Today I want to reveal to you the eleven40 Pro theme developed by StudioPress and why I use and recommended it. I have found that there are couple of quirks with it so it is not completely perfect .
In my eleven40 Pro theme review I will outline these challenges and how you can implement a solution so you can use this awesome theme with great confidence. I have been using eleven40 Pro for many years and consider it the best WordPress theme for affiliate niche websites. I believe now is the perfect time for me to review this awesome theme! 🙂
Perhaps you are running a niche site that is promoting Amazon products or another affiliate program such as Clickbank? I think there is a temptation to hypnotise the reader with bells and whistles but the danger with this, you end up focusing on the glamour and not the content.
When it comes to running a successful affiliate campaign you want to be laser focused on the content and nothing else. This is where the eleven40 Pro theme comes into play and really delivers since it is very relaxing on the eyes and makes your content easy to read.
It is right at the top of all my favourite themes by StudioPress and I would always recommend it for a beginner looking for an excellent quality theme. There are a number of different excellent themes by the company each one designed with a specific purpose for the blogger but if you want me to choose the eleven40 Pro is my #1 Recommendation.
In a nutshell it makes the website layout and your content look really, really good.
StudioPress and Brain Gardner
The eleven40 Pro theme is created by the developer Brian Gardner at StudioPress. He is also the founder of StudioPress, the go to place for any professional blogger and to build your brand online. I got to know Brain and StudioPress back in 2015 when I first starting using this WordPress theme.
Perhaps for more than a decade now, they were one of the original people to deliver WordPress themes that are quality in the infrastructure, light-weight, mobile friendly and well thought out design layout. In fact, Gardner was one of the first to produce mobile responsive friendly themes.
The Eleven40 Pro Theme
This WordPress theme is produced on top of StudioPress’s well known Genesis Framework. So you have the Genesis foundations and the Eleven40 Pro sits on top of that.
The theme is very light-weight which means that it loads very fast as it’s been coded well. Having your website load fast is extremely important not just for a good user experience but also for the search engines as they give credit to websites in the SEO rankings for fast loading blogs.
You see, one of the problems with poor quality, badly coded WordPress themes out there is they contain a lot of bloat-ware that slows down the performance of the website.
Here we are looking at a straight forward theme that is very simple, clean and nothing too fancy.
It helps the visitors to your website focus on the content so stimulating more quality engagement. This means that they will likely stay longer browsing your blog and also posting comments, which is another great factor for ranking in the search engines. If Google sees a lot of interaction and activity on your website then this is a plus.
Excellent Features Of Theme
Since eleven40 Pro is a premium quality theme from a web designer with a solid reputation, it flourishes with a lucrative set of features. Below we look at some of these characteristics in detail.
Like all of the powerful themes developed by StudioPress, the eleven40 Pro is a responsive theme, this means that the layout will automatically adjust to the size of the screen within the browser. So if the website is displayed on a mobile device such as a iPad, Tablet or Android it will automatically display correctly.
There is nothing worse than a website design were it doesn’t display right on mobile devices where elements are push off the right of the screen.
In this theme you do not have to worry about any additional work for it to become mobile friendly. Also it is important to realise that Google (who is one of the main search engines on the internet) has made Responsive ready sites a ranking criteria.
Clean Code Base
Earlier I mentioned that this is a light-weight code base theme. The Web Developers have done a stellar implementation resulting in a very clean code base meaning that the response time in the browser when loading a page is very fast.
This is absolutely essential because your blog will load very quickly in the browser. Resulting in your website receiving plenty of Google Love when it comes to SEO and ranking on the first page of Google. Sites that are able to load fast are seen as offering a great user experience and thus favoured by the search engines AI algorithms.
Built-In Landing Page
A really nice item of functionality that I like with this theme is the Landing Page feature. You can turn one of your pages into a landing page just by a changing a single setting. What this does is basically removes all the menus, sidebars and navigation buttons with only the content of the page being displayed.
This greats a quality experience with your visitor to the page as they are focused only on the content. This template for landing pages can be used in a variety of different creative ways to build your email list or promote one of your affiliate campaigns.
Since the landing page feature keeps the user focused on the content it has the potential in increasing your conversions when reviewing a product or service.
Mine you, the eleven40 Pro WordPress Theme does not come without its faults. In the remaining part of this review, I want to address these quirks and offer some advice on how to resolve these challenges.
There are two things I thought was a little annoying about the theme that could undermine the user experience. The good news however, is both of these can be easily overcome. These observed limits are around on the blog screen where the theme shows your list of blog posts that have been published.
Grid Style Home Page
The theme’s home page uses a 2 column grid layout of your posts with the most recent content displayed in full on top. This looks fine, however, I have never been a fan of this and always think it does not look right. This is true if the featured images of the post is not the same dimensions, resulting in the posts with the thumb nail featured images being out of alignment with each other.
My preference is to have a straight list of blog postings on the home page with one listed below the other.
The two column grid style is also used if you set up a specific blog page for showing your blog posts and you are using a static page for the home screen of the website.
At the time of writing I am using the eleven40 Pro for this website and you will see I have configured the blog post listings to be displayed under each other in a list. I will show you how to turn off the Grid style layout on the home or blog screen in a moment with some customisation solutions if you prefer this.
If you want to keep the grid style with the featured post at the top but not have the whole article displayed on the home page or blog screen, you can insert a ‘read more‘ tag inside the post after the paragraphs you want shown.
‘Blog’ Appearing In Blog Posts Page?
If you set up a Blog post page for listing your articles, you may find the word ‘Blog’ appearing above the posts listed. Since the release of the Genesis 2.2.1 framework, the markup of the ‘Archive and Description‘ is added before the articles on the blog page as a header. This is due to the function, genesis_do_posts_page_heading.
You can see what I am referring to in the screenshot below with the black solid bar and description of the page title inside it as indicated with the red arrows.
This can certainly have its uses on an archive page or listing a series of pages by category. However, on your blog posts screen where you are showing your latest articles it looks rather odd in my opinion. We will look at our own coded defined customisation options that are simple to remove this limitation above and also get rid of the grid feature I mentioned earlier.
Again, I stress what is shown in the screen shot above only happens if you create a specific blog page for your latest posts and are using a static page on the home page screen.
If you want to change the little quirks I mentioned above on this theme then there is some customisation that needs to be done on a coding level. It is quite straight forward and I will guide you through the process in this tutorial section.
Removing Grid Columns on Home Page
If you decide that you don’t want the 2 column grid layout display on the home for your posts, here is what worked for me to remove it.
Remember, I am not saying this feature in the theme is a bad thing you may find it quite useful and it does make a lot of sense. In fact, I may at some point move back to this but at the time of writing I have decided to remove the grid so the home page is showing a list for the posts published.
Go to your WordPress Dashboard backend and look for the Appearance -> Editor in the menus as shown.
This will take you to the editor screen and you might get a warning since you are editing and making changes at the coding level of the theme’s functionality. Once you have navigated to the editor screen you should see the following for the eleven40 Pro.
The next step is to view the Home.php file in the editor, this is the default home page for the theme. Click ‘Posts Page’ as highlighted in the screenshot above with the red arrow. This will cause the editor to load in the home.php file and you should now see the following.
Before we continue it is highly recommended to back up the file before making changes! You can do this via FTP Client or via cPanel of your hosting provider and make a copy of the home.php file. You should also make sure your website has been fully backed up so you can restore if issues occur.
If you have accessed the home page in the editor successfully then you will see the code shown in the screenshot above. The red arrows and asterisks at lines 4 and 23 is where you want to update. Basically, we want to comment out the code from lines 4 to 23 and this will prevent the PHP Compiler from executing this code.
We do this by turning the code above into a commented block section. This is done at the beginning of line 4 by entering /* and then entering after the curly bracket on line 23 with */
If you have done this correctly then the code should be looking as follows.
I have highlighted with asterisks on line 4 and line 23 where you should place the /* and */ commands for commenting out the code. Double check everything and use the above two screen shots for reference.
Save this by clicking on the ‘Update File’ button under the editor and WordPress should notify you that the home.php file was updated successfully. If you has done something wrong resulting in a compiler error it will notify you of this.
If you want to revert back to how things were originally then simply remove the /* and */ commands from lines 4 and 23 and update the file.
Now navigate to the home page of your website and voila..!! You should notice that the grid and feature page has gone and now all blog posts are in a sequential list format, like the following screenshot.
Removing ‘Blog’ in Posting Blog Home Page
To remove the markup ‘Archive and Description‘ and Heading of the Blog Home Page we just need to add one line of code to the functions.php file in the WordPress Editor. At the moment you may see the following when setting up a blog page for the eleven40 Pro Theme, if you are using a static page for the theme’s home screen as mentioned earlier.
So we want to remove the part that is indicated by the red arrows. To do this we need to update the functions.php file in WordPress by navigating to the editor screen and click on the Themes Functions which will allow the editor to load the functions.php file.
We simply need to add the following line of code at the end of the file as shown above with the red arrows:
remove_action( ‘genesis_before_loop’, ‘genesis_do_posts_page_heading’ );
Make sure this line of code is added at the end on a new line.
Save the file by clicking on the ‘Update File’ button, if there were no issues with the compiler then you should be notified that the file was updated successfully. Go to the blog posts screen and you should find the header section is gone.
And that is it! 🙂 These are the specialised customisations I have done to the theme after some research. Note you don’t have to do these changes but these are the updates I made to give the look and feel for the home page.
Also these are coding based advanced customisations. The theme itself comes with many simple customisation options without the need of any coding and a user guide document is provided on how to do an initial setup to get you going. If you have any questions on any of these changes and the WordPress Theme itself feel free to comment below and I will be happy to help.
Final Take on The eleven40 Pro
To conclude in this review, I have been using the eleven40 Pro WordPress Theme extensively on a number of websites for many years. While it depends on what you are trying to do for your website, it is absolutely the cream of the crop, in terms of what is available, not just with StudioPress, but generally what is out there available to use for suitable themes. This is due to simple build-in customisation options, ease of use, fast loading times and straightforward to implement.
If you are an affiliate marketer, a web developer or just blogging, the eleven40 Pro Theme really excels when it comes to a wide range of purposes that most people will find beneficial for their online endeavours.
Unlike some companies out there StudioPress allows you to use the eleven40 Pro theme on an unlimited number of websites that you manage and are the owner. You are not restricted to obtain licenses for all websites that you want to use the theme on. You can use the theme on as many websites as you desire.