I was introduced to Koken a few years ago when looking over ways to create a portfolio for a photographer.  While there were a lot of hosting options and WordPress, Koken stood out for being a stand alone solution that would work across multiple hosts.  After playing around with it, I fell in love with how simple and intuitive it was.  Today, I would like to share Koken with you and show you how interesting it really is.

 Koken is extremely easy to setup, check out our tutorial on how it is done.  Once installed, Koken's administration can be accessed through /admin.  The administration backend does not have a landing page of stats, like most CMS software does.  Instead it puts the content first and asks you to start uploading.

Koken LoginKoken's admin backend










Uploading content is easy and Koken allows for uploading from different sources such as local computer, URLs, and even Adobe Lightroom with a free plugin.  Importing from sites like vimeo and instagram requires a paid plugin.  Once you have some of your photos uploaded you can view and add data to the photo.















Once your photos have been uploaded, you can create an album.  This will show up on the front page, since it is set to public.  However, you can move it around to make it be unlisted or private.  The difference between the two are unlisted will publish it to the site, but through a special URL that you give out.  Private on the other hand is only viewable through the Koken administrator section. 

album page

The next element of Koken are essays and pages.  An essay is a place where you can do written content.  I like this addition as a photographer can share photography tips and tricks.  While pages can be for different content, such as maps or a contact form.

create essay or pagecreate an essay








Koken even has a plugin and theme store, which a good amount of free content and a couple of paid items.  You do need a Koken account to download and install plugins and theme.  I choose the Chastain theme for my site.

plugin storetheme store








Now with our theme in place, let's take a look at the site!  I enjoy the simplicity of the Chastain theme and really enjoy the addition of social media buttons right out of the box for both albums and essays.

homepageessay page

gallery pageOverall, I really enjoyed Koken and would recommend it to any photographer looking to create a portfolio site.