One of the beauties of the website builder and web hosting solution that is WordPress is its customisability. With a little bit of code tweaking, you can make your site look however you like. But such power can be intimidating. Where do you start? How do you do it? How long would it take you?
Thankfully, many creators have done all the hard work for you: there are a plethora of themes you can apply to your site to transform it in seconds. With that in mind, we’ve looked at five of the best WordPress portfolio-styled themes aimed at making your creative business stand out.
Angle was created by WPZoom, who have a wealth of themes to choose from. Angle offers a very clean look. As with nearly all themes, this one covers everything, from a main page, to individual posts, and there are enough customisation possibilities to transform it into the ideal display for your work or business. Widgets are also available for further customisation.
As you should expect from a modern theme, it is built to be responsive (i.e. it adapts itself to the screen it’s being viewed on – be it desktop, tablet or phone), and can manage the high “retina” resolution of modern portable devices.
The theme will cost you $69 per year and includes a year of updates and support, but you also have a one-time purchase option of $159 (currently reduced from $395). Updates and support are unlimited for that option. Alternatively, it’s worth mentioning that $99 per year would get you all of WPZoom’s 35 WordPress themes.
The aim of Coastline is to put your photography front and centre. The main menu is composed of large thumbnails, as examples of your work for each of your categories. The sidebar is placed on the left and we really liked that it’s anchored in position: no matter how far you scroll down, it’s always there ready to take your visitor to another page on your site (of course this doesn’t apply when viewed on a phone screen, but just shows how well this theme’s responsive design is).
Coastline is currently on offer for $34.30. This is a one-time fee, but should you need support and updates beyond your first year, you’ll have to pay again for the privilege. A little more – $48.30 – grants you access to all of CSS Igniter’s themes (again for a year of updates and support). If you’re the kind of person who’d rather pay once for a lifetime’s worth of support and updates, all their themes can be yours for $174.30.
If you’re familiar with Themify, the designers of the Elegant theme, you’ll know they include their ‘drag & drop builder’ with each purchase, meaning that it’s incredibly easy to customise their theme to suit your exact needs, by adding and moving modules anywhere you want on the page.
Elegant is the right name for this… elegant theme. It comes with its own typography, and even comes with filters that are triggered when you mouse over your photos. These include sepia, blur and grayscale. Various layout options are offered, along with the ability to customise the header for each page.
Elegant is a very beautiful and simple theme which costs $59. This includes one year of support and updates, and the right to use it on as many sites as you’d like. Themify also offer a 30-day money back guarantee, as well as a 50% discount if you’re switching from another theme. You can also gain access to all of Themify’s themes, for $89.
Gallery Pro aims for the minimalist look, which is not a negative, we assure you. As with all modern themes, it is fully responsive and looks good on whichever screen it’s viewed from. Of course, just like the others, it is fully customisable, allowing you to change its background, colours and content. It also comes with a series of templates to help you create new pages, such as blogs and landing pages, with very little effort. You can mix and match your pages with various design elements, including ‘full width’ which, as the name suggests, lets you display a photo, taking up the entire width of the screen – or window. Various customisation widgets are also part of the deal.
The only downside really is its price. It’s noticeably the most expensive theme on the list as there’s no yearly subscription: $129.95 is a one-time purchase. It includes StudioPress’ ‘Genesis Framework’, continuous updates, and one year of support.
Nikkon is a simple theme, but it comes with an unbeatable advantage over the others on this list: it’s free. Now of course it won’t have all the bells and whistles the others offer, but if you’re starting out, you really can’t beat free. So what do you get for your money?
Ideal for photography enthusiasts, this theme’s main page offers a grid-based layout, so you can display your images clearly and with ease. You can anchor a sharing toolbar so it’s always available no matter how far a visitor scrolls down. The theme comes with several header styles to suit your needs, supports blogging, and also integrates with WooCommerce should you decide to sell your shots. As it stands, it’s ideal for starting out, and there’s also a Nikkon Pro option with additional feature when you’re ready to pay for them.
Top Image Credit: CSSIgniter