Aperture – Theme concept

Fresh after the release of my latest wordpress business theme – Productum, I’m already busy pushing pixels around Photoshop designing my next theme, a photoblogging theme that I’ll most likely call Aperture.

Please note: This theme is now available for purchase on WooThemes.com.

The Aperture home page
The Aperture Home Page

I’m a keen photographer (all the images I’ve used in this theme design mock up are my own) and I realise a lot of our WooThemes users are too, I’ve thus created a theme that hopefully caters for a group of users that WooThemes currentlyΒ  doesn’t have much too offer.

Aperture will let your photography do the talking in a clean, usable interface. Posts will most likely be called Albums, as that’s what they are to a photographer. Agree? Disagree?

A featured scroller on the home page will display your “x” number of featured albums, as specified in your theme option’s panel. Below that will be a gallery of your photo categories. Each category will display an image from the latest album in that category, keeping the home page dynamic and fresh.

Aperture Category Archive Template
Aperture Category Archive Template

The category archives will display your photo albums as neat little clickable boxes taking you too a dedicated page for that album.

The footer space will consist of 3 (or 4) widgetized modules for “Latest Albums”, “Popular Albums” (based on number of comments) and a blog section for general news from the blog author that falls out of the photography categories.

The design has a BusyBee influence and will be available in 10 different colors.

As already mentioned this is a work in progress and much could change. That’s why I’m asking for your feedback to make this a kick ass photoblogging theme.

  1. It’s a beautiful them Mark. Definitely a premium theme I’d say.

    The only thing thats bugging me is the border around the ‘Album Categories’ box in the middle of the page.. seems hazy. Other than that, very clean!

    One question, why is it that most designers do their proofs using smoothed text in photoshop and not plain text like a website displays?

  2. @Rob – I alway try to tell Mark and others to not used smoothed fonts, but they just won’t listen to me πŸ˜‰

  3. @Rob and @Magnus: You see us serious designers use MACs and MACs display fonts beautifully smooth and crisp in photoshop or your web browsers πŸ˜‰

    Rob the “hazy” border around the “Album Categories” is in fact an inner glow, not a stroke so it’s intentional, but I might lose this when I start building the site.

  4. I know in the past if you left the text anti-aliasing method in Photoshop to “none” that would be more “correct”.

    In recent years though(with CSS, Firefox, Safari, IE7) “Sharp” I think seems to be the most “correct/consistent” from Photoshop to browser.

    I MACing by the way.

  5. @Rory: I agree and I have used the “sharp” anti-aliasing option in Photoshop.

    @Prashant: For sure. The single album/post template will have space for photos, text, videos, whatever you want!

  6. I really hope this will come with a decent back end… and a real image resizer, not the usual one from Woothemes πŸ™‚

  7. Can’t wait for this one – it is gorgeous! Will be a definite purchase.

    Some comments:

    If you add a static page with slider as the home page, similar to Over Easy or Vibrant, this could also work well for a business site. Photos could be the products or galleries of work. Perhaps include the ability for the blog to be separate for this use.

    Would love to see a stylized contact page included in the new themes.

    Sorry that Magnus doesn’t like the background – I like it since it it reminds me of my favorite Busy Bee background.

  8. Very Nice theme!
    I would actually love an option on the backend that would allow you to modify how many albums show on the page, 8 or 4. Also, highlighting the blog posts a little more would be great too.

    I can’t wait for a live demo. Nice work!

  9. @Tor: Don’t worry we working on some neat functionality for the image resizer and “image” custom field.

    @Customized Marketing: The photo blogging could indeed be used a business/product theme with a few tweaks. I’ll try make it easily adaptable via the theme options πŸ˜‰

    @Eddie M: We’ll certainly have that option available in the theme options panel.

    Also will add a bit life to the blog section don’t worry πŸ˜‰

  10. Looks good so far Mark. I’m curious to see what you do with the galleries and how they’re presented. A lot of Fotog’s go with Flash sites because of the cool gallery options. If you can bring it like that, this could be a huge seller.

    BTW, a client of mine just choose Productum for their start up’s template. Nice job with that one too!

  11. The layout is truly stunning. I too can easily see this being converted for a product showcase and will be eagerly awaiting the release. Great work!

  12. @Allan F: Hopefully this theme will help demonstrate to photographers that a lot of flash based functionality can be replicated within neat semantic html/css and wordpress, minus the cheesy transitions and gimmicky navigation. A wordpress managed site means it’s Google-friendly, loads quickly, is easily searchable and efficiently managed.

  13. Following on from my tweet earlier….

    On the front page you have Previous and Next post arrows. I like the previous post pointing to the left and next pointing right (it just makes sense to me). However in the archive section you have them in the opposite order, this just seems a little confusing.

    I really love this and would buy it right now!


  14. This looks great. I guess I’ll have to keep that subscription!

    Seriously, I have been searching for a theme like this for months, always settling. Finally, my photoblog will be beautiful.

    I think this could also easily be adjusted to be a portfolio, so marketability is good.

  15. Looks great, maybe ever so slightly busy for my tastes – tho I am a bit of a white space nut. I think the category archive is right on the money. How about social network integration? – I’m finding this plays a major part in deciding what themes I consider these days.

  16. @Artepick: Don’t worry a store theme is coming soon. Afraid I can’t give you an exact E.T.A.

    @Melissa: Yup could easily be converted into a portfolio site, I’ll make sure of that πŸ˜‰

    @Mark: I really like your site. I can definitely see you’re a white space nut!

    We busy investigating BuddyPress for social network integration, but it won’t be with this theme, at least the initial release of it.

  17. Hi Mark, I have some stuff I would like to see in such a theme. Some things already mentioned like better thumbnail creation and some more attention to the blog part (add an image there too). Also would like to see a build in lightbox system, related links (external site of customer). Very curious about the single post/gallery page. Do you already have an example of that? Oh yeah, a stylized and integrated contact page would be great too!

  18. Hi Mark, I have a massive portfolio of photos and would love this type of theme. Would there be a seperate page for all albums? If so how many albums could it comfortably accept?

  19. I just want to echo echo Artepick’s comments – this could be molded into a great e-commerce site! I think you guys should go down the path of partnering with E-junkie to become the sole provider of WordPress themes that utilize their technology. Whatdoyathink Mark?

  20. Could you include a setting in the theme options panel that would allow global replacement for the word “album”?

    I think it would be very powerful to be able to change that word to “product”, “project”, “gallery”, “portfolio”, “channel”, “section”, etc. as it would make the theme even more flexible for people who want to showcase non-photography stuff.

  21. Oh… forgot to mention that the same would need to apply for the “View Photos” search button and any other global labels like that. πŸ™‚

  22. @Jeroen Great suggestion about the link to external site. Frequently have business that need that. Would love to see it displayed the way the categories are.

    @Robb The global changes would be fantastic – I wouldn’t be using this for photography at all.

    @Mark – if you can incorporate all these ideas we have proposed, would be a world class premium theme and wildly popular.


  23. Thanks for the continued feedback guys and the great feature requests.

    @Jeroen: I’m going to keep the single photo page and further mock ups under cover till the theme is launched. This is only a teaser πŸ˜‰ I like your requests though and will take into consideration.

    @Walter: The amount of albums/posts and photos the site can handle is reliant on wordpress and your host not the theme, so there should be no problems there. Posts will be organised in category, tag and date archives.

    @Alasdair: We don’t usually do betas with Woo, but once we have something they’ll certainly be some tweets flying around pointing to the demo and perhaps asking for some feedback.

    @Robb: Great idea with the global names and should be pretty simply achieved.

  24. @Mark – Gushing.

    I’d still include some traditional blog elements in the footer like recent posts and some links to RSS, Twitter etc. Photographers are still social ;-). Fantastic work. Can’t wait to see this.

  25. Can you create some columns — optional templates — around the picture zones for people interested in dropping adsense / ads around their pics? That would be awesome!

  26. Love the theme lay-out and would certainly like to acquire it.
    Any chance the album images could be linked directly to Picasa web-albums, without the need for additional widgets?
    Also, are you preparing your theme for some video-content as well?

  27. Thanks for that Mark.

    I suppose I’m just wondering if there will be a page that shows every single album that has been uploaded with a thumbnail image – rather than just a text list of categories.

    Also I’m wondering how the drop down menu of categories will deal with lots and lots!

  28. Cool theme, I would like to suggest that a category overview, would be available as a thumbnail view, so it is easy to browse a complete archive (category) with all images (posts) in that area.


  29. This is an amazing theme. I have been looking for a theme like this forever! I have a friend who is a fashion designer and wants to build a online portfolio. This is perfect! What is the estimated release date. I can’t wait to get this one!

  30. Hey guys,

    Can’t answer all the questions I’m afraid but I can report the build is well underway and looking good. There’s some neat javascript usage and I’ve finally decided on a single page template too.

    I still can’t give a launch date, but I can state its in the next few weeks…

  31. This theme doesn’t load albums on homepage ?
    Isn’t it supposed to load latest blog from each category and place it as a category image ?

  32. Any way to utilize the home page slider and javascript hover effects on subpages? I am not using this for a photograph site, however need option for multiple scrolling photos on subpages. BTW….love the Theme. Thanks.

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Emmanuel Jal

Emmanuel Jal