This round-up is all about the best portfolio WordPress themes for artists, freelancers and design agencies. Photographers, illustrators, web designers and other sorts of creative professionals might find something they like, too.
The primary requirement of a portfolio theme is pretty self-explanatory: it’s got to have portfolio functionality. Everything else is secondary; the entire point is to showcase your hard work. The portfolio should be user-friendly, intuitive and sortable – the more advanced the filtering capability, the better. Because we live in the present, and not the past, you’d also do well to choose a theme that’s responsive and retina-ready.
We selected these themes by hand. Our decisions are based on the quality of design and features.
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The Vibes theme is a colorful, easy to use portfolio theme for WordPress that was designed with artists and creative professionals in mind. The design is modern and flat, and the subtle and tasteful use of CSS transitions and animations add visual flare.
Bundled with the theme is a modified version of the Aqua Page Builder (with drag & drop functionality) and a Shortcode generator. Four color schemes are provided out of the box, but you can make your own scheme in a few easy steps.
Code with SASS, Vibes is responsive and retina-ready, so it’s going to look and work great on any device. Includes demo content to get you going fast.More Info/Download
Although some nice features are included with the NRGAgency theme – a gorgeous porfolio, Visual Composer, and Revolution Slider – this one-page style WordPress portfolio theme lands near the top our round-up primarily due to its awesome, flawlessly executed design. The contemporary aesthetic is a result of a successful implementation of the best modern web design trends, and its lovely typography and liberal use of white space gives everything an airy, hip (and even elegant) feel.
Plenty of options are available on the back-end, integrated with WordPress’s own Live Customizer (for real-time previewing). But we wouldn’t change a thing. Mail Chimp and Contact Form 7 are supported out-of-the-box, and one-click demo installation makes setup a breeze for new users (and lazy experts).
NRG is responsive, as it should be, and retina-ready. It’ll look crisp and work well regardless of device.More Info/Download
Section is a extremely minimalistic WordPress theme for artists and other creatives that eliminates needless gimmicks in favour of a content-first approach. The theme is responsive, adapting seamlessly to variety of mobile devices, and includes a sidebar manager and several useful custom widgets (Twitter, Facebook, Advertising and Newsletter).
The theme is translation ready and detailed PSD files are provided should you need to do any extended customization on the theme.More Info/Download
This multipurpose portfolio theme is one of our favorites, partly due to its unique design. The high-contrast, sketch aesthetic sets the theme apart from many other competing products.
The theme is fully responsive, and includes lovely grid-based, filterable portfolio. The theme is easy to modify and SEO optimized. A shortcode generator is also packed in.More Info/Download
John Portfolio, by the talented developers at GavickPro, is easily one of the best looking, most visual arresting themes on our list. It’s sleek, simple, and perfect for creative freelancers of all sorts. The most important info about you and your skills can be placed right on the homepage to maximize user engagement and sales.
The theme is easy to customize and the backend panel gives you control over layout, typography and more. The John Portfolio theme includes excellent social networking integration, is fully responsive and includes all the documentation you’ll need to get the ball rolling with minimal confusion and fuss. Good stuff, right here.More Info/Download
Helium is another theme that eschews trendy one-page layouts and in favor of something slightly different. The minimalistic design prioritizes content. Three different portfolio layouts are included, as well a lovely blog. But the highlight of Helium might be the AJAX navigation system that makes for an excellent user experience.
As an added bonus, Helium also supports Easy Digital Downloads, a third-party plugin that will allow you to easily sell digital products and designs. The theme is SEO optimized, responsive and retina-ready. The premium plugins RoyalSlider, GSAP, and Isotope are bundled in, adding even more value.More Info/Download
Wave is a responsive WordPress theme for artists and creative professionals that makes it easy to show off your hard work via its fully realized image galleries. The theme can also be used as a regular blog.
Wave is WooCommerce ready, which will come in handy if you intend to sell prints and other merchandise from your website. The theme is easy to use and translation ready, and demo content is provided to ensure a fast, painless installation.More Info/Download
The expertly designed Strap is one of our favorite WordPress portfolio themes. It’s minimal without overdoing it: subtle flourishes like textured backgrounds, shadowed typography, CSS animations and an excellent use of white space and color make it a genuine stand-out.
It’s perfect for everyone from independent artists to full blown design agencies, and features a fully-featured plugin for portfolio management and display. The theme is responsive, high resolution, and carefully coded with HTML5 and CSS3.
Strap contains an options panel on the backend for additional customization and tweaking. Upload your own logo, adjust colors and more. SEO optimized.More Info/Download
Personalist is a well-rounded, minimalistic WordPress theme for artists and bloggers. Built on Twitter’s Bootstrap 3 framework, Personalist is fully responsive and retina-ready, so its sleek, flat design is going to look excellent across the full range of high-end mobile devices.
Red & white color schemes are provided out of the box, and the options panel will allow you to create your own color scheme in just a few clicks. The theme is easy to use for beginners and experts alike, but detailed documentation is included just in case you get stuck.More Info/Download
Mimesi is a content-focused, minimalistic WordPress theme made specifically for artists and freelance designers. In Mimesi, the clean, grid-based portfolio is front-and-center and user-friendly.
Other features include AJAX functionality for improved user experience, two blog layouts, Google font integration, infinite scrolling and more. The popular Contact Form 7 plugin in supported, and an extensive theme options panels gives you control over all the little bits and pieces of the theme. Change fonts, change colors, do whatever. Layered PSDs are provided with the download, too.More Info/Download
The bold, flat and modern design of the Inside theme will make an excellent first impression on visitors to your website. The theme can be used as either a one page WordPress theme or a multipage theme. It was developed with creative professionals in mind. You can showcase your projects and work using a slick slideshow, the intuitive, sortable portfolio, or both.
Inside is responsive, and gives you the the choice of using either a full-width or boxed layout. The powerful admin panel adds flexibility, with the potential to build unlimited color schemes and chose from a collection 57 different fonts.More Info/Download
Nerva is another entry in the genre of ultra-minimalistic portfolio themes for WordPress. It’s a great choice for users who just want to show off their work without a mountain of settings to climb and bloated design getting in the way. It’s retina-ready, responsive, and fully compatible with Twitter Bootstrap.More Info/Download
Kitai is a simple, solid theme for freelancers, designers, agencies – all sorts of creative professionals, really. The clean, contemporary design is fully responsive, ensuring that it’ll look lovely on any device.
A filterable portfolio is the heart of the theme, and users can create unlimited portfolio pages. Sixteen other page templates are included, and Kitai also allows users to self-host video and audio.
The theme supports a number of third-party plugins: WP google maps, bxSlider, Contact Form 7, Revolution Slider (included), WordPress Page Builder and more.More Info/Download
Chemistry is easily one of our favorite WordPress themes for artists and freelancers. (In fact, our friend Jason Nichols, owner of the graphic design studio KrakenGraphics.ca, uses it on his website.) The homepage carousel is a lovely touch (thanks to the Owl Carousel plugin), and we expect it’ll will be the selling point for some of our readers.
It’s also got a lot of other good things going for it beyond the fun design, like a ton of homepage layouts to choose from, two portfolio styles, full & boxed theme styles, and even eCommerce support. Testimonial sliders, a working contact form, and staff page are also included.
Built responsive on Bootstrap 3!More Info/Download
Recital: Portfolio & Blog for Creatives
Recital is a portfolio-focused, minimalistic WordPress theme that’ll work just great for any type of creative professional, but is especially well matched to artists, freelancers and graphic designers. It’s easy to use, and wisely avoids overdoing it with superfluous bells & whistles in order to provide a pleasant, consistent user experience.
It’s fast, responsive, retina-ready – so it’ll look good on the newest Retina MacBook Pro – and it’s SEO optimized. Dummy data is packaged for fast installation, and options on the backend give you control over colors, typography, and more.More Info/Download
NewArt WordPress Theme for Artists
The NewArt theme is an responsive, elegant portfolio theme that comes with a drag & drop page builder, a modular layout, and some excellent extras like Revolution slider. Want to sell prints of your work or other merchandise? Not a problem: NewArt supports WooComerce.
The theme is also compatible with Yoast SEO, W3 Total Cache, WPML, Contact Form 7 and a few other popular 3rd party plugins. It’s optimized for performance, translation ready and well documented.More Info/Download
The fluid, fullscreen style of Show+Tell makes is a solid choice for graphic designers and visual artists that want to focus as much attention on their work as possible. The fixed sidebar and intuitive navigation make for an excellent user experience.
Site owners can choose from either a dark or light style, and an unlimited number of color schemes can be built using the options panel on the backend. Show+Tell is retina-ready and, as you’d expect, fully responsive. That’d be crazy if it wasn’t.
There’s more features and functionality to list than we have room for here, so if you’ve got some time we recommend checking out the details page. Show+Tell is one of the most feature rich themes on our list.More Info/Download
Attitude is a well-thought out, professional theme that would be well-matched to a trendy design agency. It’s responsive, retina-ready and translation ready. The theme comes with two color schemes out of the box, light and dark, and the theme customizer provided in the theme options gives you even more control over color schemes and and more. Lots of documentation is offered, and the included demo content will give you a head start.More Info/Download
Do you like lots of white space, and big, bold typography? There aren’t many WordPress themes as successfully minimalistic as Skills. The stripped down, bare-basics aesthetic of Skills is its strength and the best reason to choose it for your site. With the Skills theme, it’s all about you and your portfolio.
Skills is responsive, and easy to use and install. It’s crazy fast, SEO friendly and includes extensive documentation.More Info/Download
Flatfolio is one of the newest themes on our list. Clean, simple and easy to use. Site owners can choose from an ‘agency style’ layout, or a ‘business style’ layout. The theme is high-res, responsive, built on Bootstrap 3, and bundled with two sought after extras: Visual Composer, for frontend drag & drop page building, and Slider Revolution.
Options on the backend give you control over colors, typography, and more.More Info/Download
We think The Curator theme might be an acquired taste, but it certainly earns points for being the most unique on this list. It’s a great match for traditional artists with a large body of work. The 4.5 star rating and over 500 sales on ThemeForest speak to the quality of this theme.
Art is present on a timeline as opposed to a portfolio. The theme is mobile optimized, and supports touch gesture. Users can customize the theme using the options panel (integrated with WordPress’s theme customizer for real-time previewing).More Info/Download
Finally we have Art23, featuring a clean, modern design and familiar layout. It’s a flexible theme, but perhaps best suited for use by design agencies. Users can choose between eight different homepage styles, and build their own layouts using the included Visual Composer plugin.
A powerful theme options panel allows for additional customization. Art23 is retina-ready and responsive. There’s a whole laundry list of features, so have a look if you’ve got a few seconds to spare.More Info/Download
That brings our list of the best portfolio WordPress themes for artists, freelancers and design agencies to an end. We hope you saw something you liked. All comments are welcome.