A Photographers Review: iFolios Mobile WordPress Theme

iFolios is a new WordPress Theme designed specifically for Photographers.  Even with that, it could be used for any type of service like a graphic or logo designer. The theme is simple and comes in two styles.  Light or Dark.  You must choose which style you want when purchasing.

Currently the Theme is at a generous price of $49 but will soon be going back up to $79.

So here are my thoughts on iFolios.  The simplicity is amazing.  It doesn’t get any easier.  Install it like a template and add pages and photos.  If you follow the supplied PDF instructions you can’t go wrong.

Mobile Forwarding

iFolios must be in a subfolder or subdomain with its own WordPress installation. This is my big complaint on iFolios.  Being that it is a theme that is the only way for it to work right really.

  • PHP: Downside is getting the forwarding to work. You could follow the instructions that iFolios proves however that means messing with the WordPress files themselves. While it’s not such a bad thing to do as long as you back up your files, once WordPress gets upgraded that customization is gone and must be redone.
  • .htaccess: You could also forward mobile devices to your iFolios page however messing with .htaccess is not always the smartest idea for a novice.
  • W3 Total Cache: This plugin allows for mobile browser forwarding.  If you’re already using W3 Total Cache then your forwarding problem can be solved just by a quick setting change.
  • Thesis Theme:  The new Thesis 1.7 has forwarding built right in so you could create a page titled Mobile and have it forward but that means the reader must click the page.
  • WP Touch: I believe this is the most popular Mobile plugin for WordPress.  They have themes and many features built right in.  You could also use this plugin to automatically detect a mobile browser and forward to a specific WordPress page.  Using this in conjunction with Thesis would automate the forwarding to your iFolios page.

What I would like to see

  • Make it a plugin or make a plugin that just detects and forwards but with an option to view the standard website and stay on it without forwarding again
  • Partner with WP Touch and make the theme work with their plugin so I not only get the simplicity but my Blog could show on the site as well.

Final thoughts

Remember that because this is a Theme is customizable so even if you buy the Light version you can change settings with CSS.  Great job iFolios.  I really think it’s an awesome theme for mobile browsers and I see it only growing.  Until there is a smoother way of switching back and forth between Mobile and Standard, and the integration of my Blog I will be sticking with WP Touch for the mobile version of my website.  However I will be keeping the iFolios version live for everyone to see.

I added some things to the basic iFolios theme including a contact form instead of just displaying my email address, and the Fancybox WordPress plugin for enlarging the thumbnails.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,

Scott

New Jersey Photographer

Thank you for reading the Scott Wyden Imagery blog. I am a Manalapan, New Jersey Photographer sharing my passion for photography any way I can. I am also the Community & Blog Wrangler at Photocrati, teaching other photographers on how to increase business with their website.

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9 Comments

  1. Mike Panic May 24, 2010 at 7:30 am #

    Cool idea but I don't want to setup a whole other site just for iPhone / iPod / iPad users. Especially when there are already some decent plugins. Additionally, for $50, give me both black and white versions, that's a bit insane. Nice honest review though!

  2. scottwyden May 24, 2010 at 7:52 am #

    I agree Mike. If iFolio makes the theme work with WPTouch 2.0 that would be awesome. And they totally should give both versions. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Brian May 25, 2010 at 5:22 am #

    I wanted to thank you for your review of iFolios. I appreciate your thoroughness and honesty and I think your readers will enjoy your article. I do have a couple of comments worth sharing.As I was reading your article it became apparent to me that you were experiencing iFolios from the perspective of someone who’s website and blog are both built on WordPress. So, if WordPress is acting as your lens it makes sense that you would filter your experience with iFolios through that lens to determine how helpful or unhelpful it is for you (and others who also have a website built on WordPress).Unfortunately, while your experience illuminated some interesting “challenges” (i.e., separate WP install vs. plugin compatibility) that are faced by others in your position it also casts a pretty good shadow over how beneficial iFolios is for the thousands of photographers who have a flash based website and a corresponding WordPress blog. In my experience this group (flash website paired with a WordPress blog) accounts for about 70%+ of photographers, and a much higher percentage for some niches within the industry. For example, for a photographer with a flash website iFolios sets up quickly, automatically detects mobile devices, and redirects to the iFolios mobile site for a better user experience. Once the visitor is enjoying the photographer’s work on their smart phone they can easily click a designated “blog” link (made possible by the “Page Links To” plugin) from the main nav menu and be connected directly with the photographer’s WordPress blog that has been conveniently adapted to the mobile web via the WPtouch plugin. For the vast majority of photographers in the world, iFolios is solving a big problem (i.e., no flash on the mobile web) and is providing a seamless experience via our mobile browser redirect and WPtouch plugin (where applicable).That being said, it would be also be great if at some point we were able to develop iFolios as both a plugin and/or a separate WordPress template. But then there’s the challenge of iFolios and WPtouch playing nice together versus duking it out over who gets the mobile browser redirect.Finally, we are about to release a new version of iFolios that includes the ability to upload a site background image. This makes it possible to easily change background colors, patterns, textures, etc… And, of course makes having a separate Light and Dark theme irrelevant.Thanks,BrianiFolios

  4. scottwyden May 25, 2010 at 8:01 am #

    Brian,Thanks for the comments and for letting readers know about the updates!

  5. Brian May 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    I wanted to thank you for your review of iFolios. I appreciate your thoroughness and honesty and I think your readers will enjoy your article. I do have a couple of comments worth sharing.

    As I was reading your article it became apparent to me that you were experiencing iFolios from the perspective of someone who’s website and blog are both built on WordPress. So, if WordPress is acting as your lens it makes sense that you would filter your experience with iFolios through that lens to determine how helpful or unhelpful it is for you (and others who also have a website built on WordPress).

    Unfortunately, while your experience illuminated some interesting “challenges” (i.e., separate WP install vs. plugin compatibility) that are faced by others in your position it also casts a pretty good shadow over how beneficial iFolios is for the thousands of photographers who have a flash based website and a corresponding WordPress blog. In my experience this group (flash website paired with a WordPress blog) accounts for about 70%+ of photographers, and a much higher percentage for some niches within the industry.

    For example, for a photographer with a flash website iFolios sets up quickly, automatically detects mobile devices, and redirects to the iFolios mobile site for a better user experience. Once the visitor is enjoying the photographer’s work on their smart phone they can easily click a designated “blog” link (made possible by the “Page Links To” plugin) from the main nav menu and be connected directly with the photographer’s WordPress blog that has been conveniently adapted to the mobile web via the WPtouch plugin.

    For the vast majority of photographers in the world, iFolios is solving a big problem (i.e., no flash on the mobile web) and is providing a seamless experience via our mobile browser redirect and WPtouch plugin (where applicable).

    That being said, it would be also be great if at some point we were able to develop iFolios as both a plugin and/or a separate WordPress template. But then there’s the challenge of iFolios and WPtouch playing nice together versus duking it out over who gets the mobile browser redirect.

    Finally, we are about to release a new version of iFolios that includes the ability to upload a site background image. This makes it possible to easily change background colors, patterns, textures, etc… And, of course makes having a separate Light and Dark theme irrelevant.

    Thanks,

    Brian
    iFolios

  6. scottwyden May 25, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

    Brian,
    Thanks for the comments and for letting readers know about the updates!

  7. Wordpress For Mobile September 7, 2010 at 11:04 pm #

    I’m working hard to not only review other options but also am planning on making a mobile plugin for Photographers. I am a photographer by hobby and hope that my passion can contribute to the photography community in this way… Keep track of my blog for more reviews and hopefully a plugin release in the future!!! wordpressformobile.com

  8. Dan Oksnevad October 21, 2010 at 5:49 pm #

    Thanks for Tweeting this to me, Scott. Very helpful analysis. Cheers!

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