The reason I even started looking for new themes for my photo blog websites is because I noticed that 50% or more of my readers are accessing my websites on mobile browsers. It’s 2013 and the time is here to build your online assets to be equally responsive to all browsers on all devices and give all users a great experience. FYI, Google is now factoring in “user experience” into their ranking. This includes page load times as well as browser compatibility.
The newly upgraded websites have been live for just a few days now and that’s enough time to see the difference in website traffic behavior. I’m noticing that I’m now getting more page views per visit. Exactly what I wanted to happen! The websites load much faster now too so my Google page rank should benefit nicely from just changing the theme. That’s definitely worth it for me.
Now that I’m finished re-theming both websites, I feel temporarily like an expert on WordPress responsive themes for photography. Several days spent researching all the new themes available and trying out some of them led me to adopt two finalists for my two photo blogs. While this information is fresh in my mind, I want to write it down for you if you’re looking for an easy & worthwhile upgrade your photography website too.
That’s the same question I had when I started seeing that phrase among the heavyweight WordPress theme vendors online; Theme Forest, Elegant Themes, Photocrati, Studiopress, etc. It surprised me to learn that a responsive WordPress theme is exactly what I was looking for, I just didn’t know what they were called. Dopey me.
What I needed. A new theme for my WordPress photo blog websites that is more friendly when viewed on mobile devices. I also wanted to feature my photos in large or full-screen display to WOW my visitors. With my old themes, it was a crap shoot about how they ended up rendering on an android phone, or an iPad, or anything else. Responsive themes are made to adapt to any browser so your photography website always looks great to everybody everywhere, hence, a great user experience!
Let me show you some of the cooler responsive themes I found and the ones I chose for my two photo blog websites.
I easily could have gone with Photocrati. There are 60 different WordPress themes for photographers in this top-notch line. You get access to all 60 themes with the one price of $89. In the end, I think I was just resisting the price. After all, I’m used to using the free themes available in the WordPress repository for many websites I build. And what if I buy the theme and then don’t like it? At the end of the day though, I realized that none of the free themes offer what I need and what modern themes for photographers are capable of. So, this time, I’m looking into premium WordPress themes to get what I really want.
As a photographer, my online presence is crucial to my success. It my website looks bad, I look bad. If it’s stunning with an engaging user experience, people will hang around longer and there is a better chance of gaining a new fan. So, this time, I spent some money.
Photocrati is a beautiful solution and I might just come back to it if either of my other two choices end up giving me trouble. They have a 30 day unconditional guarantee so, try it and get your money back if it ends up you find it doesn’t work for your needs.
Elegant Themes offer a stable of 82 WordPress themes. 17 of them are fully responsive themes so those are the ones I zeroed in on to check out. The one that caught my attention is their Deep Focus theme and it’s this theme that I decided on for this website. I like the home page slider that links to my choice of inner pages. I found that the theme is very easy to configure and the short codes really let your creativity go nuts. There is a lot more customization available with the Deep Focus theme than I’m utilizing now. For a mere $39 a year you get access to all 82 themes, support, upgrades, and a no questions asked 30 day money back guarantee.
Gleam is another cool theme available at Elegant Themes. I chose to use it on my golf course photography website; YourGolfMoment.com. So, for my $39 at Elegant Themes I got two themes for my two websites!
What I like about this theme is its simplicity to configure and the awesome full screen look. It really makes my photos pop! All themes that I review on this page have a full online demo available on the respective vendor’s websites so that you can play around and see the possibilities for your photography business website.
Theme Forest is a huge repository of premium WordPress themes from many developers. The website sort of acts like a broker for these developers to sell their themes. If you search for “photography” themes you get over 300 results. The search “Responsive” turns up more than 500 results. Way too many in either case to check them all out. I relied on reading other blogs to narrow my search within Theme Forest… it is a forest indeed!
The Keres theme I like a lot! It give a true full screen experience, it’s elegant, and has a very intuitive user interface. My blog would look great with my “more real than life” HDR photos featured in this theme. The price isn’t bad at $45 but that’s the only theme you get for that price. Theme Forest isn’t a site where you buy a small subscription and get access to all their WordPress themes. It’s à la carte. For that reason, I decided to pass on Keres, for now, to see how I like Deep Focus in the long run. If I decide to make a change, it’s super easy to just pop for the $45 and apply the Keres theme. That’s what I love about WordPress for my photography website… changing the look & feel with themes takes only minutes.
Back when I first began blogging about 8 years ago, Studiopress, with their famous Genesis framework, offered the best themes available for SEO. That’s what I started with, became comfortable with and have used on all websites I’ve build for myself and Mai over the years. Their themes are excellent, no doubt. I had been using their Manhattan theme for years on this blog until I just changed last week to Deep Focus.
The reason I didn’t continue with Studiopress is because I don’t feel they offer great themes made specifically for photographers. However, you may feel differently. So please take a peek at their collection. Manhattan is still a great theme, so is Landscape for a photography website. The Minimal theme is a responsive theme and also works well as a photography website. Studiopress themes run around $80.
One of the big vendors of premium Wordpress themes has a free e-book offer. Good info if you’re concerned about making your photography website rock.
Before wrapping this up I want to say a little about why I prefer WordPress over any other platform for my photography website.
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