Where to Next for Flothemes Users?

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UPDATED: 30 November 2023 | PUBLISHED: 25 September 2023

Where to next for Flothemes users? Excellent question.

What are the next best website options?

What exactly does one do when their website building platform pulls the proverbial rug?

(And I ask with intent - both Photogeek™ and my personal photography website are built with Flothemes 🙋🏻‍♀️😩. Yikes!)

Flothemes-closes-logo-fades

Flothemes Folds

Popular photography website builder, Flothemes - once hailed for its elegance and customer care - abruptly shut up shop on 20 September 2023.

The sloppily handled news of Flothemes' whole and permanent absorption into Pixieset was leaked online days prior to the planned release of an official announcement.

(Pixieset is the part online gallery + store / part CRM / part website builder that bought out Flothemes back in 2021.)

The permanent move to Pixieset turns a swift cold shoulder on existing Flothemes users who were told they can safely continue using and updating their existing site(s) only until 30 September 2024.

Beyond that time all support will cease.

Again: yikes 😬.

"I really do believe, for a very long time, [Flothemes] served the photography market; that they tried to build the best product possible for WordPress; they've listened to feedback from photographers to try to build that solution that people have been asking for...Flothemes was doing a great thing. They really believed in it and wanted it to continue. Pixieset has decided that's not their business...they want everything to be an all-in-one platform. Their website builder has been getting better...but clearly WordPress is not part of their business plan and they had to make the decision to cut it."

- Corey Potter, Fuel Your Photos

A Sloppy End to Flothemes

News of Flothemes' discontinuation was leaked on Facebook on 20 September 2023 following a round of private emails announcing the news exclusivey to Flothemes partners.

A second round of emails was later sent to affiliates.

All initial rounds of communication excluded 'general' Flothemes users.

As a result, on top of their collective frustration with the 'doors closing' announcement, a strong distaste began brewing for controlling company Pixieset, given the lack of transparency and mishandling of the situation.

As if it wasn't going to be bad enough announcing the permanent closure of Flothemes and subsequently, the long-term functioning of all websites built with their platform.

Way to make a bad situation worse: communicate it poorly.

"I messaged Flothemes less than a month ago asking if they were still a standalone company or if I should subscribe to Pixieset. They assured me they were still standalone and I could go ahead and sign up...Guess how likely it is that I'll ever trust Pixieset with ANYTHING?"

Emily Pogozelski, Pogo Photo in Pic-Time Community Group, Facebook
Flothemes-announces-closure
ABOVE: Sad-faced and sullen indeed. The image posted as the final Flothemes cover photo at 9:25pm AEST (UTC / GMT +10) on Wednesday 20 September 2023, after news had already spread in various industry Facebook groups. (SOURCE: Flothemes.)

"This person's face exactly matches my feelings about Flothemes right now."

- A Flothemes user in the Flothemes Facebook group. (Comment received 127 emoji reactions)

What Happens Next: Flothemes Websites After 30 September 2024

If you're a Flothemes user - be that Pronto all-in-one, Flex theme, or Classic theme - here's what you need to know and prepare for come October 2024.

An immediate site change isn't necessary however it IS something you want to be looking at in the near future.

"If this is your busy season and you need to wait until December or January [2024] or something like that, that's fine. You're going to be okay. I can't imagine a scenario where you're going to need to change before the next 6 months."

- Corey Potter, Fuel Your Photos

The following information comes from Flothemes directly (as posted by 'Kate Flo' in the Flothemes Community Facebook group on Saturday 23 September 2023):

"You can continue to edit your siteFlex Block included...You will not be able to add a predefined Flex Block or style kit, note that you will still be able to create and build your own Flex Block and edit any existing Flex Blocks. This has always been true for one-time themes (Pronto, Flexthemes, and Classic themes), but we are extending this for all Pronto All-in-One subscriptions."

Initial communications suggested Pronto-all-in-one users wouldn't be able to edit their Flex blocks after 30 September 2024.

Adjustments to this information were made following user kickback to the contrary.

What next if you own Pronto-all-in-one ✅:

Your website will continue running and be available for your website visitors as usual. You'll still be able to:

  • access your website dashboard
  • create new (empty) Flex blocks from scratch
  • edit your existing Flex blocks

Limitations will include:

  • installing Style Kits 🚫
  • installing predesigned blocks 🚫 (unless you download / export predesigned blocks before 30 September 2024)

Flothemes recommends PHP version 8.2. and WordPress 6.2.2.

"If you're happy with your Flothemes site as it exists now, you're more than likely going to be okay for the next 6 - 8 months. Obviously [Flothemes is] saying that they have a year of support but I wouldn't bank on that being super effective. But you might have 8 - 12 months to even start working on your new site."

- Dylan Howell, Fuel Your Photos

What next if you own a Flex theme ✅:

Your website will continue running and be available for your website visitors as usual. You'll still be able to:

  • access your website dashboard
  • create new (empty) Flex blocks from scratch
  • edit your existing Flex blocks

Limitations will include:

  • installing Style Kits 🚫
  • installing predesigned blocks 🚫 (unless you download / export predesigned blocks before 30 September 2024)

Flothemes recommends PHP version is 7.4 - 8.0 and WordPress 6.2.2.

What next if you own a Classic theme ✅:

Your website will continue running and be available for your website visitors as usual. You'll still be able to:

  • access your website dashboard
  • create new (empty) Flex blocks from scratch
  • edit your existing Flex blocks

Limitations will include:

  • installing Style Kits 🚫
  • installing predesigned blocks 🚫 (unless you download / export predesigned blocks before 30 September 2024)

Flothemes recommends PHP version is 7.4 and WordPress 5.9.

"You need to get off the old [Classic] Flothemes as soon as possible in my opinion."

- Dylan Howell, Fuel Your Photos

Flothemes Users Get a Red Carpet Ride to PIXIESET

Existing Flothemes users looking to migrate their site to Pixieset can be red-carpeted in with a free year of the Website Pro plan (valued at $216 USD p/a).

This includes "free of charge" assistance from the Flothemes team valid up until 30 November 2023 only.

Flothemes customers can email info@flothemes.com to accept the offer or submit a ticket through their Flothemes 'My Account' page.

"We hope you will take advantage of this offer and we’re sure that you’ll enjoy managing your site in a simpler, more intuitive way. See you soon at Pixieset!"

- Nata Leto, Flothemes

While Flothemes are quote / unquote "excited" (and arguably presumptuous) to extend the offer, not all customers share the enthusiasm.

"This is an intentional decision to force Flothemes customers to switch to Pixieset," said photographer and Flothemes Community Facebook group top contributor, Martin Cheung.

"So far I've not spoken to a single user who is moving to Pixieset, but I've spoken to many who are switching away from Pixieset galleries in protest," Cheung said.

"I think this is going to seriously damage [Pixieset's] reputation especially as now they want people going for their Pixieset sites. It's going to mean a mass exodus to any other available option, going from the reactions to this news."

Christopher Ian Bradshaw, Photo + Film By Christopher Ian in Fuel Your Photos Facebook group

Dylan Howell from Fuel Your Photos likened the Flothemes / Pixieset deal to Ford purchasing Ferrari and inviting all the Ferrari owners to buy and love a Ford Taurus - perhaps there's somewhat of a misalignment.

Ford-Taurus-Ferrarai-SF90-Stradale
ABOVE: SEO expert, Dylan Howell, likened Pixieset inviting Flothemes users aboard to that of Ford encouraging Ferrari owners to make the switch. (FORD SOURCE: Motortrend. FERARRI SOURCE: Drive.)

"[Pixieset] is literally the worst platform that I can think of for a photographer [in terms of SEO] that exists currently...There are so many technical issues with that platform that I just wouldn't recommend it. If people are on Pixieset, I try to talk to them about the many options that are better that they should be looking at."

- Corey Potter, Fuel Your Photos

What's Most Similar to Flothemes Flex Blocks?

"There really is nothing. There's a giant hole left - a hole that should never be filled," said SEO specialists and Fuel Your Photos co-founders, Corey Potter and Dylan Howell, in a Facebook Live inside their Fuel Your Photos | SEO For Photographers group on Thursday 21 September 2023.

"Right now, if you have content built in Flex blocks or in the Flex section of your themes HAVE to rebuild that content for it to be visible on any other platform or even if you're staying on WordPress and using a different theme and not using Flex blocks. That doesn't happen if you're using a platform that has the ability to properly export to another platform...The way that people achieve drag-and-drop means that it doesn't easily export to any other platform at all."

- Dylan Howell, Fuel Your Photos
Split screen of Fuel Your Photos presenters, Corey Potter and Dylan Howell
ABOVE: SEO specialists Corey Potter (left) and Dylan Howell (right) hosting a WordPress FAQ for Flothemes users on 21 September 2023. (SOURCE: Facebook.)

Corey and Dylan generally discourage photographers from using proprietary third party drag-and-drop website page builders like Flothemes.

"I think people mistake the ease [of drag-and-drop builders] as having no drawbacks...People have been mislead and misinformed in this regard, for years. Part of it is the fault of Flothemes, part of it is the fault of Showit, part of it is the fault of Squarespace and Wix. All of these things...The way that people achieve drag-and-drop means that it does not easily to export to any other platform at all...If there were no drawbacks [to using drag-and-drop proprietary builders], people wouldn't be freaking out today because they wouldn't have their content locked on a platform that's going away in a year."

- Corey Potter & Dylan Howell, Fuel Your Photos

"Right now there isn't anything that exists like [Flex Block] in the WordPress market. If you are hell-bent on having drag-and-drop so it's like Canva or Illustrator, you probably want to go to Showit...if SEO isn't your priority and design is, Showit's the place for you."

- Melissa Love, StyleCloud Creator

Where to Next: How to Choose a New Website After Flothemes

"Nothing's going to happen to your website for months if you're with Flothemes, don't panic."

- Melissa Love, StyleCloud Creator

"It's important that you really do your research here. It's important you don't just take the advice of any random person in a Facebook group," said Corey Potter in the Fuel Your Photos 'emergency' WordPress FAQ Facebook live following the Flothemes news leak.

"People are recommending some of the worst possible solutions in those comments. You can't go based on someone saying, 'I use this and I like it and I rank well!' It's just not that simple," Corey said.

Consequently, it's helpful to consider your personal priority for your site when deciding where to migrate your Flothemes website to.

It seems to be a design vs. SEO tug 'o war.

That's not to say you can't have both ✅ ✅.

But if looking for direction, picking which of the two will captain your new site moving forward will help point you in a particular direction:

  • Design as your priority: look at Showit
  • SEO as your priority: look at Kadence (inc. Caldera)
  • Combination of design + SEO: look at StyleCloud (on Kadence)

"There's a lot of information being shared, even in our group, that I would say - take it with a grain of salt. Listen to people's opinions and experiences. There are things to be learned there and you can take that as part of your data that you're gathering."

- Corey Potter, Fuel Your Photos

That (👆🏼) applies to this post too - add it to your research. Don't take it as Gospel. I'm not an expert, nor am I selling anything related to this post's content or websites in general. I'm researching the options given I need to know where to move my own Flothemes websites to.

You can read a good general overview of the best website options for photographers HERE.

FLOTHEMES MIGRATOR TOOL

Good news for Flothemes users who have content held hostage inside Flex Blocks: the Flothemes Migrator Tool (not a Flothemes product) can 'release' the content in your exisiting custom blocks and Flex Blocks ✅.

One caveat: it won't necessarily look the same once upacked but users can opt to have 'naked' content dropped into native WordPress Gutenberg blocks or standard Kadence blocks, ready for updated designing.

Or, if you really want to migrate your Flex Blocks and retain the exact styling, you do have the option to convert them to Gutenberg (WordPress) HTML blocks.

🚨 BUT bear in mind, it'll make it harder for you to edit and customise ongoing (unless you're a coding whiz)! 🚨

"Our tool is tailored to ensure that every piece of content, image, and design element is migrated efficiently, preserving the essence and aesthetics of your brand."

- WPEnhanced

The Flothemes Migrator Tool was developed by the team of plugin specialists at WPEnhanced in partnership with web expert, Melissa Love of StyleCloud and launched on 11 October 2023.

The snapshot of its features shared by WPEnhanced includes:

  • One-Time Complete Migration: migrate all Flothemes content in one hit i.e. posts, posts per category, or specific individual posts. No content left behind
  • Unaltered Content Post-Migration: migrate Flothemes Classic Blocks and Flo Blocks (including Flex Block) to native WordPress Gutenberg blocks
  • Flex Block to Block (or HTML): migrate Flothemes Flex Blocks to your choice of native WordPress Gutenberg blocks OR to a Gutenberg HTML Block to retain identical aesthetic
  • Secure + Reliable: the integrity and security of your data and content is prioritised

Flothemes Migrator Tool Pricing

The Flothemes Migrator tool will be a complimentary inclusion with a StyleCloud subscription (scroll down to find out more about StyleCloud) and independently available as a paid plugin for non-StyleCloud users.

Pricing upon release:

  • £24 - 1 site lifetime
  • £180 - 10 sites lifetime (25% discount)
  • £288 - 20 sites lifetime (40% discount)
  • £360 - 30 sites lifetime (50% discount)

For more information on the Flothemes Migrator tool plugin, there's a helpful instructional video and step-by-step instructions HERE.

"We get it – change can be daunting, but it can also be an opportunity for growth. With our plugin, you won't have to say goodbye to your cherished content...[It's] been meticulously crafted to address your worries and provide a seamless solution to the impending migration."

- WPEnhanced

KADENCE as a Flothemes Alternative

There's a strong general consensus Flothemes users are best to:

  • a) stay on the WordPress platform (nothing's better for longevity, flexibility and SEO ability after all); and
  • b) look to using Kadence Blocks as a solid and safe solution to their website woes.

(Who else is feeling burned from the Flothemes / Pixieset rug-pull and keen to settle into the comfort of a safe space on the web?! I sure am 🙋🏻‍♀️ ✅.)

"My website was a Flothemes site and I rebuilt it using Kadence. I changed the design a little bit but more or less just re-built the blocks as they looked in Flex...It didn't take long."

- Dylan Howell, Fuel Your Photos

Kadence is a WordPress exclusive website block builder neatly aligned with where the world's most popular website platform is headed.

That's good news for those keen to ensure longevity with their next website builder.

Kadence is lightweight, flexible and fully-featured therefore promising fast load-speed times along with beautiful and effective design.

Tick. Tick. Tickety-tick.

Kadence Blocks WordPress website builder home page
ABOVE: Kadence Blocks on WordPress is proving a front-runner in the best-option-for-Flothemes-users discussion. (SOURCE: Kadence Blocks.)

There's a free, open-source version of Kadence Blocks along with three tiers of optional Paid Pro Extensions offering a mix of added features, additional blocks and extra prebuilt content etc.

Pro extensions starter pricing ranges from USD $69 - $199.

To compare the differences between the free and pro offerings in Kadence, this is a great resource.

"For the majority of photographers, the free [version of Kadence] hits the mark."

- Melissa Love, StyleCloud Creator
List of special features available when upgrading to Kadence Blocks Pro plan
ABOVE: Additional features accessible upon upgrade to Kadence Blocks Pro. (SOURCE: Kadence Blocks.)

"Really advanced users who want to dig really deep and build very custom things would probably want both the Pro theme and the [Free] blocks, but maybe as much as 70 - 80 percent of all photography websites could be build with just Free."

- Corey Potter, Fuel Your Photos
Starter and annual pricing for Kadence Blocks pro options
ABOVE: Starter (and annual) pricing in USD for the optional Kadence Blocks Pro upgrade options in 2023. (SOURCE: Kadence Blocks.)

Wondering how migrating to Kadence might affect the SEO of your existing Flothemes site?

"Google tends to understand the WordPress block editor content that Kadence uses better than they understand [Flothemes'] Flex's page builder content so you might see a ranking increase."

- Dylan Howell, Fuel Your Photos

From Flothemes to Kadence - User Experience

Interested to know how fellow Flothemers have found the switch over to Kadence?

Find out straight from the horse's mouth:

"[Kadence] has been a dream after coming from Flothemes. So much more responsive and so many more options for making each page look like how I want them to look. If you can use flex blocks in Flothemes, you can learn Kadence."

- Brigit Stadler, Member of Fuel Your Photos Facebook group

"Just recently rebuilt my WordPress site using Kadence. I haven't had the need to purchase any of the premium add-ons. My site is now far quicker and less bloated than it was when using Uncode and Divi before that."

- Darryl Currey, Crew One Photography

Websites Made with Kadence - See Examples

Want to see some of what's possible when building websites with Kadence? Like to see how photographers like you are making it work?

Have a look at some real-world Kadence website examples here:

Need Help Moving Your Flothemes Website?

If you'd like to switch to Kadence but want ongoing support doing so, The Fuel Your Photos Membership might be worth looking into.

(If USD ~$45 p/month is beyond your budget, head to the free Facebook group in the interim - it's brimming with helpful info and interesting conversations).

The membership includes multiple live office hours calls weekly (for your most burning website and SEO questions) as well as a complimentary Kadence child theme ('Canvas') and library of pre-built templated blocks.

The Fuel Your Photos Membership also includes access to in-depth SEO and blogging courses, in addition to a private community group of photographers to bounce off and lean on.

Digital marketing specialist, Simon Hogben, also offers website migration from Flothemes to Kadence.

"Kadence is the obvious place to move to - don’t jump from the frying pan into to fire and end up on a third party page builder like Showit, Divi, Elementor....I’ve migrated many client sites to Kadence and it’s the ideal, long term solution."

- Simon Hogben, Digital Marketing Specialist

CALDERA or TRILLIUM (on Kadence) as a Flothemes Alternative

Caldera and Trillium are pre-designed, customisable child themes for Kadence by Sightsee Design.

They're designed specifically with photographers in mind and strongly SEO-optimised.

No surprises there: Sightsee Design is co-owned and run by SEO, Dylan Howell of Fuel Your Photos, and his designer / photographer wife, Jess Woodhouse.

"When we sat down to make Caldera, I pretty much looked at what I would want a site to have in order to rank well; what would be my strategy to rank a site. Caldera is very specifically designed around a multi-specialty photographer that might be a wedding photographer that also does families and seniors and engagements and elopements."

- Dylan Howell, Fuel Your Photos
Caldera child theme for Kadence features
ABOVE: Key features of the Caldera and Trillium child themes for Kadence on WordPress. (SOURCE: Sightsee Design.)

Caldera and Trillium hit the market at USD $150 and work with the free version of Kadence.

Like their look and concept and want to outsource your Flothemes site migration?

Have a look at the Advanced Installation + Migration package from Sightsee (USD $989).

advanced integration and migration package details for Caldera Kadence child theme by Sightsee
ABOVE: Details of the advanced integration and migration package for child themes for Kadence by Sightsee. (SOURCE: Sightsee Designs.)

STYLECLOUD (on Kadence) as a Flothemes Alternative

"It's really worth looking at if you like the Flothemes aesthetic."

- Dylan Howell, Fuel Your Photos

StyleCloud is new to the market and the brain child of web design expert, Melissa Love.

Melissa heads The Design Space Co - a trusted website design and template company specialising in products for photographers and creatives.

Style Cloud website builder alternative to Flothemes
ABOVE: Kadence website design solution, StyleCloud, went live to the public on 4 August 2023. (SOURCE: StyleCloud.)

For years, Melissa and team have focused on products for the Elementor, Divi and ProPhoto site platforms and more recently branched out to those for Kadence.

StyleCloud is Melissa's proprietary block design library + set of starter themes that works in conjunction with the free version of WordPress + Kadence Blocks.

No Kadence Pro upgrade is required.

StyleCloud comes with:

  • 5 pre-built starter themes
  • 70+ page layouts
  • 100+ templated design blocks
Style Cloud feature block
ABOVE: StyleCloud offers an aesthetically pleasing and well equipped templated design library for use with Kadence on WordPress. (SOURCE: StyleCloud.)

StyleCloud is undeniably on par with the elegant and minimal aesthetic Flothemes was famous for.

While Flothemes' demise is both unfortunate and costly for many, it's proving literally and figuratively fortunate for Melissa's latest release product.

Fortuitously, StyleCloud's 'birth' couldn't have been better timed ✅.

Safe to say Melissa smartly anticipated the demise of Flothemes and was able to get StyleCloud in front of their 'orphans' promptly as a result.

The original annual StyleCloud subscription price of USD $250 was reduced to just USD $169 - exactly matching Flothemes' former annual subscription figure.

"We're not looking to do custom builds or rebuilds of people's sites or full on migrations...but we want this to not be terrifying [for Flothemes users]; to be painless. So we're happy to help set up a staging site and give you a 15-minute call showing you how to use the StyleCloud. We want to hold your hand. There are plenty of other people who can do a rebuild and plenty of other people who can do a proper SEO migration and right now that's not us. We just want to do the best possible service we can for people coming to us and there's going to be lots of you."

- Melissa Love, StyleCloud Creator

Help Migrating From Flothemes to Kadence + StyleCloud

For Flothemes users interested in finding out more about StyleCloud and Kadence combined, Melissa Love hosted a free masterclass on switching to StyleCloud and Kadence.

Melissa was joined by Kadence Head of Marketing, Kathy Zant, and former Flothemes designer of eight years, George Graur, of custom website company Evosites.

How and why to move from Flothemes to Kadence and Style Cloud
ABOVE: What's covered in the free masterclass replay by Melissa Love. (SOURCE: StyleCloud.)
Still shot from Melissa Love's Style Cloud masterclass replay video
ABOVE: Watch the condensed replay of the masterclass on StyleCloud, Kadence and the Flothemes-to-Kadence-and-StyleCloud migrator tool. (SOURCE: Melissa Love.)

Credit to Melissa and team who are assisting new StyleCloud subscribers aboard with 'hand-held' assistance setting up their staging site, as well as a 15-minute 1:1 training to get started.

There are also several free video trainings inside the StyleCloud Community Facebook group specifically for Flothemes users making the transition including:

  • WordPress + Kadence Basics
  • The 'Rebuilding Your Site' Workflow
  • Kadence Tips, Tricks & Cool Stuff

Melissa and team have also put together a StyleCloud + Kadence Quick Start Guide as well as a Support + Documentation hub.

Kadence Alternatives

If you're looking for an alternative WordPress block builder other than Kadence, check out:

SHOWIT as a Flothemes Alternative

Showit is popular among photographers and creatives - and those selling website templates - thanks to its easy to use drag-and-drop builder and flexible design ability.

It helps to create beautiful websites, no doubt about it.

However, Showit's not necessarily an ideal choice for SEO capability.

Nor is it built on WordPress - as Showit designers and users often state or infer.

Be aware also Showit doesn't have the option to edit websites specifically for tablet viewing.

"Showit has an inherent flaw: it only provides design editing for desktop and mobile devices. But on tablets [and foldable phones], it's a mess. It just scales the desktop design down till it fits. If you load a Showit template on an iPad, the text is so small that it's barely readable. Even if you're impressed by some of their templates - they do look pretty out of the box - they don't add up to a good user experience on the website."

- Alex Vita, ForegroundWeb founder

Website specialist, Alex Vita or ForegroundWeb, strongly recommends WordPress for photographers or, if a simpler portfolio-style site is sufficient, SquareSpace can be a good option and it doesn't suffer the same tablet-friendly issues as Showit.

"Deciding what to do with your website now that Flothemes is closing, is a highly personal decision. You may choose to rollover to Pixieset, move to Showit, or choose another platform entirely."

- Alex Collier, Showit Design Partner
Showit website builder is an option for Flothemes users to consider
ABOVE: Showit is famous for beautiful design aesthetic. (SOURCE: Showit.)

Showit's a proprietary web design platform and consequently, once you're in it's difficult to get out.

It offers users the option to upgrade to host their blog on WordPress.

But it's only the blog portion of the website that functions on WordPress.

The rest is in an ecosystem of its own.

"If you're trying to get the aesthetic and drag-and-drop capability of Flothemes and you're just not that concerned about future-proofing your site...maybe Showit is the right kind of platform for you."

- Corey Potter, Fuel Your Photos

If your priority is design - and let's be realistic, for a lot of photographers this can be the case - you may lean towards Showit for its undeniable beauty 🤩.

"[It's] far easier to have a high-end aesthetic [on Showit] compared to WordPress themes / builders, unless you're a pro," says Showit designer and photography business coach, Kyle Goldie.

"Most photographers don't have the desire to become a pro designer to have a site that doesn't give them the control over the aesthetic like they want...Showit sites have other advantages over Kadence. Ease of design / customisation, higher-end, more sophisticated template designs, better customer service, and great conversion rate for many users," says Goldie.

"The ability [in Showit] to precisely design without coding is SO nice. There's definitely a learning curve - I felt a bit overwhelmed at first...but it really is like a Photoshop or InDesign for websites!"

- Jill Ruben Hughes, Lace & Fern Creative in Fuel Your Photos Facebook group

Be mindful that in terms of SEO, Showit's not the highest-rated website building option out there.

"[Showit's] fine for SEO. It’s a page builder like Flothemes, so there’s always going to be a bit of extra bloat-code, which Google doesn’t LOVE (compared to a very simple site like Kadence or Vanilla WordPress) - but the design capability of Showit is 100 times what [Elementor or Divi] are. SEO is only as good as your copy, headers, alt-tags, blogging etc."

- Glenn Weaver, Through The Woods We Ran in Flothemes Community Facebook group

For Flothemes users looking to switch to Showit, Showit Design Partner, Alex Collier, may be able to help (and is currently offering a $200 discount on her site design services).

What About SEO When Moving From Flothemes?

If you're wondering how your Search Engine Optimisation might be affected when migrating your website away from Flothemes, keep in mind SEO as a singular entity doesn't exist.

It's a vast and complex combination of factors.

And depending on the platform / builder you switch to and how it handles SEO, some of those factors may, or in fact may not, be affected.

"If your titles, your headings, your meta descriptions, your actual content stays the same and your URLs stay the same, you're not likely to see huge [SEO] changes. Internal links might be another thing."

- Dylan Howell, Fuel Your Photos

It's possible you'll experience an initial dip in rankings.

If migration is handled well and the site builder you move to effectively supports SEO however, your ranking should remain - if not improve - over time ✅.

My Plan of Action - Where To Next

Where to next for Flothemes orphans...like me?!

You'll have guessed by now I trust the experience and opinion of Corey and Dylan from Fuel Your Photos.

I've been part of their free Facebook Group for years.

It's a wealth of information, varied opinion and thought leadership.

And aside from that, frankly, they just seem like genuine, honest people who are keen to help.

(UPDATE: Months following the original publish date of this post, I took advantage of the generous Black Friday Fuel Your Photos lifetime deal and purchased Corey and Dylan's flagship SEO course ✅.)

They're geeks like you and me 🤓.

It resonates.

Subsequently, Kadence has been on my radar since 2021 - when Pixieset bought Flothemes and there were rumblings of Flothemes eventually folding (despite their seemingly earnest promises to the contrary).

"We have no plans to stop or change Flothemes. We're not going anywhere, we'll continue expanding on our roadmap and supporting our products and users, and we'll keep going for as long as WordPress allows us to."

- Flothemes statement 8 July 2021

As a result, I've followed along, kept my ear to the ground and have been pretty set Kadence is where I'd head if and when Flothemes ceased to exist.

And that time is essentially now.

(UPDATE: Months following the original publication of this post, I invested in the Kadence lifetime bundle during their generous Black Friday sale.)

Once Bitten, Twice Shy

I'm most certainly swooning over the premium design work coming from StyleCloud. Absolutely. It looks beautiful!

There's no denying Melissa and the team there have been bending over backwards to help us Flothemes orphans with a website solution.

But...I'm feeling a little once bitten, twice shy 😬.

So I'm not sure I'm keen to go down the same sign-up-to-a-proprietary-site-design-subscription-service again.

BUT, apparently StyleCloud blocks revert to standard Kadence blocks if / when one ceases their StyleCloud subscription so it certainly seems there's less risk.

"I feel quite strongly about helping people not get locked into a 'golden handcuffs' situation again," said StyleCloud creator, Melissa Love.

"What I want to avoid is developing something which gate-keeps your content and locks it away. I'm all about you having control and portability in the future," Melissa said after hinting at the working development of a Flex Block-style builder - sans the 'golden handcuffs.'

"StyleCloud is ONLY a library of sections you can insert. Once they are inserted, you own them. If you cancel, you only lose access to the library (so you won't be able to add new sections from [StyleCloud's] library). If you stop subscribing to StyleCloud, nothing will happen to your site. If you stop using Kadence, the content of most blocks will revert to a similar core WordPress block."

- Corey Potter, Fuel Your Photos

"Your site isn't connected in any way to your [StyleCloud] subscription," Melissa explained, "So even if you stop subscribing, your site won't be affected in any way. It's really just giving you access to our resources."

So, you can subscribe to StyleCloud, build out your website and - if you choose - unsubscribe.

Your site won't change, nor will your content be 'stuck'. You just won't have access to the curated library of templated blocks.

Good to know ✅.

Regardless, I'm going to let the dust settle somewhat and see how things progress for other Flothemes orphans before I take any migration action.

Then take it from there...

UPDATE - November 2023

After following along for a couple of months, I purchased both StyleCloud and the Kadence Pro lifetime bundle deal in the Black Friday sales of 2023 and will be rebuilding my two existing Flothemes sites using these, on WordPress, over the coming months.

Wish me luck...

Screen grab of lifestyle photographer, Katrina Ferguson's website home page
ABOVE: I started my DIY website experience with Flothemes years ago and was always pleased with the product and customer service. It's a disappointing way to end but it is what it is. Here's hoping it's onwards and upwards at least...

More Info on the Best Website Options for Photographers?

Head to my post on the topic and see what you think.

It gives a general overview of some of the other common website options available including:

  • Elementor
  • Divi
  • ProPhoto
  • Squarespace
  • Wix
  • Showit
  • Kadence
  • Pixieset

That information will help you further in your research ✅.

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Comments Expand -
  1. Hi, I have a site making custom photography sites on Kadence, check it out at weddingphotographersites.com. Happy to give a discount if any says they have come from Photogeek
    Cheers

  2. This was so incredibly helpful and thoughtful the way you have laid out all the information and answered some of my questions. I have a bit more of an idea where I am heading now! Thank you x

    1. Katie, thank you SO much for taking the time to leave a comment and for that wonderful feedback. I sincerely appreciate it and am rapt to hear this post helped you. They take a while to put together and are usually one-way in their communication, so the comment is hugely appreciated. Thanks kindly 🙏🏼

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