I am a HUGE fan of responsive WordPress themes that have a beautiful full screen background photo.
They don’t always work out nicely. In fact, this particular style of WordPress theme is prone to a few problems and as such I wanted to put together a collection that showcases how it should be done.
Let’s take a look at some of the best full screen background photo themes that I could find. These are absolutely amazing for anyone who wants to make a big, colorful impact with their web presence and has nice photos to show off.
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What features should a WordPress theme with a full screen photo background have?
Okay so I wanted to start this by looking at a few things that you need to make sure your full screen photo theme has:
- A fast loading time
This is the main place where these themes go wrong. If your photo is saved at high quality and/or is coded badly you’re going to have something that loads way too fast.
- A realistic layout
A full screen background photo is nice, but not if the content area overlaps the main part of the photo. Or, on the flip side, if your content area gets dwarfed by the background photo you are going to distract visitors. There needs to be balance.
- Branding options
The worst thing is where you pick a theme and it doesn’t end up suiting your logo or colors. We need to make sure that these out of the box WordPress themes can actually be converted into something that looks like it belongs only to our website.
The best WordPress themes with a full screen background photo
With all of that stuff out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the themes that I wanted to show you for this category.
Sixteen Nine is a theme by StudioPress and, more specifically, Brian Gardner. This guy is one of my WordPress heroes and as such I try to feature his work regularly. It’s run on the solid Genesis framework and it is laid out to the left of screen which means that almost any quality photo with a bit of depth of field will look stunning.
One of the most complete WordPress themes that you’ll ever see. It comes with so many options. But the great thing about it is that it can be cut back to a really simple and clean blog-based theme with a really beautiful background photo. Super simple to customize and tweak and can be used for literally any niche.
Okay, yes this is a wedding theme. No, it’s not the only thing it can be used for. This is one of the more simple designs I’ve seen and it comes with a very minimal homepage which I like because it lets you showcase the photo instead of putting stuff on top of it. Great for photographers or anyone who has nice photos of nice things that they want to showcase.
The Lumen theme is strange and wonderful all at the same time. I actually just recommend going and having a look because it is set out in a way that I haven’t really experienced much before but that tends to make the time on site quite high. This is not a theme for everyone. In fact, I recommend just using this theme if you are self employed or trying to grow a personal brand. It’s a great business card.
The Risen theme is made for churches and religious organizations but, as usual, you kind of have to look past that and see it for the features. This theme is sort of a magazine style but with a nice background photo/content area combination. Good for websites and small businesses that need a bit more content on board.
Incidental is a WordPress theme done in the style that you see quite a lot in this type of full screen photo WordPress niche. You have the column/navigation on the left and some really nice photos taking up the rest of the page. It has nice effects that you can use on the photos and produces a really clean and easy to read blog page that will let you add a lot of content without impact the design. The background photo stays still while the content area scrolls.
This theme actually has rain drops forming on your screen. It’s quite fascinating. Again, this is to show you what is possible with WordPress themes. One of my goals on this site is to help you push the boundaries. Of course it’s not going to be suit everyone but it might make for a really nice personal blog or diary.
I don’t think this theme is actually all that good for blogging. I do, however, think it would make a really nice portfolio site. The effects are smooth and clean and the photos render really nicely. Perhaps best for a brochure site for a small business or self employed person.
This is one of those WordPress designs that you see and just let out a big audible groan. Not because it’s bad but because it makes to so jealous that you hadn’t thought to do that yourself. It is stunning. It’s a one page paralax theme that scrolls for a very long time. It’s not designed to be a blog but rather a showcase for a firm or small business with a few staff. It could be tweaked to be a few other things but this is the main purpose. The effects are smooth and easy to load and the overall impact is pretty amazing. This is one of the best landing pages you’ll ever see.
The Town theme is retina ready and a lot like the previous theme. It’s not a blog or full site but rather a one page landing page that can be used to showcase your small firm or perhaps an event. This doesn’t have a full screen background as such but it does display the main photo element at full screen width. It gives a wonderful first impression.