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      The first question I get after telling somebody I use Flothemes and wordpress, nine times out of ten, will be “Is it easy?”

      The whole point of a WordPress theme is to make creating your own website an easy process, without needing to pay a web developer. Being able to setup your own site is extremely important. WordPress isn’t always the simplest platform in the world to use. The frustration can come from having too many options to configure, too many ways to achieve the same goal, and too many themes to chose from. Fortunately, between well designed themes, the latest frameworks, a great support staff, and thorough support documents, Flothemes has made building a WordPress photography site extremely simple.

      My preferred WordPress stack:

      Flothemes vs Squarespace

      Flothemes are a premium theme that you install in WordPress. Squarespace is an all-in-one platform that takes care of your hosting and content management. Squarespace is slightly easier to learn as an absolute beginner, due to its lack of options and total simplicity. I prefer the open source WordPress platform with ultimate customizability and thousands of plugins available. Anything that you’re trying to do with WordPress has probably already been done and a how-to guide has been posted to youtube. If you need a special plugin for wordpress, it probably exists. Flothemes builds on this platform’s strengths and makes it simple to make a great looking, responsive, fast, and well designed website for photographers.

      Squarespace has a few massive drawbacks with how they structure their URLs that can cause SEO challenges for the typical photography blog. They also suffer from bloated JavaScript that blocks rendering and many other PageSpeed issues that can be challenging to overcome and in many cases unconquerable.

      Flothemes vs ProPhoto

      When I was first getting into photography, ProPhoto themes were on ~90% of the websites I admired. I’ve never used them personally. My take is that they can build a decent website, but that updates don’t keep up with quickly changing technologies. ProPhoto was years behind on offering responsive mobile sites. Flothemes has been at the front of the pack in regards to taking advantage of modern web frameworks.

      Let’s talk install

      In my own experience, and with helping a few friends setup their new sites, Flothemes has changed the game with their latest releases. Let’s go through the whole process of setting up a new website. First you need to install WordPress (if you’re building a brand new website). Then install the theme and child theme, this will allow you to update your theme without overwriting any code changes you make in the future.

      After you install your new theme, here is your starting point:

      The most valuable tip I can give you today, is to read the instructions and watch the quick youtube videos for each section. They have made the process very simple, and in my opinion their back-end is laid out very well. That said, there can be a learning curve if you’re coming from a different content manager or theme company. The few minutes you spend watching the youtube videos should clear up any confusion you might have later on.

      You start out with the Flothemes menu on the left WordPress sidebar:flothemes settings menu

      You can just go, step-by-step, down the list from 1-8 (or 9! if you’re feeling adventurous). I’d recommend doing this if you’re building a brand new site, or transferring from an older Flothemes theme.

      For each section, they have an image that guides you through every option available:

      flothemes page structure

      This image is your map to setting up your theme. Each section of their settings area will have an image like above, showing you exactly what the annotated setting will change. They also have visual examples for design related changes. This makes going through the entire setup process very intuitive.

      Here are example layout options:

      layout options

      Here is a major feature of the new Flothemes back-end, page templates:

      flothemes page template

      These page templates do most of the work for you. Each page has a few different design versions, you pick the one you like most. Then each section of that template is able to be modified, using the same easy format. The text areas have different available fonts, sliders for color and size, etc. This process makes setting up the important pages of your website a very straight forward process. Make sure you’ve set each page to the correct template.

      page attributes

      My Cube theme has templates for: home, about, contact, and listing (blog) pages. When I switched themes, it took less than 20 minutes for me to go through the process of selecting my preferred options for each page template and applying them to my previously built pages. This was a total website transformation, in under an hour. Flothemes has found a way to make the whole process easy, while still looking great.

      Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!

      Comments

      Hi, Thank you for your helpful article. I’m wondering today if I would let down my Divi theme and its builder to switch to flothemes.

      Do you offer tuition on getting started with Flothemes? For some reason Im just “Stuck” there are too many unprioritised options!

      I don’t currently, but Flothemes setup packages are a great deal!

      I am currently considering using Flotheme for a travel-related blog. I like the simple, minimal format. My question is whether one can add a shop to the websites? Or are these strictly for showcasing photos & portfolios?

      I believe they have a few themes that work well with woo commerce for adding an e-commerce shop! https://docs.flothemes.com/setting-up-woocommerce-in-flothemes/

      Thanks a lot for so useful articles you are writing! What do you think about Flothemes sites speed? I noticed that they are much slower then ProPhoto sites, as least the ones I checked from their Showcase. Thanks a lot)

      I find that number of images + image size is generally the largest variable.. It’s pretty easy to get the typical flothemes homepage to load in much under 2 seconds!

      Hi Dylan – thanks so much for the info! Wondering if you have any recommendations on hosting? Thanks!

      I currently use wp-engine for this site, it’s nice but expensive. I use Siteground on other sites and find it a nice mix of features/speed/reliability and price.

      Love this post and insanely helpful. I initially started out on wordpress but kinda jumped in over my head by diving in without doing a whole lot of research. Ended up moving to squarespace because it was all in one and really geared towards beginners. But, now that I have been with them for two years I have realized how restricting their services are. They offer dozens of templates with very few shared features and no way to add features I want. Some of their templates, still aren’t entirely mobile friendly which is pretty upsetting as that is one of their biggest claims is having live adapting templates.

      Anyways, building a website that doesn’t look cooky cutter is nearly impossible. I am wanting to switch back to wordpress and I have fallen in love with Flothemes. Their templates look very well thought out and constructed. I was wondering, though, what theme you are using for your site?

      I’m currently using the Cube theme!

      Thank you. I am in the process of switching from Prophoto, and your review is indeed confirmatory to my choice to move to flothemes. Appreciated.

      really good explanation, thank you for sharing. Feeling even more tempted to switch 🙂

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