WordPress isn’t just for blogging. It’s also a solid platform for building portfolio websites, ideal for visual practitioners like designers and photographers.
You don’t need to know how to code. Pick the right theme off the shelf and you’ll soon have a website to showcase your skills. There’s one catch. There are hundreds of themes to choose from. Fortunately we’ve tried many of them and we know exactly what to look for.
This is our pick of the five best WordPress themes available for photographers, from free templates to premium skins.
Author: Alien WP
Hatch is a rare and beautiful thing; a WordPress theme that’s ideal for professional photographers, that costs nothing. What’s more, it’s available at wordpress.com – the free, remotely hosted version of WordPress – so you can build and host your entire portfolio without handing over a single cent.
You won’t find support for fancy overlays or background images here, but you will get gallery-style navigation and large images using built-in WordPress features. Finally, it’s fully responsive, adapting to mobile devices as well as full-size monitors.
Portfolio building services like Cargo Collective and 4ormat offer slick, side scrolling themes ideal for photographers and image makers. Trouble is, they lack flexibility — offering few options to customise and tweak sites to behave the way that you want.
WordPress is at the other end of that spectrum, giving you complete control over every bit of code. That’s why Kin is such a great theme for shutterbugs. You get the side scrolling gallery that makes 4ormat so attractive, but also static pages and posts, WordPress plugins and menus to extend your portfolio’s power.
We’re not so sure about the embedded music, but otherwise this is a brilliant foundation for an impressive online presence.
Photorific is the best of a series of themes that turn the browser background into a slideshow. The slow transition from one image to another is hypnotic.
We need to give a quick tip of the hat to Pacifico and King Size in this category too. They’re similar, but Photorific edges them out of the frame a little with simple customizsation tools and features. These include support for multiple menus and built in widgets that connect to photo services, notably Flickr.
We think Photorific is brilliant out of the box – clean, easy to use and impressive.
Want something even more dynamic? The award winning HQ WP takes the full-screen slideshow to its limit, with animated transitions and support for video clips.
Navigation is hidden away in a pop-out sidebar, giving you an opportunity to foreground your photography from the very first page. Dive in more deeply and content sub-pages appear as semi-opaque overlays. There are tools to integrate drop-down menus, page tabs and animated galleries without the need to type a line of code.
Though not quite as easy to customise as Photorific, HQ WP is a cutting edge, responsive choice. A little flashy for some tastes, perhaps – but very effective for commercial use.
Author: Photocrati Media
As WordPress becomes more sophisticated, so do its themes. Photocrati isn’t so much a template as a toolbox for building your own.
Bundled with 60 built-in styles ready to go, it’s a little more expensive than the other themes we’ve looked at here. If you really want full control over the look and feel of your photographic portfolio, it’s worth the extra few dollars.
Photocrati lacks full screen or background image slideshow capability, but it does include gallery thumbnail views, large image support and lightbox image overlays. The major selling point is built-in support for e-commerce pages, making it an ideal platform to launch your photographic business.