We get a lot of questions from budding artists and photographers regarding a WordPress theme that could also work as a good online portfolio. So today, I’m going to review Modularity Lite, which claims to be a great free theme to display photos.

Modularity is a dark theme with a hint of grunge texture in the background that’s barely detectable. I’m a fan of the dark background as it really brings out the vibrant colors of your images. There’s also the option to change the background color or image if you wish to lighten it up a bit. Same goes for the header where you can upload a custom image.

Modularity can be a two-column theme or a one-column one if you wish to display larger images. The layout can be changed quickly and easily through the backend under theme options.

If you like your widgets but want to get rid of the sidebar, you can still display them in the generous four-column footer area. As usual, all your widgets are managed under Widgets in your Dashboard.

Currently, you’re probably thinking that Modularity is more of a blog than a standout portfolio theme. Well, this is where the built-in slideshow feature comes in. If you enable this in the backend under Theme Options, a rotating slideshow widget will be embedded on your homepage.

The widget will display all the featured images in your posts. You will have to be mindful that images will be presented quite large, 950 x 425 pixels to be exact. You can’t change this setting so if you have smaller images, they will be stretched to this size and might look a bit pixilated.

Setting a featured image is quite easy and it’s done through each post. Let’s take Food in Tokyo for example. Once you’ve uploaded all your images, simply click on ‘use as feature image’ next to the ‘insert into Post’ button. Unfortunately, you can only include one featured image per post.

Along with enabling the sidebar and slideshow, you can also include a Welcome Message that sits above your posts and slideshow. You can have a short message about anything really, and if you’re lost for words, then simply leave the text box areas blank.

Unlike other WordPress portfolio themes where you can only display images, Modularity provides you space for text as well. The text might be a bit smaller and harder to read, but you’d have to keep in mind the nature of this theme. It’s a portfolio so the focus is on the photos, rather than words.

The only down-side would be that the article post information is rather compact and small. The comment area is very tidy and neat, but the cascading effect isn’t prominent so it’s harder to see replies and conversations.

I find that the best way to utilize this theme and make your blog look good, is to adopt a similar layout found on the Modularity Lite Demo page.

Recreating this look is easy and you would just need to tweak your individual posts a bit. Take a look at the YouTube video above to see how.

Modularity is a good portfolio theme if you wish to include a mixture of images and text. The rotating slideshow is definitely a real kicker for this theme, especially if you have larger photos to display. Test out the theme for yourself and let us know what you think.