Magazine Style Themes require more of your time than other themes because of the time involved in cropping pictures down to the correct size, adding more categories and actually finding a magazine theme to start with. But magazine themes are taking the wordpress community by storm and if you’re ever going to use one, now is probably the best time.Here are the best (and only) magazine style wordpress themes out in the market:
If you’re unwilling to pay for a theme, like 99% of the blogging population, I recommend Darren Hoyt’s ‘Mimbo‘. It uses minimal colors, making it suitable for any blog and for any gender. The pros are the maximum use of pictures, the drop down menu and the subcategories; the cons are the small rss button tucked away in the bottom corner and the search button which looks inconsistent with the rest of the theme. Darren could easily have made a small fortune selling this, but he’s decided not to turn his passion into a money making scheme, which is to be admired.
Another clean magazine layout is called ‘The Morning After‘ and I’ve scratched my head several times wondering why. This is a beautiful theme that can be altered to fit any blog topic, so don’t be fooled by the guitar illustration you see. The only obvious downside to this theme is its dependence on the colors black and white, which would contrast with colorful pictures you upload onto wordpress.
Having seen two black and white designs, it is refreshing to see some color for a change in ‘Jello Wala Mello‘. It resembles a newspaper with a cover story on top and many blog titles under it. I am guessing the reason why it’s not as popular as it should be is because of the lack of a demo. What you don’t see is what you don’t get.
Another wonderful theme is Visionary, created by Justin Tadlock. The greatest thing about this template is that Justin takes you every step of the way helping you to install and customize this template, and is constantly developing it to make it even better than it already is. This marroon and white colored theme has a very balanced look to it – you don’t get a list of long entries and an embarrassingly short sidebar next to it. Maybe it’s feng shui; just makes you feel good.
The most colorful, and probably the best looking of the lot is this ‘Polaroid‘ Theme. Though it requires some customization, it is loaded with features you can’t find anywhere else such as recent readers, flickr photos, 125 by 125 ad buttons and, of course, a polaroid. If you want a premium theme for free, this is it.
However, if you’re an online mogul with cash to spare, or a
mogul wannabe perfectionist who wants the best theme there is, I present you the much talked about ‘Revolution Magazine’ theme created by Brian Gardner.
From the demo alone, the pros appear to be the obvious sense of style, the built-in contact form and the picture of Scarlett Johansson. The cons are the relatively boring link boxes left ignored in the bottom right corner and the tiny subscribe button in the header which most people won’t see. The ‘emotional factor’ is also missing. Sometimes the one thing that attracts people into making a purchase is a fun feature that other themes don’t have – such as post ranking. Maybe Scarlett Johansson’s picture is there for that reason. I asked someone about his opinion on the template and that’s just about the only thing he saw, with no opinion whatsoever on the layout itself. Maybe it’s wiser to go and splurge on celebrity pictures instead of premium templates. Just a thought.
Other themes from Brian (from left to right) : The Revolution Sports WordPress Theme, Revolution WordPress Theme, Revolution News Theme and the Revolution Tech Theme.
Another designer who sells magazine style themes is Adii (pronounced â€œay-deeâ€) from South Africa. He has done freelancing for Unique Blog Designs, where some of his work is currently up for sale.
He has named one of his themes ‘Your Revolution‘ which inevitably calls for me to compare it with Brian Gardner’s Magazine Revolution. Most of the features are the same, except Adii’s design does not include a contact form, is border less and uses more color. Out of the two, I prefer Brian’s design. Perhaps it would be fairer to compare the Magazine Revolution to Adii’s ‘Block Magazine’ design as it has all the features that Magazine Revolution lacks. The subscription buttons are big and inviting, and my ‘emotional factor’ criterion is satisfied by his ‘popular articles’ feature.
Other themes from Adii (from left to right): Block Magazine and This Is A Grey Day.
Blog Oh Blog has come up with ‘money blogger‘ which features a tab section on top to show recent comments, recent posts, etc. and which also has space for 125 by 125 advertisements on the side, which has become a standard for ‘make money online’ type of blogs. I think it looks a little too plain. I also prefer to have the main sidebar on the right instead of the left because I’m right-handed and it’s just weird to have to look at the left-hand side for links.
Now have a look at the demo for Gridline Magazine Theme by Thad Allender. This is one of the latest themes to hit the market and definitely has a stylish, colorful and futuristic look to it. It is a bargain at $24.99 and if I were to buy a premium wordpress theme for myself, this is definitely the one I’d go for.