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By published 5 May 21
The best free WordPress themes for photographers show that a brilliant photography site needn’t cost the earth.
If you’re a photographer looking to share your work with the world but you don’t have the budget to spend mega bucks on a portfolio website, there is good news. As this guide to the best free WordPress themes for photographers outlines, you can find plenty of themes to fit your requirements
We’ve rounded up eight of the best themes that can be downloaded and installed in minutes to work within WordPress’ renowned content management system (CMS). The themes below vary depending your preferences and photography niches, but all have one thing in common – they won’t cost you a dime. If you’d rather scour the market for WordPress alternatives, check out this article on the best website builders available, or see today’s best deals below.
If you’re new to WordPress and still getting used to working with its features and functions, then check out these brilliant WordPress tutorials, which include installation guides and SEO basics.
Wix: The best website builder for just $3.54/ £3 per month
Wix has over 500+ templates, which you can easily customise with your own content. Wix is super simple to use so you’ll soon have your own site online, at a bargain monthly price.
Squarespace: The best option for professionals
Squarespace has an array of beautifully designed templates that make your portfolio work look incredible. Plus it’s easy to use, and you can add an online store too.
For a stripped back and minimalist approach, give the no frills design of AltoFocus a shot, with its clean and white design ensuring your photography takes centre stage.
The homepage grid layout automatically reconfigures to accommodate new posts, with each photo linking to a post page where you can provide further info and context about the chosen imagery.
Featured images can be displayed at a maximum of 1200px wide or 900px tall, depending on photo orientation, and the theme is also fully responsive to work on a wide range of devices. To set up a social media menu that links to your various channels, simply add a new custom menu and provide links to your relevant accounts, with icons available for all major platforms.
Although the grid design layout is similar in style to the above AltoFocus, the menu and headers on the Illustratr allow a bolder approach. The top header in particular gives a magazine-style vibe, while each photo is accompanied by a headline and sub-category, which would work effectively for photographers whose photos span several niches.
Illustratr uses WordPress’ inbuilt portfolio section to build the homepage design, which should make it second nature to users with WordPress experience, but also easy to pick up for anyone new to the platform.
Thanks to the portfolio shortcode feature, with this free WordPress theme, you can also integrate your entire portfolio elsewhere on the site should you wish to display it on more than just your homepage.
The demo for this theme exudes strong modern art vibes, and photographers who favour black and white stills may wish to take this direction. Of course, this theme isn’t limited to monochrome, and there is plenty of scope to showcase a range of photography styles, including full-colour shots, art, and illustrations.
Unlike the Illustratr theme, also from WordPress creators Automattic, the headers in this free WordPress theme are initially hidden. Instead, it uses a neat hover function to highlight the images in a black box while displaying the image header.
Clicking on the images will take you to a blog page as classy and understated as the homepage. Blask also supports the WordPress site logo feature, allowing you to upload your own logo in the top left corner of the screen.
Infuse your portfolio with colour and character with this stylish theme, also from Automattic. If the steel grey demo scheme is not for you, there are six further colour palettes preset within the theme. Users with a premium or business WordPress plan will be able to further tweak the colours to their own preferences. Colours can be easily changed within the customizer in the colours & background sections of WordPress.
A handy style guide is included that runs through the basic HTML elements within the theme, including headers, list types, block quotes and short codes. As with all themes created by Automattic, full support is provided should you have any issues or queries.
This theme from AccessPress is fully built using WordPress’ customizer tool, allowing you to preview your site live as you make changes. It’s especially handy given the number of layout choices that come as part of this rich and versatile theme, with four gallery designs, three page templates, and four homepage styles at your disposal.
The theme comes with full documentation that talks you through every key feature, which is handy given just how many are included with this comprehensive freebie. If you’re looking to sell your photography, you can choose to showcase testimonials, incorporate a lightbox, push visitors to sign up for your newsletter, or embed your Twitter and Instagram feeds.
A ton of features and functions come included with this Eight Photo theme from 8DegreeThemes. The home slider allows you to place your favourite photos in the rotating headline slot, neatly complemented with an about section that allows photographers to give their visitors some info on their experience and background.
There’s a service section that can be integrated should you offer a range of photography styles and offers, while the polished counter widget can show off a tally of photos, videos, and (hopefully) awards. The contact section lets you display your email, phone, and social media details, while the call-to-action section is a nice touch for photographers with a commercial offering.
Instagram is a clear inspiration in the design of this theme, with the ability to overlay thumbnails of your photography on top of a larger background image. Developer Anders Noren is the man behind the theme, which clearly recalls the world-renowned photography app with its square imagery, centered bio info, and social icon click-throughs.
Infinite scroll, logo upload, accent colour tweaks, and responsive design are among the reasons this theme boasts over 10,000 downloads, and an accompanying style guide provides supporting info and tutorials.
This grid layout theme is a good fit for professional creatives who may also have illustrations and graphics to go along with their photography. There’s also the ability to embed video and audio.
Homepage thumbnails can be displayed in landscape (4:3), portrait (3:4), or—as demonstrated in the demo—square (1:1). Hovering over each will display the headline, category, and view button, while post pages maximise the image alongside explanatory copy and photographer/artist info.
Alexis is a freelance writer and journalist from the north east of England. His love for creative technology stems from the day he was gifted his first ever digital voice recorder (a beloved Olympus WS 110), which brought with it the wonderful realisation that he’d never again have to rely on his iffy shorthand.
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