Rich Photo (or Recipe, Sweet Shop, Clothing Site)

rich-photo-thumbRich WP have released the aptly named ‘Rich Photo‘ photo gallery wordpress theme. As you can see from the demo above this is a minimal and hassle free photo template which allows your visitors to navigate visually straight from the home page.

This Rich Photo is obviously aimed at photographers however we feel that it maybe missing its true calling, and thats a wordpress recipe theme. Consciously or not, the theme designers seem to agree with us, using mostly food related imagery for their demo (or they were just really hungry!) However it is not this which makes us believe that this site would be better adapted to the culinary arts! Those of you who have navigated through the demo already will have noticed the final details page (or post) which is very reminiscent of the recipe pages on many of the more modern cookery and chiefs websites.

Simple navigation rules the day on this Recipe (sorry Photo) Theme from Rich WP
Simple navigation rules the day on this Recipe (sorry Photo) Theme from Rich WP

Creating content for this site could not be easier, simply decide what categories you want to display on the home page, create them and then publish articles (posts) in that category. Thats it, easy? Well its been made even easier than that, upload a photo or image and it is automatically assigned and resized to fit the home, category and details page in one go, no more resizing in photoshop.

For those of you who were wondering you can also easily install Paypal or any other payment option to turn Rich Photo into a shop / ecommerce website.

When your visitors click on an article, you can see from the image above they are presented with easy previous and next photo options (button wording easily changed) so that they can simply flick through the rest of the posts in that category or section.

Visual navigation makes us hungry
Visual navigation makes us hungry

How many different applications are there for a theme / website like this? Well quite a few, put it this way, your imagination is the limit with this one, whether it be a sweet shop, clothing label, art, photography  or one of a million other uses, this site will never cause you a headache to run, or leave your visitors hunting aimlessly for what they need. It is clear, concise and with the right content, stunning.

Features:

  • Two color schemes – Bright and Dark
  • Automatic Image Size Generation. All photo sizes needed across the theme will be assigned and generated automatically.
  • Easy installation and setup with included documentation.
  • Threaded comments support
  • Gravatar support for comments
  • Free updates!
  • Fully SEO compliant

Rich WP offer free updates and support for this theme and according to their customers are very friendly and quick to respond. How many companies do you know that offer up their personal Msn and Skype addresses for ease of contact? The theme / website comes with full and very detailed instructions, and unless you are completely new to wordpress you will not need them, its that simple to use.

Obviously this website is not going to be suitable for everyone, for instance we carn’t imagine this as a corporate or informational site. But if you need a minimal, beautiful and easy way of displaying your work, products or ideas to the world then Rich Photo is it.

If you are not familiar with wordpress and want to get this website up and running, do not worry here’s the ‘The Famous 5-Minute Installation‘ guide for wordpress. Or simply click the install button above or below this review.

Classifieds Theme

classifieds-mainClassifieds Theme is a complete classified ads system for WordPress. Meaning you do not need to adapt your current site using a wordpress classifieds plugin.

According to the publishers of the theme it ‘allows anyone to easily turn a standard wordpress blog into a powerful community driven classified ads serving platform’ its basically a piece of classifieds website software.

The look of the theme is very basic and if you are running a classified ads site or want to take your classifieds online then this is a very good thing indeed. You need the focus of your site to be your customers ads not the surrounding graphics and banners, this theme achieves this very well. The ads are nicely separated with alternating background colours, and can easily catagorised and tagged by the customer, making them easy to find by visitors.

The demo site which is viewable here
charges its users $3 per 99 days for each advert. You can easily change this to any amount you want, we would recommend using a $1 / £1 per 14 days ratio for maximum profit and affordability. All payments are collected via paypal and there is no need for your customers to go through the annoying join / sign up process before they can place an ad. However if you are an avid mailing list collector then there is plenty of opportunity for your customers to sign up.

Classifieds Theme. Simple layout. Maximum Profit
Classifieds Theme. Simple layout. Maximum Profit

The scope for this theme is huge. For example coupon code and promo code sites are becoming big business in the current economic climate and this theme is perfect for that use, it already looks very similar to a lot of the major players sites.

Free classified websites like Gumtree, Freecycle and Craigslist are some of the biggest in the classifieds market and although they offer many of their postings for free they make up the rest of their income from on site advertising. Why not use this theme for a similar use? It has built in adsense and plenty of banner space.

The developers of Classifieds Theme have paid a lot of attention to how other similar sites work. More importantly they have picked out the most important ‘pros’ of these sites while avoiding their ‘cons’ like the plague! This theme has far too many features to go into detail here but here is a list of just some of them:

Features

  • Paypal integration
  • Lightbox style gallery for product images
  • Ad Tagging
  • Auto pruning
  • Featured classifieds
  • Adsense integration
  • Ad rotation (avoid banner blindness)
  • Category specific advertising ready
  • Advanced ads management
  • Auto payments
  • Email notifications for newly submitted ads
  • Email notifications for payments received
  • Contact seller form
  • Email a friend button
  • Print view button
  • Custom login bo
  • Theme options panel
  • Theme support
  • Unlimited theme customization (open source)
  • RSS feed displays latest classifieds
  • All necessary plugins are included with the theme

See what we mean? This is a serious tool and it is very intuitive, for instance take a look at the individual ad page for an iPhone below.

Individual ad page. Note the Adsense banners and contact seller form
Individual ad page. Note the Adsense banners and contact seller form

See how the banners and Adsense have changed to be relevant to the product the seller is advertising without disturbing the look of the theme or becoming dominant over the sellers ad. The one thing we would change here is the positioning of the product images. They are too far down the page and need to be close to the top to become more of a feature. This is a big shame because when clicked the product images open full screen in a lightbox style gallery overlay with easy navigation to browse all the different angles and views the seller has uploaded. Note that this page also has an ‘ask the seller a question’ form as well as a comments form. Both very important when building a classifieds community.

If you do run a classifieds based business (or similar) then you really need to consider this theme if you want to maximise your profits and make usage easy for your customers. If you already have a website then this should be a big wake up call to upgrade if your existing site does not meet the full spec of this one.

Buying this theme reveals an interesting option. As well as the usual single license and multi user license (if you wish to install on more than one site). The developers also offer a reseller option. If you are a web developer, sell themes or simply have many clients who would be interested in this theme then you can pay a one off fee and then resell the classifieds theme for as much as you want and as many times as you want. You can also redevelop it and sell it with no comeback. Click here to see all the different options available.

If you are not a developer and simply need this theme installed for you then please click the ‘install’ link below.

Revolution Album

Revolution Two themes are gaining a lot of popularity and admiration amongst WordPress theme fanatics, they are probably our favourite developers currently on the scene.

Features:

  • Comes with 7 built in colour schemes
  • Widget ready
  • Easy navigation
  • Avatar ready
  • Suitable for photographers, artists and gallerys

Revolution Album is a theme designed purely for photographers and artists who wish to run a photo blog or a portfolio site. Care has been taken in the development of the design to make sure that the emphasis of your site will be your photos or images with everything else toned down, letting your work speak for itself. As you can see from the image below each photo takes up over 50% of the overall design.

Click for full size preview

Navigation has been made very easy with the simple previous and next buttons that you would expect to find in any well constructed photo blog. However below these is a featured photos strip which allows you to show off the crux of your work. This could very easily be modified into a categories selector. Simply make each of the featured photos a link to a different category and add a suitable tool tip (the text that pops up when your mouse is over an image or button). Or put the category titles directly onto the photos here to create a menu!

Directly under the title of each image / photo is a ‘filed under’ and ‘tagged’ area making it very easy for user to navigate quickly to similar works and projects, basically acting as a quick menu system.

Speaking of menus, all the main navigation has the option to use drop-down menus keeping everything at top level nice and minimal.

We think it would be nice to see EXIF data used within this theme and hope that Revolution consider this for future updates / re-designs. There are plenty of plugins available which will do this job and if you are a dedicated photographer then we recommend that you use them with this theme.

It would also be nice to see the featured photos section integrated into a sliding feature where visitors can simply click a forward or back button to have the next set of photos slide smoothly into place. If you are code savvy then you could do this yourself with some javascript.

If you are looking to sell prints or originals of your work then this theme should be a serious consideration, your customers get a clean professional portfolio to easily browse rather than hundreds of thumbnailed images. There are plenty of plugins to add shop functionality, some of them even allow you to directly accept credit cards as well as the usual paypal etc.

Overall this is a very nice wordpress photo theme. Looking at what else is available on the market it would be very hard to find a website design for any system which can beat this one for either its ease of use or its minimal beauty.

Band Website

Well the name says it all really! Band Website is a very minimal and easy to use site. Available as a stand-alone website and a wordpress theme this is a very customisable site which is easy to install (standalone, wordpress is always easy!) and has an impressive gig / shows calendar. It also has advertising space in the side bar for your bands latest merchandise. Most importantly it is easy for the fans to use and find the information they want quickly, which should be the main priority of any site and more than often isn’t!

Features

  • Available as a complete installable site and a WordPress theme
  • Very easy to customize
  • Currently reduced to $30 (Paypal)
  • Easy to use gigs / dates calendar
  • Edit, add and delete shows directly on the page
  • Link directly to venue from shows page for info and bookings
  • Photoshop files included
  • MP3 player built in
  • Built in image gallery and contact form
  • Suitable for bands, artists, bars / venues, anyone who needs a shows/gig based site

Home page of the band website
Home page of the band website
The shows page with links to venues and booking agents
The shows page with links to venues and booking agents
Blog page so you can keep fans / visitors up to date with your latest news
Blog page so you can keep fans / visitors up to date with your latest news

Useful contact form for your fans
Useful contact form for your fans

This is not a free theme however it is cheap enough to be a very affordable solution, currently on offer at $30 (down from $60) I would recommend having a look and seeing if this is the right site for your band or client.