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building your design

ProPhoto Basics

Customizing your design

installation + setup


Getting Started

Before you even begin to work on getting the ProPhoto software, make sure you have your hosting and domain all set in stone. If you have not done this, take a look at this ProPhoto tutorial on getting started. Once you have all of that figured out, you have to install WordPress. When you have your hosting and domain, and setup Wordpress, you are ready to Install ProPhoto. Woohoo! We suggest that you install ProPhoto automatically, with the P6 Installer Plugin. If you're having issues automatically installing P6, follow the instructions on the ProPhoto website.

Before you jump in...

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You purchase the ProPhoto licensed software one time and are able to use it indefinitely without any recurring fees. New versions of ProPhoto will be released periodically that might require an upgrade fee at a discounted rate. You will have recurring payments due for your website hosting services.

prophoto fees

Think of ProPhoto add-on designs as the interior design of your home. ProPhoto comes with nine free designs when you purchase the theme. You can also choose to purchase a premium design to really male a statement with your site. 

add-on designs "your interior Design"

Think of a domain name as your home address. A website domain name is pretty much a way Domain Name Servers (DNS) on the internet forwards visitors of your site to the server computer at your hosting company, which is where the content of your site lives. If you wish,  you can own multiple domain names at a time and they can each can point to any web server all from a single hosting account.

domain name "Your Address"

Think of website hosting as a house. In order for your site to be viewed, you must choose a web hosting service. Web hosting companies put simply, have computers (also referred to as servers) that connect to the Internet. Your site has to be stored on a server so that every time someone types in your url, they are connected to the hard drive on the computer that your website content is stored on. WordPress is the platform that makes ProPhoto a possibility with the ability to create pages, posts, and content which is all installed on a web server. In order to make your site visible to others, you can pay a web host a fee to store your website content on their server computers. 
* We recommend using Flywheel for your hosting, read why on our blog.

hosting company "your house"

Before you jump the gun and purchase ProPhoto, there are a few things you might need to know beforehand. Below we have made a list of the most important things to be aware of pre-purchasing. If you still have more questions even after reading the below points, feel free to contact ProPhoto or email us at [email protected]

Before you Purchase ProPhoto

Registering ProPhoto. A registration box will appear that has your information. Once you finish your registration, there will be a pop-up asking you about importing content from an older version of ProPhoto. ProPhoto 4 will import galleries only, and ProPhoto 5 will import galleries, grids, and primary menus. You can select to import desired content, but you can not import a design from a previous version of ProPhoto. You can find more tutorials on Installation and setup on the ProPhoto website.

step six

Enter Test-Drive mode or activate ProPhoto. Test-drive is a great tool to use if you have an existing site that you need to keep up for visitors while you customize a ProPhoto 6 design. Activating a design is available for those of you who prefer the public to see your P6 theme when viewing your website. If you choose to test-drive, you can click the button 'go live' to make ProPhoto 6 activate for viewers. More info on test drive mode can be found here.

step five

Install ProPhoto theme. If everything checks out when you complete the compatibility test, click the 'Install from Token' button. If you are unable to install the theme, contact ProPhoto.

step four

Do a website compatibility test to make sure your server is able to install P6. Navigate to the P6 Installer from the WordPress menu. All problems, if there are any will be shown. 

step three

** If you receive a 'Missing style.css Stylesheet' message, you are most likely in the wrong area within WordPress. If you are in the Themes area, you are uploading the file to the wrong place. Redirect to the Plugins area. 

Upload the .zip file. The file you receive when purchasing ProPhoto is NOT a theme file, so make sure you upload the file to Plugins. When you log in to Wordpress, select Plugins, add new, and Upload plugin.

step two

Download .zip file named which you should have received after purchasing ProPhoto. If you did not get this file, make sure you check your spam. If you can not locate this file, contact ProPhoto.

step one

The ProPhoto support team has a step-by-step guide on how to Install and setup your new ProPhoto site which we suggest you take time to read thoroughly. You can find that tutorial here. Also, we have taken the time to walk you through installation steps as well so feel free to read below.

Installing ProPhoto

2. Link to each page in your menu area. 
Visitors navigate through your site through menus items. You will most likely want a menu item for your front page and your posts page, so edit your menu in Prophoto to link to each page. We will be dedicating a blog post on menu items and linking, so be looking out for that. In the meantime, you can check out the ProPhoto website to see their tutorials on menus and linking. 

ProPhoto allows you to choose the content on your site’s front page. You can choose between your blog posts or a page. If you wish to have your posts appear on a separate page, you can have a special landing page for the front page of your site.

1. Select your site’s Front Page & Blog posts page (ProPhoto > Manage Designs > Front Page).
Here, you can change the front page from blog posts to a specific WordPress page. Then, you can select what page you would like to be the static front page and the URL slug for your website’s blog address. If you don’t have any published pages yet, you can make one right on the spot!

setting up your site's front page and blog and assigning templates & menus

There is a feature called the on-boarding wizard that helps you assign templates and menu links. This will appear when you first upload your design. The On-boarding Wizard is a great tool to use when you are beginning to set up your new ProPhoto site.  If you would like to return to this at any time, head over to 'ProPhoto > Manage Designs' screen and click the ‘setup’ button. Read more about this here.

The ProPhoto support team has an extensive step-by-step guide on how the On-boarding wizard works. We suggest you take time to read this tutorial thoroughly. Below we have included a brief tutorial of how to best take advantage of this awesome feature.

On-boarding Wizard

Create new design on the design to make a copy of the add-on design. Once you do this, the design will download. Once the design has been copied, you can make this design your customizing design. This is also the area that you will 'go live' when you're ready to make your site visible to the public. See more info about working with designs here

The design .zip file will contain instructions as well as resource files containing PSD files required to customize the design. Make sure to read through the Instructional guide provided by the designer before you begin customizing the design, as this will provide more insight on making customizations specific to the add-on design.

step five

Drag and drop the .zip file into the area labeled 'drop files here to upload'.

step four

When logged into WordPress, select the 'Manage Designs' tab under the ProPhoto tab in the WordPress menu.

step three

Unzip the 'package' .zip file. The design .zip file will be uploaded into ProPhoto, NOT the package .zip file. 

step two

Download Add-On .zip file. Once you purchase a design, save the .zip file to your computer. 

step one

The ProPhoto support team has an extensive step-by-step guide on how to Install Add-On designs which we suggest you take time to read thoroughly. You can find that tutorial here. Also, we have taken the time to walk you through installation steps as well so feel free to read below.

Installing Add-On Designs

ProPhoto Basics

One of the newest and most useful features of ProPhoto is the creating and managing designs area. This feature is great for managing the live and customizing design, as well as the ability to add new designs. In the top of the manage designs area is where you make changes to already existing designs. More specifically, the live design is located in the section with a black background and labeled 'Live Design'. Designs that are not live, but are being customized will fall below this area with a green background. All other designs will show up below this section with a white background. 

Creating and managing designs

Each design contains different templates that contain the visual style and layout customization options of the pages on your site (these customizations can be seen in the 'Template' tab in the upper left side menu). Templates are set up with parent/child relationships which allow you to create child templates and customize them independently.

To begin, all elements within a child template is inherited from the parent. This allows you to make changes to certain elements (i.e. header, logo, menu items, footer etc.) and it make those same changes to all child templates. However, there are sometimes you will want to override this inheritance to customize the page templates and add content separately from the base template. 

What's a template?

Your ProPhoto site appearance & layout is in the 'Design' area of the ProPhoto Customizer. Designs are imported and exported in the Manage Designs area in the ProPhoto menu. You can change the designs you are customizing at anytime. A great feature that ProPhoto now allows is the Test Drive mode which simply means you can customize a ProPhoto design privately until you're ready to go live. This allows visitors to see your current site while you're updating to a new site. Cool, huh? For more info, read ProPhoto's tutorial on the Create and Manage Designs area.

What's a design?

The ProPhoto theme uses a design and page templates to apply the visual layout of a WordPress site. ProPhoto has an awesome video tutorial to explain this concept further, you can view it here.

Design vs. Template

Building Your Design

do you have a question that is not answered here? email us at [email protected] and we will do our best to help!

Yes! We love for clients to make suggestions / requests for new products, colors, designs. Please email us your suggestions / requests to [email protected] If we use your idea – you’ll get a complimentary set inspired by your ideas.

I have an idea for a template that I can’t seem to find anywhere. Do you take requests for new products?

Absolutely! In ProPhoto, there are many awesome features that allow you to keep certain parts and pieces of a design, while still allowing you to make it unique to you! We wrote a really awesome blog post about this that you can read here!

I really love your larissa and noah template, but i don't want scrolling elements. Is it possible to use this template without having this feature?

The title of the page is appearing. How can I get rid of this?

We are in the process of working on more and more tutorials to help you nail down the perfect site in ProPhoto. We have not had the chance to put all of them online just yet, but make sure to check out the Instructional PDF that is included with your add-on design purchase. Also, be sure to read the ProPhoto tutorial talking about menu items and how to link them properly.

Head into your WordPress Dashboard and locate the page you wish to remove the title from. Find the section titled 'ProPhoto Title/Content Hiding' and check the boxes underneath.

My menu items are not working, how can i link them properly?

What a great question! Image sizing plays a huge role in the speed of your website. We have an awesome blog post written about how to properly optimize images for web. Read it here

what size should i upload my images?

This is probably our most frequently asked question! Believe it or not, the only PSD files most of our designs require are social media icons. The ProPhoto customizer has the capabilities to customize the template without multiple PSD files (great, huh?).

when i purchased one of your templates, the only psd files i received were social media icons. is this correct? am i missing other files?

First of all, don't worry - this is a very common problem and easy fix! First, make sure to read and follow this ProPhoto tutorial carefully. The main cause of this problem is that people upload the package .zip file they receive when purchasing instead of the design .zip file. Unzip the 'package' zip file you downloaded and the design zip file found inside will be uploaded into ProPhoto, not the package zip file. Even after reading these tutorials, if you're still having problems, please email us at [email protected] or contact ProPhoto

When I went to upload my purchased add-on design, i received a message reading 'The package could not be installed. The theme is missing the style.css stylesheet. THEME INSTALL FAILED ' What does this mean?

You purchase the ProPhoto licensed software one time and are able to use it indefinitely without any recurring fees. New versions of ProPhoto will be released periodically that might require an upgrade fee at a discounted rate. You will have recurring payments due for your website hosting services.

is prophoto a one-time purchase or a monthly/yearly fee?

It's totally fine if you have an existing website or blog. As long as your hosting allows for WordPress installation, you can install WordPress on your site in addition to your site that is live. If your hosting company does not allow WordPress installations, you can always switch over to hosting that is compatible with WP. 

what if i already have a website or blog?

In order to successfully use ProPhoto, you will need a domain name, web hosting, WordPress Platform, and ProPhoto theme software. Read more in depth suggestions on the ProPhoto help platform, here.

what do i need to get started with prophoto?

What peeps are wondering

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any problems or errors downloading any of our designs into your ShowIt account, please do not hesitate to contact us. Shoot us an email at [email protected] and we will do our best to help you as much as we can! Happy customizing!

4. The design will be available to use the next time you create a new site

3. Preview the design and click “Add Now” to add it to your account

When you purchase a design, not from the ShowIt store, the party you purchase the design from should provide you with a share key. This is how the design is transferred over to your site. 

2. Paste share key to add the design to your account

1. In Account window, select 'add design' to library

You can choose to do the 30-day free trial to see if you will fall in love with ShowIt. Once you create an account and decide to go live, you must subscribe. There are three subscription options that you can choose based on the needs of your business.

subscribe to showit

Get familiar with the ShowIt help center to check out their library of help docs to quickly find the help you need to build your site. Also, take advantage of the Help Window at the bottom right of your screen to chat with a Show It support team member. They are extremely helpful and will get your site up in no time. So follow the steps below and get customizing! Once your site is live, we would LOVE to see the final product. Shoot us an email to [email protected] with your website URL so we can Swoone over the new you!

Before you jump in...