In a previous article I showcased a variety of free WordPress themes developed with the photographer in mind. While I do think that free themes can be great, in my earlier experience I found that a lot of times the freebies had malicious code attached. I realize this isn’t the situation with all no-cost themes, as I’m certain that the Tips & Tricks free themes are clean as a whistle, but I have grown to appreciate premium themes none the less.
Every single site that I create with WordPress for myself and others these days sports a premium theme.
In this article, just like the previous, I will be showcasing themes dedicated to the photographer, but these themes are of the premium variety. In other words, they are “paid WordPress themes.”
For each one I will discuss what I like about them, what features stand out, what they cost, and also if there are any licensing specifics for them. I’ll also provide links to view the download page, and a link where you can preview the theme in action if available.
For each theme I’ll also provide a screenshot to give you a glimpse at what they look like.
Here are the premium photo gallery or portfolio themes, in no particular order.
1) DeepFocus by ElegantThemes
ElegantThemes’ DeepFocus Premium Theme blends two components together which are ideal for the blogging photographer or artist. It offers not only the gallery layout, but also a robust blog and CMS-style homepage.
The artist’s creativity is not limited with Deep Focus since this theme includes five different colour schemes. Language and device-friendliness will not be barriers either. This theme includes sets of .mo and .po files for translation and it is also a “responsively” designed theme. In other words, DeepFocus will automatically alter its layout for varying screen sizes and aspect ratios.
Another feature I particularly like is having the ability to alter your settings without ever touching a line of code. The theme’s control panel integrates with your WordPress Dashboard for easy use. And customizing your blog content is easy with the large collection of shortcodes found in the DeepFocus theme.
The final feature I would like to highlight is the numerous page templates that it has. This offers yet another way of creating the ultimately customized look in which you can display your work.
ElegantThemes does not offer individual pricing for their themes. Packages start at $39 USD per year for the Personal package and increases to $249 USD (this is a one-time cost) for the Lifetime package. Each package gives you access to all 86 themes.
In conclusion, DeepFocus is the complete solution for any artist or photographer wanting to highlight their work online.
2) Lambo by AlexGurghis
If you are looking for a “WordPress theme that is so clean, super flexible and has a fully responsive design,” Lambo by Alex Gurghis lives up to the claim. It is obvious that a lot of time and thought went into the development of this premium theme. The very user-friendly template was built with both HTML5 and CSS3.
As most themes purchased today should be, it is WordPress 3.5+ ready. Alex also focused on usability and user experience but not at the cost of other incredible features such as; a fully responsive template which can be turned on and off, almost unlimited colours available to use, an Advanced Option Panel, bbPress ready, 17 Templates Page pages including a customizable 404 error page and also an “Under Construction” page.
If you are not familiar with ThemeForest, it articulates the details of the theme licenses very well. The cost of this theme is $45.00 for individual use. The specific details of the license are found in the FAQ area of the website.
3) JPhotolio: Wedding Photography
If you are a wedding photographer and videographer, JPhotolio: Wedding Photography Premium Theme may be the solution for your website. Several of the features are new and worth exploring. One of the most impressive new features is the ability to have an unlimited number of portfolios. As with many premium themes, you have unlimited colours at your disposal but JPhotolio also provides an elegant black version of the theme.
A very unique option to this theme is the continuous music playlist. Although music is played on the entire site it does stop when other music or video is played.
This theme is SEO Optimized and by using the included site map page template even portfolio and front slider items can be crawled. The last feature I want to highlight is “Professional Email Notification.” This feature will help increase client confidence by using the HTML email template that you can change as needed. License prices range from $40.00 for an individual license to $2000.00 for an extended licence.
This theme package includes features such as:
- Gallery management
- copyright protection
- easy customization
- iPhone/iPad compatible (semi-responsive)
Of all themes reviewed here this is the most recently updated having an update sometime in October 2013.
One feature I really like is the ability to save, export, and share your custom designs with other Photocrati users. The purchase of this theme provides one year of updates and support. This company also offers a “no questions asked guarantee.” This means that for the first 30 days, if you are not happy for any reason they provide a full refund. The cost of this theme is $89.00. No licensing specifics are on the site (at least not in an obvious place).
5) Studiofolio by Pexeto
Studiofolio is developed by undsgn and is a portfolio and blog theme with a reputable history. Their most recent update was August this year. The theme is a fully responsive design and also Retina ready.
As with several of the other themes available you are able to create unlimited galleries and portfolio pages. This theme gives you the power to individualize the size and layout to create your own visual style. It boasts that there is no limit to the content types that can be posted; “images, videos, twitter quotes…”
Unlike other theme packages reviewed here, Studiofolio offers a fullscreen lightbox and touch enabled slideshow. Support for this product includes a dedicated support forum as well as personal assistance. The regular license is $45.00 to purchase and the extended license is $2250.
Every time I look through a list of themes and analyze them, I get excited about the idea of building out a brand new site. But really that’s what got me in trouble in my early days online. I was the proud owner of 100+ domains and web sites, and the master of none.
My best advice is to stay focused in one specific niche. Start a blog that matches your passions and use a theme that matches your chosen niche.
At any rate, if any of the themes from above piques your interest, see if it has unique functionality on the back end. If so, see if you are able to view a demo of it before buying. This can give you an indication of what is involved for the management of your web site. And when you find a particular photography theme that you like, be sure and do a search in Google to see if you can find any discount coupons. A lot of times other bloggers/affiliates will share coupons on their sites.
Now, with all this out of the way I would like to point out that I realize that a lot of people want a 100% custom design for their web site, and I get that. Now, if it isn’t convincing to you that almost any theme can made “your own,” with some color changes, layout tweaks and a polished logo, then maybe a 100% design from scratch is necessary for you. Consider sites like 99Designs to get started. Understand that there are lots of steps to getting a WordPress theme designed and coded. Also be certain that the specific feature set you desire is included with your theme. I’m not referring to SEO, eCommerce and the like, I believe (personally) that should be left to plugins. When talking themes, besides the look, feel, custom flexibility and user-friendliness, I’m interested in features such as responsive design and perhaps being Retina ready.
Alright, that’s it for now, I hope that you enjoyed this show case of premium themes. Best of luck with your photography business!