If I were to download and install v11.0, would I be able to automatically update to v11.1 or even v12+ via online updating within SUSE? Or would I have to download new versions from the website each time a new release came out?

The answer is not really straightforward.

  1. Via online update (No)

Though it is possible to update from say 11.0 to 11.1 - generally speaking, at least for the less experienced, the simplest way is to re-install but keep your /home untouched.

You can update from 11.0 to 11.1 online – just know this is only supported officially without installed 3rd party packages.

Just to clarify @‘Cryovac’
OP you will never be able to update unless we explain the need to change the repo’s. And as quoted by Cryovac, 3rd party packages such as you may install from Packman will not be covered by the update.

When 11.1 is released you will also find that some 3rd party Packages have not yet been made ready for 11.1 and so will be unavailable.

zypper dup
will do the distro upgrade, but there can be complications for the less experienced user.

Typically, from the install of one to the next, we install all kinds of stuff which can make upgrades more complicated.