View Full Version : WordPress Themes

30-Aug-2012, 12:42
With so many themes available for WP, does anyone have a favorite that is particularly well suited to LF photography?

Kirk Gittings
30-Aug-2012, 12:47
Excellent Question!

Darin Boville
30-Aug-2012, 12:49
I use Rockettheme and more recently, Woothemes.

Not sure what would distinguish a theme suited to photography different than one suited to LF Photography--but maybe that wasn't you question.


30-Aug-2012, 18:30
I don't have experience with a ton of themes but I do like http://www.elegantthemes.com/. I use one of theirs and find it clean and easy to customize. There are quite a few good ones on here too:

2-Sep-2012, 07:15
I use http://devpress.com/themes/hatch/ they have a few other options made for photographers, I found it very simple to put together and it looks like this http://aluncrockford.com/wordpress/

4-Sep-2012, 10:21
I work at Photocrati and would be happy to answer any questions you have about our theme. Feel free to send a private message or email at scott(at)photocrati.com

Kirk Gittings
4-Sep-2012, 10:34
This may sound dumb but can a Wordpress site do essentially the same things as a regular site.

4-Sep-2012, 14:05
I suppose that depends on what your expectations are of a regular site. WordPress used to be considered an open-source platform to create a blogging website, but it has been revised to a general content management system. WordPress-based themes overlay the basic WordPress structure to create a custom look for your website.

Frank Petronio
4-Sep-2012, 14:16
The problem is that WordPress has proven to be so popular that you have to continually maintain and update it for security leaks, because it is so popular it draws a lot of hackers and spam. If I have to nerd out and do back ups and updates as often as WP recommends I'd go nuts.

4-Sep-2012, 14:41
hey guys. while looking for inspiration for designs / format for my own site. i came across to these paid sites. maybe some of you would be interested..


frank is right. if you have custom themes or modified from free themes you need to have it properly coded for updates of wordpress and backups.. i'm using free template that i modified on one of my site. everytime wordpress ask for update i make sure i have my modified theme backup. even the plugins i've modified. sometime it's PITA. but i have to get used to it since its FREE. :)

5-Sep-2012, 04:14
I'm not sure what you mean by a regular site, pure HTML? But WordPress is becoming the most popular application driving websites. The advantage is the application-esq features you can include in your website. For instance, a mobile portfolio or a booking feature.

5-Sep-2012, 07:34
For me the static site is starting to be a pain, the word press is quicker to set up and you can update it yourself from any Mac it has greater flexibility and in a very short period of time I suspect the majority of photographers will have at least a element of there site using the wordpress format . In short the static site is showing its age and the way forward is the wordpress model.

Mike Putnam
29-Sep-2012, 16:06
My website is a wordpress blog utilizing a theme from Graphpaper press (http://graphpaperpress.com/) It is pretty simple but easy to update and fairly effective. www.mikeputnamphoto.com (http://www.mikeputnamphoto.com/)

Mike Anderson
29-Sep-2012, 18:46
I use http://devpress.com/themes/hatch/ they have a few other options made for photographers, I found it very simple to put together and it looks like this http://aluncrockford.com/wordpress/

A little late here, but I just want to point out that that your site Alun adjusts nicely as the browser is resized and will look good on a variety of devices (phones and tablets and such). They call this fluid or adaptive or responsive, and I'd make it a requirement that a WP theme have that property.

14-Oct-2012, 21:32
I'm considering switching from my hacked together site to wordpress, and researching themes is making me CRAZY. Most are hideous beyond description. The handful that I've found with nice, truly mimimalist designs have too few customization options to be useful to me.

Elegant Themes has one that looks customizeable enough to do what I want, but I'm put off by that company's subscription model. $40 is reasonable for a theme; $40 a year, forever, is not.

Theme Trust has my favorites in terms of design, but they hold you hostage to their homepage layouts. Way too little customizeability. I want text below the main image, not blog posts or portfolios.

There are some other nice looking ones out there that aren't responsive. It would be an exercise in absurdity to build a new site in 2012 and not have it be responsive.

I'm questioning if there's some other non-wordpress HTML5 template option that's available. I really don't need blogging features. And I'm using gallery software that I like already ... it produces fully responsive, customizeable HTML5 galleries that are easy to embed in any page. So I don't really even need an art-specific design.

Any other thoughts? My girlfriend is a web developer who does a lot of custom wordpress, and when I bitch to her about this stuff she tells me that if I were a client, she'd fire me. So here I am.

Mike Anderson
15-Oct-2012, 22:57
Hey Paul,
If you're thinking of adopting WordPress solely to achieve a responsive layout I think that's not the easiest way to achieve it. I'm not an expert on WP but I do know it's not hard to end up fighting it if you have strong opinions on layout.

I have been wrestling with the problems of responsive layouts for the past few months and at this point think an efficient way to attack the problem is to design 2 layouts, one that happens at wider than 800px and one that happens at narrower than 800px (800px works well now but the iPad mini might cause us to rethink that breakpoint, but maybe not).

So basically there are 2 layouts, 1 for most keyboarded computers and iPad landscape, and another for iPad portrait and narrower. If you start thinking about more than 2 layouts the complexity explodes. The thinking about the wide layout is nothing new. The narrow layout principle is simply throw everything into 1 column and make it look good.

So if you and your trusted advisors can design these 2 layouts, with the same set of components, it shouldn't be hard for a web techie to code the media queries to make the layout transitions happen.

The hard part is to design a wide (more or less traditional) layout that can be thrown into one column and still look good, but I don't think you need to be an expert at web tech to do this. You would need someone with a good understanding of media queries to code them, but the design of the 2 layouts is the time consuming thing, shouldn't be rushed - gather pencil, paper, crayons, scissors and Friends with design sensibility and go through multiple iterations.

Ps: one of the best implementations of responsive layout is I've seen is http://smashingmagazine.com, fun to examine if you're into that stuff.

Frank Petronio
15-Oct-2012, 23:46
I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that I was once in the web design industry many years ago (and made $ too!), but nowadays it is overwhelmingly complex and intimidating thanks to the new higher resolution monitors, tablet/mobile interfaces, and feature creep. Everything kind-of/sort-of works but I don't think I can name a good example of a really "got their shit together" website anymore. I have yet to find a perfect photographer's website that works and looks good on all the different platforms, period. Everybody's breaks and sucks at some point. It was nicer before Smartphones when there were a couple of years (just) of standards-based design that was clean, lean, and minimal. Nowadays sites can look clean and minimal but have a hugely complex backside that is a nightmare to keep up with. Add to that security hassles and I give up... I'm not so sure it is worth investing too much time, money, and energy into a personal non-fulltime site design that will requires constant maintenance and a major redesign every couple of years. Going with a photographer's service like LiveBooks or A Photo Folio is worth the cash IMHO. If I were cheap I would seriously consider a Tumblr portfolio theme cross-linked to social media... I've seen some free Picassa galleries that put $20K custom websites to shame. And I am not so sure that you don't do better having your primary, "Your Name.com" URL as your blog and stick your photo galleries elsewhere, especially in terms of appealing to search engines and building a social media audience.

Seems like overthinking to care about what some gallery thinks of your web presentation.... Have you ever seen an art gallery's website that wasn't mediocre at best? How about a famous artist's website? They all suck worst than the rest of the sucky art websites, we're talking negative numbers on the scorecard. The better their reputation, the more abysmal their website.

No offense to all my coder, geeky friends but the web design industry is all fragmented and everybody pushes their little niche, it is very hard to get a clear idea of where to start, everyone is an expert in their sphere but nobody understands the overall universe. One guy will push WP for everything, another will tell you it's a joke. They're right.

"Just waiting for that killer Solar Flare to make it all moot."

16-Oct-2012, 00:48
I guess its whatever works best for you.
I've tried html, flash and now I'm on Wordpress. I find it very easy to update/backup/finetune. Oh and remember theres .org and .com wordpress sites. They are different.

I use http://fthrwght.com/autofocus/ for my BLOG (http://fourtoes.co.uk/iblog/).
and http://wpshower.com/themes/expositio/ for my MAINSITE (http://www.fourtoes.co.uk/)

Might not be everyones cup of tea but they are doing just fine for me at the moment.

Although I have a few friends that use http://www.photium.com/ and say its support is really helpful.

16-Oct-2012, 01:03
The one part of this project that I'm happy with, oddly, is web galleries. I found fantastic software called Juicebox that lets you easily create and updated simple and elegant responsive galleries. Through some magic, the images actually look good from 1000 pixels wide down to iphone size. It's not perfect, but it's under active development, so I'm hoping the few nits will be taken care of soon. Until I found this solution, I was pretty appalled by the other options. I hate all the Wordpress galleries I've seen. And Frank is right about commercial gallery websites. Yikes.

Last night I found a guy with a wordpress theme review site. I emailed him about my pain and he's offered to take me on as a case study. Assuming this doesn't mean that his dayjob is in clinical psychiatric research, I may learn something good from this.

16-Oct-2012, 11:04
I just use html for my website. ( http://www.patrickrobertjames.com/ ) Keeps it simple and it works on just about everything. The more complicated everything gets, the harder it is to maintain, like Frank said. I have been looking at alternatives lately though since I need to update the site. I might as well do a redesign if I can find something suitable. I don't know if I want to open a can of worms either so I might just stay with what I have.

As far as Wordpress goes, I am big on minimalism in design. I have been working on a blog lately and ended up doing a lot of mods to a design called Oulipo since it had one element I wanted. Some others I found that I considered using were Blogum, Brunelleschi and Ari. If you are looking for a grid based theme there are some good free ones here by a Swiss designer- http://www.dessign.net/

I also ran across a tool called Stacey today. ( http://staceyapp.com/ ) which looks like it is really flexible and simple to use. It isn't Wordpress though but might be worth a look if you want a content driven site. I might download it just to give it a go.

A lot of people use Indexhibit as well which uses Wordpress. You might want to look at that.

16-Oct-2012, 11:44
I use Weebly (terrible name, I know), and chose a plain white theme that I could mod somewhat by going into HTML.
It's not perfect, but it's clean, easy to update, and free of a lot of the trouble I had with WP.

Bill Koechling
16-Oct-2012, 14:05
You might want to take a look at Photocrati (http://www.photocrati.com/). I have found it to be really flexible. I changed a few things and I did have a web designer tweak it for me for my purposes but there's a lot of freedom even if you don't do something like that. Look through a bunch of their samples and you'll find that it can suit a lot of purposes. You can also take a look at mine (http://koechlingphoto.com).

I've found that there are a lot of "half-decent" free themes but I was happy to pay a little bit for one that I could really work with. I'm not really sure that a theme can or cannot be specifically well suited for large format.

Once you've put it all together it's important to have a host that knows all the ins & outs of Wordpress. That's why I have been with Dogbark (http://www.dogbark.com/) for quite a few years. They have outstanding service and were really helpful in making my site work for me. They also re-worked a small detail in the Photocrati code that they found in error.

Good luck, and please let us know what you decide.

16-Oct-2012, 22:50
I want to like photocrati, but it's not responsive, which is an instant dealbreaker ... I mean, seriously ... something like half of web traffic comes from mobile devices today. My own site statistics show that my traffic from iOS went from about zero to over 30% when I switched to responsive galleries. In addition, most of the demos on the photocrati site seem to actually break when I test for responsiveness. When I shrink the window, the home page gallery image disappears, and doesn't come back unless I reload the page (Bill, this doesn't happen with your site). So ... not on my radar in its current incarnation. If they fixed these issues I'd be interested. I like the general approach and a lot of the customization options.

17-Oct-2012, 04:13
Photocrati is going to be responsive. It's on the roadmap, but it's going to happen after NextGEN Gallery Pro is complete and built into Photocrati.

17-Oct-2012, 04:14
Your website looks awesome, Bill. You should add it to the Pinterest showcase: http://pinterest.com/photocrati/photocrati-showcase/

17-Oct-2012, 09:24
Photocrati is going to be responsive. It's on the roadmap, but it's going to happen after NextGEN Gallery Pro is complete and built into Photocrati.

Do you know when this will happen?

18-Oct-2012, 04:21
There is no official ETA because the NextGEN Gallery project is a big one. It's going to be an industry changer. The developers are pushing towards completion but unfortunately I can't give you an answer to that.