There are so many possibilities for creative WordPress portfolio themes. WordPress, the most popular blogging platform, is a content management system for business and personal use alike. It can be used to display the portfolio of a business, art work of freelancers and agencies, or a photo gallery of a photographer. New portfolio themes are being added very often, but here are the 20 latest portfolio WordPress themes for 2012, in decreasing order with the newest one being first. As each one is explored, its primary and outstanding attributes are explained and the target user group is mentioned, followed by some technical key specifications in bullet form.
* It is a fully responsive layout
* There is a choice of 2:3, 3:2, 1:2 and Tumblr-style post formats
* The portfolio list pages have 4 pagination styles for displaying thumbnails of items: Twitter-style, infinite scroll, with page numbers and without pagination; the user can set an upper limit in the latter.
* A Shortcode generator enables custom elements
* The theme has been tested on iPhone, iPad and Android devices
* Dynamic image resizing is used to reduce browsing overhead
* It is an SEO-friendly theme
* Filtering option is available for the portfolio
* Both dark and light skin layouts are offered
Punch is a premium theme with a unique shaped-based layout. These shape overlays and animations make a stunning impact on the viewers. Creative agencies and digital companies will benefit greatly by using Punch for their website.
* There is a shortcode generator for over 30 shortcodes
* A high level of customization is possible, with more than 400 Google fonts and wide range of meta options
* 9 pre-set shape overlays along with the option of creating a custom mask encourage creative layouts
* The colors and skins can be changed in a snap, with the help of WordPress Live color customizer
* Punch offers extensive portfolios
* It has a superfast framework
* It is designed with SEO-effectiveness in mind, made possible by using semantic and valid HTML5
* It is a fully responsive design with a 960 grid system
* The touch swipe sliders are perfect for touch-screen devices
* Post-purchase, customer support is available at all times
This creative theme uses a Nivo slider for unlimited choice of effects and number of slides. The portfolio page is provided with a vertical scroller. Overlay also includes a neat Contact page with a ready-to-fill form along with Google maps functionality. The users can link their website to social media like Facebook, Twitter and also use the power of Google Plus using custom widgets.
* The admin panel is power-packed with features
* It is also enabled with a jQuery carousel effect, jQuery Lightbox
* 5 PSDs are included in the Overlay package
Designed for the photographer, Mediabook allows retouching and all kinds of multimedia, including text, audio and video. It is one of the most minimalistic portfolio WordPress themes; the simple layout of its webpages brings the content into focus. This theme can be configured as a blog or even a website with a single page. Once the theme is uploaded and activated with default theme pre-sets, content can be added onto it right away; this fast setup is a great plus. The edit screen on the WordPress pages and posts includes the unique Gallery module.
* Content loads dynamically for faster browsing
* Mediabook uses a global loop showcase system
* Custom gallery colors are provided for zoomed view
* It is multimedia-friendly; video formats supported are YouTube, Vimeo and jPlayer custom videos
Here is another clean and minimal WordPress theme, compatible with 3.0 and higher versions. The layout does not include any tables but its sliders, menus, toggles and the other page elements are powered by jQuery. There are 50 inbuilt background patterns to play around with. It supports threaded comments to the third level and self-hosted videos. The theme is responsive to mobile phones and tablets, thus catering to users on the go.
* Customization includes 4 post types and 10 page templates
* Images are automatically resized as thumbnails for optimum browsing
* Its use of meta keywords and descriptions enhances SEO
* Responsive design tested on iPhone and iPad
* Photoshop Documents and xml files with demo content are included in the Square theme package
* The layout has a large title so that the company name or primary message can be displayed prominently to online users
* There are plenty of useful shortcodes, with a special mention of unique shortcodes for ratings and scores
* Theme colors and backgrounds can be modified by controls on the admin dashboard; individual backgrounds can be selected for each page
* Users can customize their login logo
* Images in the gallery can be viewed as a slideshow; the gallery also allows videos
The large choice of page layouts and advanced customization make this responsive portfolio WordPress theme excellent for websites run by creative businesses or agencies. Animation shortcodes produce amazing effects on content that is uploaded.
* There are 6 post formats, including Standard, Image, Gallery, Audio, Video, Quote
* There are 3 blog layouts, including Standard, Grid and Masonry
* A slider spans the width of the home page; this page also allows 5 tab areas
* Menu location offered only for mobile-based websites
* Custom logos, favicons and avatar for posting comments can be added
* Numbered pagination is allowed
* Animated comments make the website interesting to customers and encourage their interaction
This theme is clean with no frills; it simply puts the focus on the content. It is recommended for web-design beginners who are not very familiar with website layouts. With the user-friendly admin panel, customizing various page elements becomes an easy job. It boasts of more than 500 Google fonts and shortcodes; this, along with unlimited colors to choose from, gives the user a lot of options to play around with.
* This is a responsive theme, compatible with all browsing gadgets: computers, smartphones and tablets
* It is powered with advanced jQuery effects
* There is an integrated color picker with a wide range of color options
* Both images and videos are supported for projects and for the blog
* The contact form provided is ready for use
Its AJAX portfolio content is meant for freelance designers, allowing them to showcase their creative skills over the Internet. There is a custom skin manager having 7 default skin options. Over 100 shortcodes and 16 page templates makes it quite flexible in its appearance. Moreover, there are 300 Google web fonts. A contact form backed by Captcha spam-filter security is provided, and the fields to be displayed on the website’s contact page can be managed through the admin panel. Pallas theme is translation-enabled, reaching out to foreign users as well. Its social-readiness is enabled by an inbuilt module for social media profiles.
* Responsiveness of the Pallas theme extends to PCs, Mac devices, mobile phones and tablet devices
* Flexibility is achieved by a choice of 8 portfolio page styles and 3 blog page styles
* A different sidebar style can be chosen for each webpage
Businesses and corporates in search of a WordPress theme to put their portfolio in the spotlight have to look no further. They are free to upload audio, video and photo galleries as portfolio items. The audio formats supported are mp3 and ogg; once uploaded to a webpage, they will play automatically when that page is opened. Moreover, external links and comments are supported by the Portland theme. It has a biography section. It achieves a very professional look.
* Any portfolio item having more than one image enables the gallery controls
* A range of shortcodes makes it easy to customize page payouts
* It includes 2 custom widgets for post authors and tweets, along with widget sections on the home page and in the default sidebar on two-column and posts pages.
Renovatio is a premium WordPress portfolio theme designed for blog and gallery websites in particular. It works equally well on large computer screens and small handheld devices. This theme is compatible with the latest WordPress version 3.4. It includes a live preview customizer for the user to get a proper feel of the various options applied to their webpage layouts. These options include 6 color schemes, 30 fonts for headings and content and 6 page templates, among others. Renovatio allows a different background not only for each page, but also at a per-post and per-project level.
* There are 5 widgets: latest projects, flickr, tweets, social icons and ads/sponsors
* The templates for portfolio offer the ability to show or hide filters and have a horizontal or vertical orientation
* External web links can be inserted into projects within a portfolio
Among all the colorful themes created for portfolio WordPress users, Melrose stands out because of its classic black and white layout. It brings out the best features of WordPress and offers unlimited website embellishments. With 14 skins all equally beautiful, there is something bound to please every user. This theme layout has a pricing table, which is a rare element in WordPress portfolio themes. It caters to device responsiveness and SEO readiness.
* The theme has more than 500 Google fonts and a large number of sliders
* It comes with 8 custom Lambda widgets
* A shortcode generator includes over 50 useful shortcodes
* A large number of sidebars can be added to webpages
13. Point Break
* It has a responsive design, especially its touch sliders and videos
* It is not only SEO-friendly, but also SEM-ready for marketing purposes and social media-friendly for increased exposure
* Since multiple languages are supported, it caters to the international market
* All this rich functionality loads within 0.7 seconds on a reliable hosting service.
Unlike the usual multi-page templates in portfolio WordPress themes, Sketch offers its layout on a single page: a clean design that has the advantage of easy user management. At the same time, it does not compromise on functionality. Viewers can browse the content of any portfolio or blog post by clicking on that particular item; a modal window will open up for detailed viewing. Text, images, galleries and videos afford great viewing pleasure even on the small screen of the iPhone and similar devices.
* This theme has a very clean and fluid design
* Full-width image spans the one-page layout
* Both light and dark color schemes are available; accent colors can be chosen using the color picker
* The package includes an extensive help file and a 30-minute installation video
Each page of this WordPress theme can have a different background. It is one of the few themes to offer 2 templates for the Contact page; the standard form as well a contact form that can be hidden with a full-screen sliding Google maps template. The beautiful Masonry layout of Vivo makes it ideal for agencies, designers, photographers and other creative businesses, with customers flocking to the website. Its responsive design offers a seamless browsing experience, right from desktops and laptops to tablets and smartphones; this extends the website’s reach to people all the time, wherever they may be.
* Shortcodes can be managed through the WYSIWYG editor
* There is a range of color skins available with the Vivo theme, else user can create their own
* The portfolio has the option of filtering items based on category
SCRN is another single-page theme for creative portfolio WordPress websites but it also includes a blog. All customization of fonts, colors, background images and favicons is done using the theme options panel. This theme can be translated to many other languages, with English as the default setting. The power of Google analytics is inbuilt into the website and verification is done via Google webmaster tools; plugins are not needed. The detailed documentation for SCRN not only explains how to install and use the theme; it also guides users who are new to WordPress.
* There are plenty of shortcodes for custom-made elements
* The contact form is powered by jQuery
* Social icons are included to increase customer’s connectivity to social media while browsing the website
* HTML5 and CSS3 are used to make the website elements optimized for high visibility on search engines
Masculine achieves a look that would work well for creative agencies, modern freelancers or any business that wants to make a bold statement. It is based on a 1140-pixel responsive grid. Image and color of the background can be changed for each page. The home page consists of 6 customizable elements and a portfolio item slider that can be incorporated on the home page or as a stand-alone page. It is a translation-ready theme for international usage.
* All the portfolio items can be viewed at once or filtered as desired
* A base font maximum size of 16 pixels enables maximum readability
The AJAX Portfolio has a filtering option. The Page Builder includes 12 modules that can be selected using the simple drag-and-drop approach; these modules can also be reused. Besides the usual modules for posts, portfolios, there are separate modules for customers to add content about the team, clients and testimonials. True to its name, Unfold is an impressive theme for users to unfold their creative portfolios to online viewers.
* Over 500 fonts are on offer, along with 7 posts formats with any number of sidebars.
* Smooth animations can be achieved using this theme
* The detailed user manual includes screen-casts for the user’s convenience
* It works with WordPress version 3.4+
* This theme is translation-ready, with the po and mo files included in the package
The Elevate theme is a perfect example of how minimalism and high effectiveness can go hand in hand. It allows custom backgrounds for each page, portfolio and post. The portfolio is based on a grid system, and jQuery Isotope gives additional smoothness to the website. The layout is very flexible and adaptive on mobile devices, eliminating the need of constant zooming in and out to view content on their small screens. While most other WordPress themes use shortcodes for custom elements, this theme uses a styles drop-down menu instead.
* The theme is centered around backgrounds; options include plain colors, impressive patterns or any custom image spanning the full screen
* Dark navigation is provided for light backgrounds and vice-versa, making text very readable
The clean yet elegant look of this theme is as impressive on a desktop PC as on the tiny screen of a mobile phone. Its responsive design adapts all elements for the best fit. Users can scale their company’s logo as desired and include it on the website; there is a choice of plain white background, or black with a slanted edge. The gallery offers a slider or masonry layout and manages to enhance the look of each and every photograph / video uploaded. The level of support offered for Play users is tremendous and is one of its plus points.
* This theme is responsive to iPhone, iPad and Android hand-held devices
* An infinite scroller allows unlimited posts
* The theme uses an Adobe fireworks template
* Interesting transitions are allowed on custom sliders through CSS3
* Video support is offered to YouTube and Vimeo files
Recap and Summary:
After seeing 20 of the newest portfolio WordPress themes of 2012, it is clear that the designers are aiming to provide users with higher levels of customization. Glossy appearances are taking a backseat and the focus is on core functionality and content enhancement. Some of these themes are more apt for business WordPress users, while the more trendy ones are for creative personal blogs and portfolios. But all of them are designed around the portfolio gallery items, enabling the website viewers to enjoy their browsing experience and assisting the website owners in building profits or followers, as the case may be. Once users are aware of the latest WordPress portfolio themes on offer, they can choose the best one to meet the needs of their website.