Help choose a WordPress theme for a simple, 365-post photo blog.
December 22, 2012 10:56 AM   Subscribe

Please help me to choose a WordPress theme for my (second) daily photo blog. My problem is that I want something so plain and simple that I'll probably have to pay for it, but the paid themes are complex and difficult for me to decipher. The content will be 365 posts and an archive gallery, presented as simply as possible.

My ideal website would be really simple. Upon loading the page, I would like the current day's photo to display with minimal distraction—maybe just the blog's name along with that photo's date and a one- or two-sentence caption. There should also be an equally unobtrusive way to open an archive gallery, which would just be a single page of images. If you click on an image, you would again see just that image (now full-sized) with minimal distraction (blog name, photo date, brief caption).

In other words, each daily post would be just one photo with a little else as possible. The blog's front page would display just one such post at a time. You could activate a textless gallery, just a big collection of photos (similar to the Expression WordPress theme), to browse and open previous days' posts.

That's all I need. This is purely an art project. There will be no ads, I don't need a biography page or contact info, and I don't need hierarchies for different categories of posts. The archive gallery will eventually consist of 365 different photos, and then the blog will end. (Bonus points if I can then make the gallery the blog's front page.)

I have been browsing WordPress themes, and the selection seems huge. But the more overwhelming problem is that when I narrow down to a few themes that I think might fit (Expression, Fashion9, HQ Photography Responsive, etc.) it's really difficult for me to distinguish between them because I'm not conversant. Paid themes offer a lot of power and customizing, which I'm sure is why most people pay for them, but as an HTML dummy I'm having trouble cutting through all that to figure out how to buy one theme that will accomplish my goal. My approach would have been to try them one-by-one, trial and error.

I'd appreciate any help from suggested themes, tips on how to customize a theme to achieve what I'm looking for, or general advice on how to distinguish between some of the features that exist given what I'm looking to accomplish. Thanks in advance!
posted by cribcage to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I happened to bookmark Touchfolio a while back; it might do what you want. Plus it's free.
posted by bcwinters at 11:17 AM on December 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm happily using AutoFocus, a free theme, for a photo blog.
posted by ceiba at 12:10 PM on December 22, 2012

Why not just use Tumblr?
posted by softlord at 5:22 PM on December 22, 2012

Most free wordpress themes allow you to add and delete sidebar navigation and widget thingies. What you'd want to do is find a fairly simple theme that's similar to what you want, and then eliminate everything except a link to your archive. Just experiment with themes that look promising (using a test photo) until you find one you can pare down to what you want.

I think all of them require a post to have a title, but you can probably get around that by just making the date the title and picking a theme that doesn't make the title too obtrusive.

So basically what I'm recommending is "try them one-by-one, trial and error". (I'm assuming you're looking at the free themes offered through free wordpress hosting. If you're not, you might consider going that route.)

This has to sound weird if you're an American, but you also might look at getting an ipernity blog. It was originally set up as a photo blogging site and still seems stick pretty close to that. By default, ipernity blogs seem to function fairly similarly to the way you want.

This is not a recommendation. I've never had an ipernity blog, I just end up visiting them occasionally because they're popular with French-speaking people. I'm just recommending it as something you might look into. I don't think they allow a lot of modification, but the basic structure seems to be close to what you want.
posted by nangar at 5:24 PM on December 22, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks to all for your help. I'll look through those themes. I am using Tumblr for my current photo blog, but I'm looking to do something different and WordPress seems worth a try. I appreciate the tips!
posted by cribcage at 10:28 PM on December 26, 2012

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