One of the many sites out there that offer WordPress themes and support, Graph Paper Press stands out for a few reasons:
- They offer minimalist, modern themes
- They offer platforms to sell photos, prints and stock directly to the customer with no middlemen
- They categorize their themes by the type of stuff you want to show, such as photography
The site tagline is “Everything you need to build an independent website store, portfolio and blog.” So far seems pretty convincing right? Well, let’s see.
Graph Paper Press’ Story
Graphpaperpress.com provides WordPress themes online that focuses on very simple, modern and minimalist designs. The company was founded by photographer, Thad Allender in 2004. Thad was also a producer and he wanted to make visual tools easily accessible to everyone. So he started freelance web design for small businesses, non-profits and friends.
The Graph Paper Press team consists of developers, designers and photographers situated all over the world. As a group, they believe in minimalist and simple designs.
They are also a partner with Automattic, which are the people behind the whole concept of WordPress.com. Automattic is also behind things like WooCommerce, some of the best and most common plugins around such as Kismet and platforms such as Gravatar.
The site has earned a lot of trust over the years since they have over a decade of experience and a lot of great reviews from happy customers. On their site they claim that over 97% of their customers describe their support as “great” but they have also racked up some negative reviews elsewhere online. So we want to break it down and take a look at exactly what this company offers and whether they do it well.
Who is it for?
Photographers, artists, etc. and/or small-business owners who want to:
- showcase their work on a modern, clean and minimalist format online
- sell their photos, prints, downloads, and limited editions online to customers
- have an existing PhotoShelter platform they want to sync with another more aesthetic theme
- add a plugin to their existing WordPress site that allows them to create galleries sell their downloads, photos, prints and limited editions
- streamline their workflow by directly importing photos and prints for sale from Lightroom & Aperture
- have a support network when building and developing their new WordPress site
What will you need?
About the only thing you’ll need is extra cash if you are planning on purchasing one of the themes, or getting the business level media plugin. This company is definitely on the more expensive side of things.
Technically you should be able to start from scratch but I wouldn’t recommend it because it’s easy to get in over your head when you have so many features and customizations to work with. If you’re great at working in a controlled and organized fashion – then great! If you know that you tend to jump all in and then get overwhelmed easily, try something a little simpler (and cheaper!) before tackling these platforms.
What will you get?
This company offers:
- 60 WordPress themes with various features
- newly developed themes not available elsewhere such as Shutterbox, which is great for photographers
- a custom theme builder where you can design your very own WordPress theme
- plugins for your own existing website that allows you to sell photos, downloads (for free), prints, stock and limited editions (paid version)
- support with all of your issues including instructions, video tutorials, a quick start guide and wordpress tips
- hosting for your website
- customizations for your themes
- a tool that allows for seamless integration between your PhotoShelter platform and your Graph Press one
- Their themes break down (with overlap) into:
- 29 blog
- 9 business
- 13 e-commerce
- 12 news magazine
- 38 photography
- 37 portfolio
- 13 video
- 13 instant setup
Graph Paper Press, Pros & Cons…
- We love the free download for the plugin that allows you to sell your photos and prints free of charge
- The site has a lot of themes from which to choose from
- You can look at demos of each theme and actually navigate through an example of what your site would look like before you buy them
- There is plenty of support right off the bat including videos, a quick start guide and instructions
- It’s geared towards creatives, just like us!
- It’s very expensive and there’s just no getting around it
- There have been some complains about technical issues and the level of human support (like when you actually talk to someone on the phone or have a conversation with them online)
- There have been some complains about the themes not being “minimalist enough”, however, we’re a little skeptical about this since you can demo themes so you know how you can make it look – if you want a SUPER minimalist theme than just choose that one (right now they have a new theme called Shutterstock that’s extremely minimalist)
In the end, we would recommend using this company on one condition – if you have the money to spend – because otherwise it’s simply too expensive. It is possible to get very close to what this site is offering using a bunch of other tactics but it simply takes a lot more effort and know how.
Plus you also don’t need what this site is offering to successfully showcase your artwork online or to successfully sell your artwork on line. Saying that, having tools like this sure helps a lot! If you think you want to learn more, get started now.
Shoot us a comment below, we want to know what you think!