Timber is a photography WordPress theme aimed at all you visual creatives out there that need a tool to showcase your work. In this guide, I will try to walk you through the main features that Timber brings on top of what already WordPress has to offer (basic WordPress learning is not the scope of the current article — check this out for that kind of information).
Timber is a theme that strives to follow all the WordPress standards both in coding but most of all in the way it utilizes the functionality that WordPress offers out of the box. We believe this is the way forward for themes, making it easier for you to switch themes and take your old content along for the ride.
The portfolio section is one such example (actually the main one as we are talking about a portfolio theme). We have focused each project on the WordPress editor (yes you’ve heard it right).
How can one have those beautiful project galleries with horizontal scroll, text, videos, thumbnails, and so on, all in the old editor? Well, you can if we do the heavy lifting for you. Let me elaborate.
When you create a new project from your WordPress admin panel by going to Projects → Add New you get a pretty standard set of tools (the same ones you would get when creating a new post). You get the editor, project types (these are similar to categories), project tags, a featured image and a few custom settings of our own in the Project Settings box under the editor box.
So where do I get to add my photos?
Right in the editor in the form of image galleries (we automatically insert an empty gallery when you create a new project just to get you started that much faster), regular images (I would recommend keeping the images on separate lines) or video embeds.
Timber will only look at the image URL (or id if it’s a gallery shortcode) and the caption if present. So any other settings you may use (like image alignment) will be ignored.
What about text to go along with my photos?
You can at any point insert regular content (text, shortcodes, and so on) between any of the 3 types described above. We will respect this and make a text box that will be part of the project’s presentation. So nothing gets lost.
As you can see, by interpreting your content Timber succeeds in giving you flexibility while at the same time making your content more future proof.
Important note: Sorry for this but right now we only support self-hosted images (images that are uploaded to your site’s Media Library, not images from other sites/domains). This is due to the fact that we need to process and know these images pretty well (hence take advantage of the processing done by WordPress when creating attachments), a thing that is not feasible (performance wise) with external images. So please use only images that you upload when you click on the Add Media button or edit the default empty gallery.
We know that each project of yours has a different mood and attitude, as do you. When creating or editing each project you can select from the Project Settings box under your editor what layout you wish to use.
There are 3 project layouts to choose from (ordered ascending by the size of images):
- thumbnails — your project will open up in a view displaying all of the project’s images in thumbnail form (text and videos are excluded); by clicking on any image thumbnail, your visitor will transition to the next layout, filmstrip;
- filmstrip — this layout will display your project content (text and videos included this time) as a full height film strip with horizontal scrolling; by clicking on any image, your visitor will transition to the Zoom & Pan view that will immerse him even more into your photography; one can switch freely between these 3 views (thumbnails, filmstrip and Zoom & Pan);
- fullscreen — your project will be presented as a fullscreen slideshow with a transparent header and footer (giving your photos the maximum screen space).
Fullscreen Image Scaling
- FILL — the image covers the entire screen and can be explored using an immersive panning effect
- FIT — the image is resized to fit inside the container and it’s fully visible from the start
Own Your Front Page
Timber knows you like to play with your front page (the main page of your site). That is why you have the flexibility of bringing your portfolio, or parts of it, center stage.
Once you have created and setup your static front page, open it in edit mode. First, you need to give it the Custom Portfolio Template from the Page Attributes section. Once you do that your editor will disappear (we don’t support content on these type of pages, so what’s the point of having it around right?) and a box called Custom Portfolio Template Options will appear.
There are 3 content types:
- a projects slider that will display a slideshow of some projects of your choosing;
- the portfolio archive (project title and thumbnails with AJAX loading of older projects);
- and a single project of your choosing.
That’s it regarding putting your portfolio on the front page of your site. Pretty straight forward right?
This has been a short and straightforward introduction into how Timber can work for you. Take this info, play with Timber and share with us surprising ways of using it.