The Free WordPress Portfolio Lite Theme

Calling all starving artists. We’ve got a free WordPress theme for you!

Update: As of Portfolio Lite v1.3 there have been some minor changes. View this article to see what has changed.

I know what it’s like to pinch pennies after graduating with a BFA. Beginning a career as a freelance artist isn’t easy — or cheap. In order to secure clients, your work really needs to stand out. However, sending potential clients a link to a Deviant Art gallery or Facebook Page doesn’t exactly give a professional impression. That’s why we created the WordPress Portfolio Lite theme. Now you can create that personal portfolio website you’ve been putting off — for free!

Portfolio Lite features a minimal and professional design with the central focus where it needs to be — on the artwork. The theme is responsive, so your artwork will display beautifully on any mobile device. It’s the perfect free website solution for artists, designers, photographers and creatives. If you’re looking for a little more flexibility, options and support, check out our Portfolio Theme.

Within the Portfolio Lite theme, portfolio pages and slideshow galleries can be created with ease. There is no need for any additional plugins or custom post types. Portfolios are simply created using categories, and endless slideshows can be created using the “Gallery Slideshow” page template. Here’s how it works:

Creating Portfolios

Categories display in a portfolio layout.
  1. Navigate to Posts > Add New.
  2. Enter a Post Title.
  3. Apply a Featured Image.
  4. Add Content or an Excerpt describing the work. (optional)
  5. Add or Apply a Category. (i.e. Design)
  6. Publish the post.
  7. Repeat steps 1 through 6 for each portfolio item.
  8. Navigate to Appearance > Menus.
  9. Create a menu and apply it to the Main Menu location, if you haven’t already done so.
  10. Add the Category to the Custom Menu.
  11. Click the Save Menu button.

When clicking the category within your menu, it will take you to a page with all posts of that category displayed in a 3-column portfolio layout.

Creating Slideshows

A page using the Gallery Slideshow page template will display the first WordPress image gallery as a slideshow.

  1. Navigate to Pages > Add New.
  2. Enter a Page Title.
  3. Under Page Attributes on the right, choose the Gallery Slideshow template.
  4. Click the Add Media button.
  5. Click the Create Gallery link on the left.
  6. Upload and/or select the images for your slideshow.
  7. Click the blue Create a new gallery button.
  8. Click the blue Insert gallery button.
  9. Publish the page.

Portfolio Lite is available through Organic Themes or within the WordPress theme directory. The theme has undergone the rigorous review process from the WordPress foundation in order to be accepted into the theme directory. So you can rest assured the code is solid and secure. Additionally, you will receive access to ongoing theme updates. Not bad for a free theme, eh?

There’s no catch. We just want to help feed the starving artists. I was one of them, and I know artists don’t catch many breaks when it comes to the cost of education, student loans and software. If you appreciate the theme, please take a moment to leave us a good theme review here in the WordPress directory.

91 Comments on “The Free WordPress Portfolio Lite Theme

  1. Amazing theme !!!
    But my Home page Big image is not working. Like it is not displaying!

  2. Pardon my ignorance, but how is this different to the regular version?

    • Good question. The full version utilizes additional custom post types for more portfolio options. There are are more theme options for managing colors and layout. It is fully compatible with WooCommerce. There are additional page templates, a featured content slideshow and more. Additionally, support is included with access to our forums and documentation.

  3. Thanks for making this great theme!
    It is ideal for artists!
    I just recommended you on
    Keep up the good work!

  4. Recently I made a few favorable issues with WooCommerce after inspiring from some unique site to utilize WooCommerce. Do you think it would be preferable if I choose this free theme and also work with WooCommerce at the same time?

  5. great theme for artist – I love it – thanks so much …it works but something is still missing. What i really hate is the visualization on my ipad . here there are two logos and the social bar is up over the content . it seems that it comes out with two header. This is happening also if I browse on ipad your own demo Am i the first to see it or do you have already find out this bug?

    thanks so much for your great work and help


    • Hi Angie,

      Ah, I didn’t catch this bug before. I’ll get the issue fixed and push an update to the theme. Thanks for bringing this to our attention!


      • Hi,
        Did you push the update ? Because now the bug is not only on the ipad !!! I have the same problem with my Mac, just after installing the theme update !!!
        Please help

        • Hi Sara,

          We did push an update. Try clearing your browser cache after updating. Styles for the old version of the theme may still be lingering in your browsers.


          • But there is a bug within my iPhone. When I click on the menu nothing arrives…
            Is it related to the update ?

          • Am I the only one with this problem ? This is very blocking. The website does not work on mobile phones, neither iOS nor Android : when I click on the menu, nothing happens !

            I had unistalled my pluggins and updated your today latest version, and the result is still KO.

            Please help, Thank you,

          • Hi Sara,

            I recently noticed this as well. I’ll get a fix for the mobile menu pushed out soon.


          • I think it is done now, my website is working again,
            thank you !

    • Hi Sara,

      Categories can be added to the menu under Appearance > Menus in the WordPress admin. You can add pages, posts, categories, custom links and custom post types to a menu.

      Here is a screenshot for reference,


  6. Hi David and everyone else!

    I am so sorry I am basically bombarding you with some many questions but it is only because I love this template and I want to create something great! 🙂
    I have followed all the steps of the ” CREATING PORTFOLIO” stated above and it works great as in now my works are on display in the “project” page and category I have created.
    The only problem is that they also show up on my Blog Page. As the photo galleries are created as posts and as by Blog page is where “posts” get published automatically how can I differentiate between the actual blog post I want in the blog section and the posts I create for my portfolio purposes?

    Would really appreciate your help! 🙂

    thank you!


    • Hi Carmen,

      I’m afraid all posts will display in your blog page. You could customize your theme to add an option for the blog page template in order to only display posts from a certain category if this is an option you wanted to pursue. Feel free to contact us for a quote or more details:

      Thank you!

    • Actually, any posts with a category titled “Blog” will display in a blog post format instead of a gallery format. So, if you would like a typical blog displayed for some posts, apply a category titled “Blog” to those posts. Then, using the custom menu, add the blog category to your main menu. Here is an example,

      Additionally, the posts page/blog page is designed to look specifically for posts with the “Blog” category applied. If there is no Blog category, all posts are displayed instead.


  7. Hi,
    What’s the display order for posts when filtering them in categories ?
    In my blog, I can see posts from the newest to the oldest. But when displaying them using categories, this order is not applied.
    Can I apply the same display order ?
    Thank you !

    • the order is the same, sorry about my question

      • Glad you got this sorted Sara! 🙂

        Please note that we have a support forum on for Portfolio Lite here: If you are in need of additional support, the Premium Version may be something for you to consider as it comes with access to our support forums for more in depth instructions on how to use the theme and minor customizations.

        Thank You!

    • Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Basically, there was an extra closing div tag that was messing everything up if a custom menu was not set in the WP admin.

      I’ve resolved the issue, and pushed another update with version 1.1. I apologize for the inconvenience.


  8. Hello!

    I´m trying to create a portfolio with vertical images in the portfolio lite theme…but I can´t….
    When I create a post and select the featured image, the image is cropped to a horizontal image.
    Maybe, it is not possible to create a portfolio with horizontal images?
    I need to buy the complete version?


    • This is an issue for me as well. Does anyone know how we can change this?

      • Hi Sleight and Roberto,

        Because the width of the images is set you may need to edit this with some CSS in order to get the proper display for your vertical images. If you’re unsure how to proceed, we’re happy to help you get this sorted either with the support provided in the Premium Version of the theme or if you’d like to purchase our priority support package:

        Thank you,


  9. Is there an option to only display the sub menu categories with a mouse click or mouse hover? I thought that was the default for all wordpress themes.
    Loving the theme so far though.

    • Hi Sofia,

      It looks like you have a plugin conflicting with the styling of the theme. I’d recommend disabling your plugins one by one until you find the one causing the problem with this. If you have further questions feel free to send us an email using the contact form here:

      Thank you!

  10. Thanks for sharing theme, i like it 🙂

  11. Hi,

    I really like your theme and trying to make it work for my photo portfolio. I have a question regarding the slide-out menu. Is it only a menu for mobiles and tablets ? Or does it also appear on the desktop version ? Because I would like it only to appear on the mobile and tablet versions of the website, and not on the desktop one.

    Thank you !

    • Hi Laurène,

      The slide menu will display on mobile on all pages, but will only display on single post view for desktop sites. Otherwise, the slide menu doesn’t display on desktop sites.



  12. Do you have a wiki for WP beginners? I can’t duplicate any of your instructions on my installed theme. Can’t get slideshow gallery pages to nestle under Portfolio. Can’t find stated attributes on menu options. Not clear on the portfolio feature for photography using posts that carry blog references.

    Appreciate anything you have on these.

  13. Is it possible to display illustrations underneath slider at the same page? (basically, to combine slider page and illustrations page into one)

      • Thanks for your reply David!
        I assume that it is done with “Organic Content Slideshow” widget?
        But how did you managed to put slideshow from “gallery slideshow” template there?
        I thought that “Organic Content Slideshow” widget can only show posts and not pages, but the “gallery slideshow” template can only be applied to pages and not to posts?


        • Hi Anton,

          This isn’t done with the widget, but is simply a gallery attached to a post. When you create the post, using the ‘Add new media’ button, you can create a new gallery and insert this into your post. It will then display the slideshow at the top like the example post David refers to above. If you have any further questions or require additional support, we provide some support options for free themes you can register for here:

          Thank you!


  14. Hi,

    I’m having an issue where my vertical images overlap other texts in the gallery slideshow template unless I zoom out on a browser ( — second image in the slideshow). Is there a way I might be able to fix that? Thanks!

  15. Hello! Just opened my site with your great theme. Thank you for sharing it with us! One problem: My gallery at the Home page covers the website’s title! What should be the size of it for getting to see the title again? Thank you!

  16. Hey there
    Just got a wee bug I can’t fix:

    In the comments form the title ‘submit’ is missing from the output html.


    How do I add it please or will you push out an update?

    See here for how it looks:

    Your theme is awesome btw, thanks for making a free version available 🙂


    • I did try to paste the source code, but the form stripped it out.
      Basically it looks like this:

      …value=”Post Comment” />[???]<input type='hidden'…

      Hope this makes sense 🙂

      • Hi Ginette,

        It looks like the issue is just the color of the button mixing in with the background. Try adding the following CSS and it should display again:

        .dark #submit, .dark input[type=submit] {
        color: (0,0,0,0.6) !important;

        Add this to the Additional CSS section of the customizer.



  17. I followed the steps to create a portfolio page using categories but they don’t show up as they’re supposed to in the demo. I only get two images and the third gets sent to another page, not all of them in a three column layout.


    • Hi Frank,

      Can you confirm you haven’t set your ‘blog page shows at most’ settings under Settings > Reading to 2 posts? If you have, you’ll need to up this to at least three for the three column layout to display.


        • But when you have an even number, they won’t stack up in blocks of 3

          • Hi Frank,

            The option mentioned above will decide how many posts you want to display on the portfolio page, but it will also show posts in the three column format (unless you’ve selected less than 3 posts to display per page). Even with an even number, you’ll still get the three posts column. It will simply leave the blank space where the third item should be. If you want additional column options, these are available in the Premium version of the theme (


  18. Hi, I’ve just started using the Portfolio Lite theme and it’s lovely! I’m having difficulty getting the social menu to appear – any suggestions? I’ve added a new menu, included a custom link, and set this menu to the ‘social menu’.

    • Hi Alison,

      The social menu only displays in the single post view. Once you have a post created, you should notice it at the top right of the screen before the toggle menu.


    • Hi Richie,

      If you add a gallery of images to your posts by using the ‘Add Media’ button while editing your post, these images will then display as a slideshow like the post you reference here.


  19. How do you have a slideshow in a post like in the Organic Themes logo?

  20. Hello,

    Your theme is so lovely, I really like it!
    But, I Want to have a menu like yours: how can I have an inactive button like “portfolio”? in your demo and the others ones under with a redirection to a page?

    Thank you very much

    • Hi Ezo,

      If you create a custom menu and add a custom link for the item you want to be inactive you’ll be able to get the same as what we have in the demo. Simply configure the link area for the custom menu item with a hashtag (#) and this will make the item so it cannot be clicked.


  21. How do you create an excerpt on the post so it is right below the title, not below the photo.

  22. This is an example of a WordPress post. You can add content, images, video and more to WordPress posts and pages. This content was added to the post excerpt field in order to be displayed within the slideshow.

    Where do you edit the excerpt for each post?

    • Hi Richie,

      You’ll need to add this text in the ‘Excerpt’ meta-box. If you’re not seeing the Excerpt field when editing your posts, you’ll want to first select this option from your Screen Options menu. If you look at the top right corner of your screen when you’re in the editor window you should see the Screen Option menu you can select which will then open up a few options. Make sure the Excerpt field is selected and then navigate to the field itself which should appear bellow your text/visual editor. You’ll notice the demo content added there, or you can add any of your own in this section.

      Please keep in mind that any support questions can be directed to the support forum: Otherwise you can always purchase priority support if you need further assistance with setting up your theme:

      Thank you,


  23. Hello David.
    Can I also display videos with Portfolio Lite?

    Best regards,

  24. Hello,

    I love this theme! My issue is, I am unable to create a menu on the left side of the image as shown in the demo, am I missing something, because I feel this is a really silly issue and am unable to figure it out. Can someone help me with this, please.


  25. I followed the steps to create the homepage content slide, it worked but it’s showing my work in their full size not in a fixed frame like how it appears on the demo

  26. How do you make a portfolio to be #blank on click just to be like a place holder.

  27. I love the Portfolio Lite theme but i’m looking to install the demo files and build on them? I found the demo files here ( but don’t know how to install them so that they’re compatible with WP.

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

  28. Hello, thanks for a beautiful theme!
    I added pics to the top of the side (‘article picture’ in German…) and saw that on wider screens than the one I am working at the pic gets cut on top and bottom (for example under VITA) Is there a way I can make sure it will be fully seen at any screen? (I chose a narrow size so that on the smaller screen you don’t need to scroll down to see the full picture. Similiar like in the theme demo.)
    Another question – my website as a whole appears bigger than the one in the demo so that the title above the slide show is cut… and also the footer menu is appearing above the numbers of the slide show. Can I change this somehow?

  29. Hi, there is a problem with the site on mobile phone. Thumbnails of posts don’t show up. Demo page has the same problem. It was ok before the update.

    • Hello Isil,

      We would be more than happy to help you with this issue. If you wouldn’t mind submitting this question to our Portfolio Lite support forum, a member of our customer support checks in regularly to answer these questions. You might also find the answer you’re looking for already there. Thank you 🙂


  30. hi when i follow the directions i dont get all my posts to appear with a page with all posts of that category displayed in a 3-column portfolio layout. instead i get numbered boxes to forward to the next one

    • Hello, please navigate to Settings > Reading and make sure your settings are set to display more than one blog post. Hope that helps!

  31. Hi!
    I started using your theme but on the Blog page it says “Archives” at the top, how can I remove that please?
    Thank you

    • Hello, for Portfolio Lite theme support related questions, please refer to our support forum where you can either search a topic, or submit a new question. Thanks! 🙂

  32. Hi ! I am really enjoying this theme so far, but I am having a minor issue here

    I am trying to get rid of the search bar at the bottom of the home page.
    its really bothering me and I have no idea how to do this

  33. Hi, glad you are enjoying the theme! For Portfolio Lite Theme support, please refer to our Portfolio Lite forum where you can either search a topic, or submit a new question. A member of our team checks in here regularly to help theme users. Here is a link to the forum: