Our NEW YEAR, NEW BLOG sale continues through this Thursday, December 20! In the spirit of providing you with all the tools you need to kick off 2019 with a fresh new blog, today we thought we’d share our most frequently asked questions about changing to an <em>press theme. We’ve gathered up questions (and answers!) from customer emails and Facebook, and we’re giving you the low down on everything you need to know pre-switch. Don’t forget, you can still take 15% off all themes and plugins with code FRESHBLOG through Thursday! Shop to it right here, and read on for more.
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Q: How long will it take to install my theme?
A: Installing a WordPress theme is a breeze! Once you receive your purchase receipt and downloadable .zip file, it’s as simple as uploading it to your WordPress dashboard and activating it. This entire process should only take a couple minutes. If you need help installing your theme, check out our Help Desk articles, here.
Q: What about setup? Will it take me forever?
A: This one can be tough to predict, because it depends on your current blogging situation. For users with previous WordPress experience, plenty of available content, and well-organized categories and tags, it might only take an hour or two—even less if you know your way around menus and widgets in WordPress. Based on informal feedback we’ve gotten from users, we find the average customer will block out a weekend to focus on the site. This doesn’t mean you’ll spend every waking hour of your weekend on customizing! It just means it’s common for people to spend time tweaking, swapping out widgets and photos, refining calls to action and buttons, and generally making sure their site looks great over the course of a day or two. Customers who spend a weekend on their site frequently use our Code Hacks to further customize the look and feel of their site, which can take extra time, too.
Check back regularly, as we update our resource list for blog photography a few times per year!
Whether you’re a brand new blogger or have been at it for 10+ years, photography is one of the most essential blogging skills, and one you can continue learning about no matter how long you’ve been creating content! There are literally millions of posts out there covering photography essentials—understanding how a camera works, the Rule of Thirds, how to adjust your shutter and aperture. And yep, we’ve even linked to several below. But today, we thought we’d round up a deeper resource list focused specifically around the types of photos bloggers need for their sites. Whether you want to take a class, learn from seasoned blog pros, or get more insight into a specific blog photo style, our resource list has something for everyone! Check it out below:
Online Photography Classes
Taking a photography class is a great way to learn foundational skills and get inspired—plus, the inevitable “homework” will force you to get out there and practice! Jot down some notes, grab your camera, and go!
Nicole’s Classes // This online “school” for creatives has been around since the early 2010s. Nicole’s Classes offers coursework not only for creative programs like Photoshop and Illustrator, but also a series of photography classes that are perfect for beginners.
Skillshare // Skillshare is a well-known resource for online classes. They have literally THOUSANDS of classes all about photography. We recommend sorting by “popular” classes to find courses that have been tried and tested by other Skillshare community members.
Lifehacker // No time for a multi-session online course? Check out this free guide from Lifehacker that dives into all the basics of photography.
Shoot Fly Shoot // A new-to-us program which features multiple photography courses from successful wedding photographer Josh Moates and interior design photographer Kevin Palmer. For about $245, you can enroll in both the Photography 101 and 102 courses, which includes lifetime access to all the content!
Posts & Series from Your Favorite Bloggers
One of our favorite ways to learn is from fellow bloggers! The list below features individual posts and photography tip series from popular bloggers. Is there a blogger who published a photography post which was especially helpful for you? Comment at the bottom of this post, and we’ll add it to our list!
Across the Internet, near and far, photography posts abound. Here are some of our favorites, with a special focus on posts that are helpful for bloggers. Have an article you loved and think should be listed here? Comment with the link below!
When all else fails, a stock photo might tell the story you need. Here are our favorite resources:
Unsplash // By far our favorite resource, the Unsplash site has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years. Our favorite feature? Beyond their super specific search functionality (try typing in obscure terms like “black and white texture,” or broad ones like “girly,“), you can create a free account and build your own collections of photos. We use this feature to save photos that will work for our blogs, businesses, and client projects; we also recently used it to curate a holiday themed collection, free for our useres!
RawPixel // We got to know RawPixel because so many photos we liked on Unsplash were from this company! Turns out, they have their own website, chock full of amazing, free-to-use photos, videos, illustrations, and templates. In addition to the photos, there are some awesome resources here for artwork to use on Instagram, and in your blog collages.
Adobe Stock // This is among the more expensive options, but it’s such a big one, we thought it worth mentioning: Adobe offers a stock photo and video service, with over 100 million photos (incredible, right?). While it costs $29.99/mo, there are endless options to choose from with Adobe Stock, and we like that assets can be saved in your Adobe Creative Cloud account, making them easy to access if you’re already subscribing to one of their creative suite plans. We also like Adobe Stock if you need a resource for looping video on your blog or website.
Creative Market // While Creative Market has a huge number of stock images for sale, it’s not our favorite resource just for this reason—with sites like Unsplash, there are lots of free stock photos out there. However, where Creative Market wins is their many product mockups, flat lays, and styled image bundles. You can create scenes with templates like this, or build portfolio tiles perfect for showcasing your work (we recently had a great time playing around with this one). Check out their products for flatlays too!
Styled Stock Society // Our co-founder Lisa subscribes to this one! We love this as a resource for fun, feminine, brightly lit stock photos and flat lays for style bloggers. It’s also a great resource if you are a service-based business, and need professional looking stock photos for your site’s landing page. You can shop individual bundles, or become a member and access all new and old images.
Have a photography resource you want to share? Leave it in the comments below! Please note, while we’ve been lucky enough to try out many of the tips and services mentioned here, not all have been vetted by the <em>press team. If you’re have any questions about the services or tips above, don’t hesitate to check in with the specific vendor before investing your money in these resources!
Now that we’ve eaten all the turkey and pumpkin pie we can handle, we’re cranking up the holiday tunes and decking the halls. Of course, we can’t resist adding a bit of holiday cheer to our blogs as well! Today, we’re sharing a few ways you can deck your blog for the holidays.
1. Add some holiday red.
Our favorite way to add holiday cheer is to add a touch of red to highlight holiday content in the site navigation. First, create a new blog category for holiday content, or you can even create a special holiday page (we’ll get to that next!). Update your navigation menu with your new holiday category or page, then follow our help desk tutorial to change the navigation color to red.
If you have a variety of holiday content, like outfits, gift guides, recipes, and sale alerts, consider creating a parent category for holiday, with subcategories for those specific sub-categories. You can link to these subcategories in a dropdown menu under the holiday tab in your menu, so readers can easily find the content they need at the moment. Bonus points: Use our Grid plugin to display your holiday category posts in a grid, with your subcategories listed automatically in a filtering menu! Readers can even shop rewardStyle or ShopStyle widgets directly from your Grid page, using our Shop the Post plugin.
2. Create a special holiday page.
Did you know that you can apply templates from our Boutiques plugin to multiple pages? It’s the perfect way to create a special holiday page, without needing to edit your usual shop page. Simply add a new page, make sure the page permalink is /holiday or /holidayshop for easy sharing, and select one our Boutiques templates from the Page Attributes box. Save a draft, and our editing boxes will appear. Then, you can add up to 5 boutique widgets from rewardStyle or ShopStyle.
Each of our Boutiques templates includes a section for links to your favorite retailers — and this section is totally customizable! For your holiday page, we recommend linking to your holiday posts and/or categories instead, to give readers one place to access all of your holiday content. Our Instashop template includes a section at the top of the page for adding a shop widget and button linking to your Instagram profile, but this can be customized too. Use the widget code section to add a shopping widget of your favorite gifts, or write an intro for your holiday page, and use the button to link to the holiday category on your blog.
3. Update your photography
The easiest way to make your blog look extra festive is with holiday imagery! Try uploading holiday imagery to our Topics or Highlight widgets, and link the thumbnails to your holiday categories and subcategories, a holiday page, or even your favorite holiday posts. Or, you can simply use holiday imagery within your post content, for a dash of wintry goodness within your blog feed.
Our favorite resource for free stock photography is Unsplash, and they have a gorgeous collection of holiday images. We made a huge collection for you to choose from here. The good news: everything on Unsplash is free to use! You can download these images and integrate them into your content, or use them as inspiration to take your own holiday decor photos! For gift guides, try using a photo as your featured image, rather than your shopping collage, for a cleaner, and more festive look across your site.
How are you decking your blog for the holidays? Share with us in the comments below!
EmPress Themes offers WordPress themes and WordPress plugins for style bloggers, fashion bloggers, beauty bloggers, and lifestyle bloggers. Whether you need a magazine style theme to showcase your content or a minimal theme to highlight your writing and photography, consider EmPress your one-stop shop for a flexible, customizable, and shoppable blog for your content publishing needs.
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