On the eleven40 theme, I'm trying to create another page with a different sidebar than the rest of the site. I know how to register new widgets.. I need to create a new template page and then put the new widget(s) on that new template.
I've tried starting with duplicating home.php and going from there, but I'm unsure of how to add new widgets to it.
You could use the Genesis simple sidebars plugin and a different page template under layout settings. On top of this you can style the page using custom body classes and even convert the page template to a post template if needed.
Not sure this is what you need but its an idea which may help.
That works very well.
2nd question: How can I add a new welcome message widget to this page, rather than use the same one for every page?
You could simply paste the HTML for the welcome message into the Genesis Simple Hooks plugin using a conditional statement. http://codex.wordpress.org/Conditional_Tags
Paste code into the location you want to display your message. Example: genesis_after_header
Create a widget area using a conditional statement for the specific page.
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