As a creative, the way you present yourself is literally everything, so it is crucial your storefront (in our case, our websites) instantly blows potential clients out of the water.
Before I made the switch to WordPress and got my very first Flotheme, I just wasn’t myself and my business to the fullest. Call it coincidence, but my business really started to blow up the year I got my Flotheme.
To this day, I still swear it gave me the design tools I needed that made me “dress for the job I wanted,” so to speak. It’s why I’m still a loyal customer four years later, both as a photographer and a freelance web developer.
So believe me when I say I am very excited to write this Flothemes review just so I can talk all them.
Table of Contents
What is Flothemes?
- Stunning layouts
- Drag and drop customization
- Access to plugins that give you even more tools to personalize your site
- Customer service superheroes
- Extremely manageable by all!
- Tricky to get started from scratch (understanding hosts, getting domains, CMS, etc.)
- Some WordPress plugins/updates may interfere with code
I started hearing the name “Flothemes” floating around in 2016 amongst my Facebook and Reddit photography communities. I learned that Flothemes were WordPress themes that were designed specifically with photographers and creatives in mind.
They were (and still are) what I consider to be the most aesthetically pleasing website themes out there.
Flotheme layouts function on what they call “blocks,” which are a collection of pre-made sections that are highly customizable and can be dragged and dropped to suit the ideal arrangement on your page.
You don’t need to be a web developer or know any of that HTML sorcery to use and customize Flothemes, but you’ll certainly look like one.
How about if you use Squarespace and not WordPress, but still want to take advantage of all the design elements of Flothemes?
Pre-designed page templates
You don’t have to be a web developer to get the best out of your theme. Each one comes with multiple pre-designed page templates and countless predefined FlexBlocks for you to choose from.
You can create entire pages at the click of the button! All you need to do is personalize it with your photos and text.
Drag and drop design
Design and rearrange pages easily by dragging and dropping your FlexBlocks in the visual builder. What more can I say? It’s really that simple.
See the video above which shows the FlexBlock feature in action.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Integration
WordPress sites arguably have the strongest SEO features available, and Flotheme’s fast-loading pages go hand in hand with it.
Shotkit offers an amazing guide that teaches photographers everything we need to know about SEO for WordPress,
Sites look great on all devices
Sure, most premium WordPress themes feature ‘mobile responsive designs’, but that doesn’t mean they look nice on a mobile phone (which, like it or not, is how your next bride is checking out your site…)
Thankfully, you only need to customize your Flotheme on your computer, to have it automatically look great on a smartphone or tablet.
Flothemes serve Retina imagery when required
The ‘when required’ is important here. On the newer Flothemes WordPress themes, the website detects when the viewer is using a Retina-ready screen and shows them your images in all their high-resolution glory.
More importantly, when the user is viewing on their crappy old 2013 MacBook Air, they’ll see non-retina images, meaning a faster load time for your site. Faster site = Better user experience and better SEO performance :-)
Site set up packages offer a ‘Lazy Option’
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by building and designing your own website, as well as the whole concept of SEO, that’s okay! Flothemes offers three different site setup package options that can take all the dirty work off your plate.
Yes, it is expensive, but for those of us with ample cash flow and no time (i.e. wedding photographers in peak season!), the Flothemes installation/customisation packages are very attractive.
This is essential for a WordPress theme. Each time there’s a major WordPress update, your theme provider should have an update ready for you to help maintain the security and functionality of your website.
Flothemes also updates their themes based on user feedback – something you won’t expect to find with most other premium WordPress themes.
Excellent customer service
With the purchase of every theme, you also get access to a team of customer service reps who will stop at nothing to make sure everything is working as needed.
Whether it’s a quick question that can be answered with their chat function or a more complex one that needs a ticket, they’ve got your back.
I can’t tell you how many times I had broken my website because I installed some weird, third party plugin that messed everything up, only to have Flothemes pat me on the back, go in on the back end, and fix my mistakes for me.
And they’re REAL people! Not robots!
You would think with all the flashy bells and whistles a Flothemes site has, the page would load slowly. But with a bit of image optimization on your end, a Flothemes website loads just as quickly as anything else out there.
Before you start uploading your images to your site, I recommend reading Flotheme’s guide to exporting images for their themes.
We recommend checking out the most up to date SEO related recommendations with our themes here.
Although Flothemes does resize your images automatically to fit each block, keep in mind it’s another step for your web browser to resize it from the original file you uploaded. It’s best for page speeds to pre-optimize your images for each block.
Image optimization is crucial for your website’s performance no matter what theme or provider you use. Fast page speeds make Google happy and positively affect your rankings. And that’s why we got a WordPress in the first place, right?
Value for Money + Discount Code
Flothemes (for WordPress)
At just under $300 for a theme (see latest pricing here), I have always thought Flothemes are great value for their money.
This value has only gotten better over the past few years with the implementation of FloBlocks.
In addition to the theme itself, you’re also getting a fantastic customer support package, access to several free plugins, and clear instructions for setup.
Flothemes help to make it simple for anyone with even the slightest amount of patience to do themselves, and you end up saving a ton of money by not needing to hire a web developer who likely wouldn’t be able to build you something half as beautiful for twice the price!
You can also save a huge 25% by using the Flothemes code shown below.
Squaremuse (for SquareSpace)
Squaremuse seems to have fewer features for a very similar price to Flothemes. Ultimately I feel that Flothemes is much better value for money, but Squarespace is a less expensive subscription than what you would get with a WordPress host. You can use the code SHOTMUSE to save 20% too.
Flothemes Discount Code
Click here to get a 25% saving on Flothemes and enter code shotkit25 at checkout.
How to Get Started with Flothemes
What do you need to install Flothemes?
Although Flothemes themselves are a no-brainer to install and customize, it’s important to note that you’ll need a few other things before you dive in. Setting up a WordPress site can be a little more complex than other providers, such as Squarespace and Wix.
This is the part that blew my mind when I made my first WordPress with a Flotheme a few years ago, so I’ll do my best to explain it like you’re five years old.
Step 1. Choose a host and domain
First and foremost, you’ll want to select a WordPress-compatible host. Your host provider is where your WordPress website and all its files will live. The guys at Flothemes recommend SiteGround, which seems to perform best overall with their product.
For a blazing fast website, Flothemes recommends using this Entry level Site Ground Cloud Hosting plan which is great value for money and offers everything a pro photographer would ever need.
You’ll also eventually want a domain (in other words, a www.yoursitenamehere.com), which you can obtain through your host or through third party companies.
Step 2: Install your Content Management System (CMS)
Now that you have your host, you’ll want to add your Content Management System (CMS), which will allow you to manage the content of your WordPress through your host. You can usually find the WordPress CMS app on your host’s dashboard – see guide.
Step 3: Log into your WordPress and install your Flotheme!
Flothemes has an easy to follow step by step of the installation process on their website.
- What are Flothemes plugins?
If you’re at all familiar with WordPress, you know that plugins are really how you make it your own. Flothemes has its own series of amazing plugins that allow you to further customize your site in beautiful, innovative ways.
For example, FloForms gives us a drag and drop form builder for our sites that allow us to create simple and personalized forms for our clients to contact us through. One which lets us feed our Pic-Time galleries into our pages and posts with just a few clicks!
But their greatest by far is FlexBlock, which gives us the ability to create our own “blocks” (or sections of our web pages) from images to text to shapes with simple drag and drop features.
Flothemes FlexBlocks are super easy to use, and require no fancy coding. It’s especially handy if you want to play around with overlapping imagery, videos and text on your page. Flexblocks let us step outside the limitations of our themes and truly make our websites our own.
Most of the plugins are free with the purchase of a Flotheme (e.g. FlexBlock), whereas some also have pro version with significantly more features.
What do you need to install Squaremuse?
Squaremuse just needs a Squarespace website! Hosting, domains, etc. are all built-in features, and your Squarespace dashboard is your one-stop shop – click here to learn more.
What are Squaremuse’s Custom Elements?
Although Squaremuse does share the same themes and has many amazing features and predefined design sections similar to FlexBlocks, Squarespace does not use plugins or FlexBlocks.
You can, however, shop a wide array of custom elements from headers to contact forms! They also have some slammin’ predesigned pricing kit pages.
Flothemes Review | Conclusion
My general feelings toward Flothemes are highly positive.
Not only do I have one of each for my own two creative brands, but I also design with them exclusively as a web developer for my clients.
This is because I know I’ll create and deliver something gorgeous that both speaks to my clients’ brand and can easily teach them to use so they may manage their own site.
Bottom line is this – if you run a photography site on WordPress, Flothemes offer the best-looking and most functional website themes that money can buy. Their support is top-notch, and everything looks great on both mobile and desktop.
If you use Squarespace, Squaremuse is the way to go, for similar design features and functionality, all backed up by the wonderful support team.
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