Installing ProPhoto 7

Installing ProPhoto 7 is super easy to do! Here, we’ll walk you through how to install ProPhoto 7.

When you download ProPhoto, the file will come as a installer plugin. You’re probably thinking, a plugin isn’t a WordPress theme! You would definitely be correct!

The P7 plugin installs to your system and does some basic checks to make sure your site/host is able to run P7 smoothly. When those checks and balances are complete, an option will show up to install the theme.

To get started:

In WordPress, go to Plugins, and then “add new”. Then, click upload plugin.


Now, drag and drop your P7 installer zip file to the “choose file” button, then click “install now.”



After you’ve installed the plugin, click the “activate plugin” button.



Now for the part we can’t show you. The installer plugin will run it’s checks, and then a button will show up asking you to install the theme. Click the install theme button and enter in your transaction id from your ProPhoto account to register.

This next part is pretty self-explanatory since it tells you the difference on the screen, but we’ll go over your options.



P7 gives you the option to run in test drive mode, or to go live.


If you choose the test drive mode, you’ll keep your active theme live while you customize your P7 website. This means, if you have ProPhoto 6 or any other theme active as your current live site, then that site is what people will see when they view your website.

Q – How come I can still see P7 while in test drive mode? 

Because you’re logged in as an admin. Only logged in administrators can see the site you’re test driving. Everyone else will see the active theme. You can test it by opening up a new incognito window in your browser, or opening up your site in a different browser.

You can view more about Test Drive below.



If you choose to activate, then you’ll be choosing to activate P7, and that will be your live theme. When people go to visit your site, P7 is the site they will see live.

We recommend you turn on test drive mode while you work on your website and when you’re ready to go live, go back to the setting in WordPress, and click activate.



That’s it! Your theme is now installed, and you’re ready to use ProPhoto 7. Check out your design installation guide below for the next step.


Installing a ProPhoto 7 Design

If you’ve followed the previous tutorial on how to install ProPhoto, then you’ll probably want to know how to install a P7 design. Below, we’ll give you all the details on how to do that.

First, start by going into ProPhoto > Manage Designs.

Installing a ProPhoto 7 Design

To get started, you’ll need to unzip the file you purchased when you bought your design. To do that, simply double click the file to open.

Once open/unzipped, you’ll see three (3) files. The first file, the is the one you’ll need to upload back to ProPhoto in the manage designs area.

Go back to the manage designs screen you were on and drag and drop the P7 design file into ProPhoto.

Do not unzip the design zip file. If you unzip it and try to install the .json file included within, you’re going to get an error when uploading. Upload the design zip file as is. (See example below.)
Your design will download the assets from an amazon server that ProPhoto owns. This may take a minute or two depending upon your connection. If the download finishes but you don’t see your design, make sure you scroll down and look for it in the purchased designs area first. When the download completes, it’ll show up there.

If for some reason it hangs or it can’t complete the download, there maybe some download limits set by your host. You can get in touch with ProPhoto with your issue and your login info and they can help when this happens.

Once installed, your design will show up in the designs section below. To get started, simply click the “create new design” button below the one you uploaded.

After it’s finished downloading, click the save button.

Now it’s time to activate your design. If you have test drive going, then a test drive button will show up for you to click. If you chose to activate p7 on install, then it may say something different, like “customize”. Either way, you’ll need to click the button to get to the next step.

Your screen will pop-up with a initializing window. This may take anywhere from 1-5 minutes depending on your host.

Troubleshooting: If for some reason the window is still “stuck” doing this after a couple of minutes, then refresh the page, go into wordpress > plugins, deactivate all plugins and then try again. If that doesn’t seem to fix the issue, then get in touch with ProPhoto.

If you succeeded, you can scroll up and see that your design is now in the customize section. Just simply click “customize” in the ProPhoto dropdown in WordPress to get started! When you’re done working on your site, be sure to go back to manage designs to make your site go live!

Could not decode .json error.

If you’re receiving this error when uploading your file to Prophoto or WordPress one of two things could be happening.

1. You’ve tried to upload the zip file under WordPress > Appearance > Themes. Templates aren’t WordPress themes. They’re templates for the ProPhoto 7 theme. Templates need to be installed under ProPhoto > Manage Designs.

2. You’ve tried to upload the zip file you downloaded when you purchased the design. The zip file you download after purchasing needs to be opened first. Once opened, the design zip file will need to be uploaded to ProPhoto > Manage Designs.

Download failed error

If you are uploading a template design and see an error in the downloading process, like the one above, a reason why may not show but the downloading process will have stopped and show a “download failed.” One of two things may have happened.

1. It’s downloading the files from an Amazon server and the server may have had a small hiccup.
2. There maybe a conflict somewhere else that’s stopping the download. (Like file upload size limits set by your host.)

There’s a couple of solutions, the first easy one, is to simply press the trash can icon over the failed design and try again. If that doesn’t work, try disabling all plugins and trying once more. Finally, if you just can’t seem to resolve the error, then get in touch directly with ProPhoto.

Using Test Drive Mode

With ProPhoto’s test drive mode enabled, you can freely work on your new site, while your old one is still live.

This means, if you have another theme, or ProPhoto 6 as your live theme, you can test drive ProPhoto 7, and work on it while your P6 site is still live! Or if you previously had never worked with a WordPress or ProPhoto theme, you can use Test Drive mode to display one our coming soon designs, like Keynote.


Test Drive Mode

The first thing we want to do after installing ProPhoto 7 is to go to ProPhoto > Manage Designs.



On the manage designs screen, you can see which is your live design, and which is the current test driven design.

If you want to change your live design for some reason, you can do so by simply going to WordPress > Appearance > Themes and activating a new theme.

When you’re logged in, you’ll see the test driven site (in the blue box), while your site visitors will see your live site (in the dark gray box).



In this instance, one of the default themes from WordPress (2017) is our live design and the default theme for our test drive is the creative design that comes with ProPhoto 7.

In your case, it’s likely that you have ProPhoto 4, 5, or 6 as your live theme, while the default ProPhoto 7 design is your test dive theme.

If you haven’t installed your keynote design, or another ProPhoto design, see this tutorial on how to do that for the next step.

Once your design is installed, press the “test drive” button.



After clicking the test drive button, the design will show up in the test drive section.

You can always see which design you have “live” by either logging out of WordPress, or simply going to your address in another browser where you’re not logged in and view your website.


Now you can click back into the WordPress sidebar, then ProPhoto > Customize to customize your design, while your old one is active.

If you’re using our Keynote design, then you have a couple of different options.

A. You can go ahead and customize the Keynote design real quick, then come back to the manage designs screen, and click “Go Live”. (This is what we recommend.)

To learn how to choose which layout to use in our Keynote design, see below.

B. You can just click “Go Live” and the default coming soon design that came with Keynote will be the one that’s live that your site visitors will see.

Once you’ve made your choice, you can then simply create a new design from scratch, use one of the existing designs that came with ProPhoto 7, import a ProPhoto 6 design, or import a ProPhoto 7 premium design to work on. After importing, be sure to click the test drive option.

At this point, “Keynote” will be your live design, and your other will be the Test Driven design.


Importing a ProPhoto 6 Design

The process to import a design from P6 is almost exactly the same as importing a design into 7.

First, start by going into ProPhoto > Manage Designs.

Scroll down and under the “Import P6 Designs” section, click the dropdown to select the design you want to import.

Q. What if I don’t see the option to import?

Then the design you uploaded into P6 was not an activated design or you don’t have P6 installed. ProPhoto 6 has to be installed, and the design you’re trying to import had to have been imported into ProPhoto 6 previously.

If the option to import isn’t showing up, you’ll need to install ProPhoto 6 first. If you purchased it previously, you can always download your purchases from your ProPhoto account at –

If the option to import is showing up, but NOT the design, then you’ll need to make sure that you imported the design into ProPhoto 6 and activated or customized the design in that version at least once for the option to show up to import the design into 7.

Once you click the design you want to import, the initialization window will popup and it will try to import the design.

Importing a P6 design into 7 is a very complicated process. The initialization screen that pops up might hang for a minute or two while it’s importing. I would say after about 3-4 minutes though then to start the process over again.

If you’re still having trouble getting it to import, go into your WordPress Plugins, deactivate all plugins, then try again.

Once the design finishes, it will show up in the designs section as an available design to test drive or customize.

Now it’s time to activate your design. If you have test drive going, then a test drive button will show up for you to click. If you chose to activate p7 on install, then it may say something different, like “customize”. Either way, you’ll need to click the button to get to the next step.

After clicking test drive or customize, your screen will pop-up with a quick initializing window and then you’ll be free to customize the design by clicking customize in the sidebar under the ProPhoto heading.

Resetting a design

In certain scenarios you may want to reset your design, or download an updated version, in this article, we’ll teach you how to do both.

Resetting a design from scratch

To get started resetting a design, first go to ProPhoto > Manage Designs.

It’s pretty easy to start fresh with any new template. Under ProPhoto > Manage Designs, scroll down to the purchased/demo templates area and find the one you want to start with, then simply press the “create new design” button.

You’ll go through the same process as you did when you first activated the design.

Be sure when creating your new design you name it so you know the difference between your old design and your new one. The easy way is to add a date to the description of the new design.

Updating a design

Since we do actually update our designs from time to time, you may want to reset your design from scratch with the newest version of your template.

To do that, first go to the place where you originally bought the template, and re-download the file.

Next, head into the ProPhoto > Manage Designs area, and scroll down to the purchased designs area.

There’s really only one step here, and that’s to first delete your current install of the template.

Once you do that, you’re free to install the newer version you downloaded previously. You follow the same steps as you would installing a new design to ProPhoto.

If it’s one of our designs, you’ll note that the version number is placed in the description. And you can check right here on our support site for the changelogs for each design.

If you’re coming from an older version of a design to a new one, then updates have stopped for the previous version. So, if you have a P6 version of our Minimal template that you’re trying to import into 7, whatever version you have is the one that will get imported.

We have no upgrade program or discounts on designs from P6 to P7. So if you want the newest version of a design, then you’ll need to purchase it for that theme. We stopped offering upgrades when ProPhoto added the ability to import designs from older versions.

Updating a design

Periodically we update our designs, typically once or twice a year. We can never add new features to the ProPhoto theme, but we do occasionally design around new features that was added in ProPhoto updates.

Currently, there’s no way for you to simply update your current design to the newest version. If we update the design and you want the one with the latest changes, the best thing to do is to simply re download it from where you bought it and install it to back to ProPhoto under manage designs.

Design updates are not mandatory, and whenever a new feature releases for ProPhoto, you’ll always have the option of adding that change to your existing template without updating the design. You can see ProPhoto’s roadmap here.

We release our updates for designs for free during the life of the design for the version it’s on. What that means is; if we release a design for ProPhoto 7, and we update it while 7 is still out, then the update is free.

If ProPhoto 8, 9, etc comes out, and we change the design completely, you’ll have to purchase the newest version after you update to P8 to get it. Otherwise, you can simply import your older design into a future version. Template updates between versions will never be free.

Can I still download my template?

Yes, you’ll always be able to download your purchase from our site, or either ProPhoto’s depending on where you purchased your design from.

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