Showcasing your photography is vital in the digital age – so much so that to lack an online presence can make you seem behind the times. What’s more, you may have already recognized you need a website, but perhaps your choice of theme leaves your design looking outdated. That’s not a good situation to be in.
The WordPress.org Theme Directory is a fine place to begin your search for a modern, stylish photography theme. However, its search features are sorely lacking. This means a potential trawl through hundreds of themes in order to find the right one – unless you get some expert advice, that is.
In this post, we’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve presented six of the best free photography themes currently on the WordPress.org Theme Directory. By the end, you’ll know exactly which one to go for.
What to Look for in a WordPress Photography Theme
Choosing a suitable theme when building your site means nothing if you don’t know what to look for in the first place. Essentially, you want to find a theme with elements that can help your work stand out from your competition, while still providing a pleasant experience for your visitors. While your specific requirements will largely depend on your overall goals and desires, there are a few key elements to consider:
- Typography that flatters your images, rather than dominating your design
- A choice of image layouts, such as the popular grid or masonry options
- Flexible design and navigation (or at least something matching your needs)
Choosing where to get your theme from is just as important as what you look for. For starters, rooting for a proverbial truffle among the free options found on specific developer websites is always a good idea – for example, the Fullscreen theme can only be found on our website:
However, this post is focused on the WordPress.org Theme Directory – a repository containing thousands of themes that cover all manner of niches (including photography, of course). What’s more, themes have to pass a vetting procedure to be included, and they’re regularly checked to ensure that only the very best are found within the directory.
6 Awesome (and Free) Photography Themes on WordPress.org
Let’s now take a look at six of the best free photography themes on the WordPress.org Theme Directory. We’ve narrowed down the choices based on a number of considerations – reviews and ratings are a primary concern, but we’ve also looked at how recently each theme was updated. That way, you’re more likely to choose a safe and secure theme that works with the current version of WordPress. Let’s begin with an aptly-named choice.
First up is FotoGraphy. While the gallery section is flexible enough to showcase a portfolio, it’s most suitable for businesses that want to showcase their latest projects, or for stock photography sites. A number of unique features are included, including:
- Team and testimonial page layouts
- Four gallery layout options
- An integrated slider
Overall, this is a solid theme for showcasing your projects, and there’s also an upgrade path for those who need even more functionality than what’s already included.
Next up is Portfolio Gallery, which (without stating the obvious) is focused on showcasing your portfolio in a large, clean grid format. It will suit art or photography students who need to quickly create a site for their work, and offers the following key features:
- Slick rollover animations for each image
- A stylish lightbox to display your images
- Six layouts and a number of page templates
In a nutshell, Portfolio Gallery does the simple things well. It’s a modern-looking example of how to create a free photography theme, and a premium version is available for those wishing to stick with it long-term.
Pixgraphy is a popular choice on the WordPress.org Theme Directory, and it’s easy to see why. Although this theme is primarily intended for stock photography sites, it could also used for showing off your work within a stylish design. In fact, it offers a number of elements not always found in other themes:
- A fullscreen ‘hero’ slider
- Understated typography
- A lightbox that can include your camera’s meta information
There’s plenty on offer from Pixgraphy – a simple-to-grasp theme with a modern design. When creating a stock photography site, there are arguably few themes that can better it.
Treading on similar ground to Portfolio Gallery, Electa is arguably even more smooth than its rival. It displays your images in a 3×3 grid; art and photography students will gravitate towards its no-fuss design. This theme also has a few other aces up its sleeve:
- It’s compatible with the Page Builder by SiteOrigin plugin.
- There are a number of customization options found within the Customizer, such as a sticky header.
- WooCommerce is fully integrated into the theme.
Like some of the other themes on this list, there is also a premium option available – but the functionality offered in the free version will be more than enough for most who are looking to both showcase and sell their work.
Our penultimate theme is Freedom – a no-nonsense photoblogging theme with a simple, clean design. While other themes try to pile on options in order to impress users, this theme appears comfortable with its minimal feature set, including:
- Options to customize elements such as the header, background, colors, and logo
- A front page slider
- Four page layouts
Freedom doesn’t seem to do much on paper, but it offers a basic way to get your photography online, without the features you don’t need. What’s more, the premium version offers even more customization options, making this a stellar option for long-term users.
Our final theme is Tracks – a bold and striking theme that is ideal for photobloggers and magazines needing a visual emphasis. The default color scheme is dark, which adds to its stylish look, and it is by far the most popular theme in this list. It also comes with the following standout features:
- A unique front page layout that puts the focus on your photography
- Neat rollover zoom animations for each image
- Gorgeous and understated typography
There’s plenty to love about Tracks – and for photobloggers especially, this may be the pick of the bunch. It doesn’t offer a lot of functions, but all the essentials you need to get started are present. Overall, it’s a stand-up theme that deserves your attention, pronto!
Choosing a theme is always challenging – more so when you have so many options at your fingertips. While the WordPress.org Theme Directory should be your first stop, finding the right theme without the ability to filter by user ratings can make your job more difficult.
In this piece, we’ve offered six of the best free photography themes on the WordPress.org Theme Directory. Some are designed for displaying your portfolio (Electa and Portfolio Gallery), others can be adapted to stock photography sites (such as Pixgraphy and FotoGraphy), while photobloggers will likely prefer Freedom and Tracks.
Do you have a favorite free theme on the WordPress.org Theme Directory? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pexels.