When I first started out using WordPress many years ago, the choices were in many ways a lot simpler.
You could choose from some of WordPress’s own free themes and there are a whole load of those you can choose from still today. The problem with going down that route is that the features are often not what you are after and the support is lacking, at least for someone not quite as technical (because WordPRess does have it’s own built-in forum etc, but it is more technical than most would like.).
So what do you do if you own a blog, especially a photography blog like this one and want to create a modern and stunning blog without breaking the bank or learning to code like a guru?
The WordPress Theme Options
Personally, I think some of your best theme options are the ones that come with lots of configuration options.
This could mean that the Configurator that comes built-in to WordPress is well adopted and useful for your website.
The themes that come with Elegant Themes I find are quire good at this, albeit a little simplistic in some cases, but they are certainly a good start for a simple and clean blog. And the benefit of this kind of all-in-one theme purchase is that you can just keep trying them all until you find one that you really love.
Here are some examples of the huge range of themes you can choose from with Elegant:
And if you use a theme like Divi by Elegant themes you can try out their Page Builder which has some amazing new capabilities since the real ease of Divi 2.4 back in June.
One new contender in the market that I have been having lot of fun with lately is Thrive Themes. They offer some amazing and conversion focused themes (which is rare) and they have a Page Builder too that is even more full featured.
I found this great review of Divi, Thrive Themes and X Themes (which I won’t go into here) in case you want to see what they are all about.
Thrive has quite a number of distinct theme choices, but the power is in the builder. With their content builder you can create pages and posts as you see them (which as you might know is called WYSIWYG). So intend of the usual WordPress (or even Divi to an extent) guesswork, you can build pages and almost 100% know what they are going to look like.
For a non-technical photography blogger this can be an amazing time saver and in general just saving my ass!
Here are some of the kinds of pages (including landing pages by the way) that you can create with such a page builder:
Other Theme Options
I don’t have all the answers for you when it comes to building amazing themes for photographers, but one of the other main places I look for stunning themes when people ask me is ThemeForest.
Unlike the other options I have presented above (which I think are the best for most people I know) Theme Forest comes with a sometimes daunting list of options for themes.
And because it is just a marketplace, you have no consistency or guaranteed support. It all depends on the developer, where they are, if they are still supporting your theme and so on. Whereas with Thrive and Elegant, you are always backed up by a team as well as getting an easy to use page builder thrown in with the mix.
What Would I Choose?
Ultimately, as I tell all my photography friends and customers, it depends on your needs and your taste.
None of the ones that I love will necessarily suit what you are after.
So your best bet? Take a look at the kinds of look and feel you get and see if you like them. Sure they can be changed to a certain degree, but in general you want to start off with something you like. That is key.
Then, you have to look at how much you want to change something and if you can use their page builder or you have to hire a developer. That is another key decision.
If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email!