluted way TwentyEleven is structured.

Twenty Eleven Convoluted CSS

It is no longer a robust platform for a theme. It is not easy to change the css and get a great look with a child-theme. Instead it is a mishmash of css using a combination of px and em in the same line. Ex.

#site-description {
color: #7a7a7a;
font-size: 14px;
margin: 0 270px 3.65625em 0;

The theme is now fluid.  Which results in much of the width setting being percentages now instead of pixels.  This means that if you want the theme to be wider or narrower in the browser it is pretty easy to made the adjustments.  But if you want to add a second sidebar, make the header narrower and being a single sidebar up along side the header, etc.  Forget it.  This is very simple and easy to do with TwentyTen.  But Twenty Eleven has been dumbed down to be a “basic” default theme.

Default Page template NO SIDEBAR

Yeah, that’s right, the default page template now has no sidebar.  If you want to have a sidebar you have to pick that template option.  Most of the time in RE we want our call to action buttons, links and Broker Identification being



When Should !important Be Used?

As with any technique, there are pros and cons depending on the circumstances. So when should it be used, if ever? Here’s my subjective overview of potential valid uses.


!important declarations should not be used unless they are absolutely necessary after all other avenues have been exhausted. If you use !important out of laziness, to avoid proper debugging, or to rush a project to completion, then you’re abusing it, and you (or those that inherit your projects) will suffer the consequences.

If you include it even sparingly in your stylesheets, you will soon find that certain parts of your stylesheet will be harder to maintain. As discussed above, CSS property importance happens naturally through the cascade and specificity. When you use !important, you’re disrupting the natural flow of your rules, giving more weight to rules that are undeserving of such weight.

If you never use !important, then that’s a sign that you understand CSS and give proper forethought to your code before writing it.

That being said, the old adage “never say never” would certainly apply here. So below are some legitimate uses for !important.

Granted this quote from Smashing Magazine goes on to clarify there are a few times to use it, but not in production.

This is the RC release but far enough along it shouldn’t be at this stage of developement.

Twenty Eleven a Mobile Theme

Twenty Eleven is going for the mobile theme look.  But Why?  The majority of us already have a mobile theme in place for mobile devices.  I would never use my mobile theme as my default theme on my site.  There is no good reason for this as a foundational principle to this theme’s design.  Just as WP is making headway into the Small business community and as a CRM platform they seem to suddenly loose focus and go for the Tumblr blog approach.

How many of us are posting 1 sentence 20 word posts?  That is one of the things this theme is setup to do.  Like I need a template for this?

Twenty Eleven make a huge stride in the wrong direction.  Poorly coded, and focusing on the crowd that would use WP as their personal blog only.  There’s not much here for the business community in a theme.

There is much more to dislike about this theme, but you get the point.

I’m glad we have TwentyTen.  I’ll upgrade it with then new features of WP much the same as other theme developers do now.  I have an even greater appreciation for the author of TwentyTen.  It is an amazingly robust and flexible theme platform.  Developing child themes for TwentyTen is pure joy.

We can only hope that the WP team will shake off the stupor.


  1. It is never a good thing to read that such a highly anticipated product lets their users down. Such is the way of the world I suppose.

  2. i think you all should try weaver, it’s a great template management firework
    also have the twenty 10 template in it with customize options

  3. FLRE,

    Weaver is a framework I can most definitely NOT recommend. It puts a great deal of the CSS in every page, which dilutes your keyword density, makes it hard to edit and much more. I’ll say it again, I could NEVER recommend anyone use Weaver.


  4. im open for anything new, do you have another solution like weaver, with same theme control but more seo friendly?

  5. I am still in the beginning stages of using wordpress but have not quite figured out how to bring in my own template.

  6. Steven,

    From the dashboard go to Appearance/Themes there you can upload a theme you already have or you can search for and install a theme from the WP Theme Repository. And you already have Twenty Ten available. You can simply pick that theme and activate it. It is one of the best WP themes.


  7. At first glance I agree with Twenty Eleven being a disappointment. The header size is ridiculous, the lack of a sidebar on post pages is just wrong, it’s hard to edit compared to Twenty Ten, there’s so much wasted space all over. But thinking back to kubrick theme, that had the similar issues. I think these problems are just noticed more now since the easy to edit Twenty Ten theme was released.

    I have done a few nice things with my Twenty Eleven child theme, I am still looking for an easy way to add a second sidebar though.

    I have to disagree with you on your above comment about Weaver theme though. Weaver is perfect for beginners who want an easy way to customize their site.(not sure why you say it’s hard to edit) I’ve seen many people create nice websites, who without Weaver might of not bothered. It has it’s downsides, but it’s bound to with so many options and features.

  8. Weaver puts all the custom CSS on the page. This isn’t good code practices. It also doesn’t easily allow for styling of elements that it wants to override. But if it is just the look that is important and not the bloated page. Sure. But if you can even do basic css additions and modifications you can do much better with TwentyTen and a child theme.