Magazines have to be informative and aesthetically pleasing, so readers will love reading them.
The same rules apply to magazine websites. For both text, and stunning visuals, there are plenty of brilliant WordPress themes.
Not only will all your consumers benefit from intuitive functionality, but they'll also see you've got great taste in design too. That's a win/win, as far as I'm concerned.
And with that in mind, I tested dozens of news and magazines WordPress themes and see which are the best. Here are the ones that came on top:
- Jawn (A bit difficult to edit, but very powerful)
- Opinion (Great for magazines focusing on text rather than visuals)
- The Next Mag (Modern magazine design)
- City News (Advanced menu options)
- Bazinga (Great for design and art magazines)
$54.00 - one-time fee
Jawn enables the sort of website that I'd use constantly to make sure I'm up to date with everything. And I do mean everything.
Its five-feature teaser headline layout is eye-catching - its theme is vivid and the one-click demo import will allow you to have the look you want with one simple press of a button.
And of course, with its custom theme options, you can still take it further and make this theme your very own.
However, with so many features that aren't explained (such as Theia post sliders and sticky sidebar), beginners may struggle to know where they should start. Rest assured, there are YouTube tutorials available that cover these features. But either way, Jawn is not a drag-and-drop theme. So, beginners beware - this will take some practice.
But if you're not fazed by that, great news: there are unlimited color options and ad units, meaning that not only will you be able to make your magazine look stylish, but you'll also have full control over where your advertisements will be.
For a magazine or newspaper site, this is especially important.
You don't want your articles to be lost because of some advertisement for slippers, do you?
What's more: Jawn is RTL (right-to-left) ready! Meaning that no matter where you are, or how you read, you and your consumers will be able to enjoy Jawn's design to its fullest. Inclusivity really is everything, and it can be yours for $54.
Recommended for: A modern, stylish look for creators with some previous experience
- CSS friendly
- Free lifetime updates and support
- Great value in the price
- Very responsive when browsing
- One-click demo import - no hassle!
- Not very friendly for beginners
$69.00 - one-time fee
In my opinion, this is one of the best WordPress news themes out there - very well suited for magazines focused more on text rather than pictures. And it's ready to look good on all devices, too.
Mobiles, tablets, laptops, computers: this WordPress design is suitable for them all, presenting your information in the most modern way possible.
It is a highly-flexible theme, users will have access to hundreds of premade layouts to choose from - and all look good. To complement the easy design, a simple-to-use module system is also included with this WordPress theme. This means that you can post multiple articles at once and tag them appropriately with ease, instead of only being able to create one article at a time.
Also, did I mention that you can even toggle reading time on your articles, allowing your audience to know how long it'll take to read your writing? Don't tell me that isn't cool.
And if that wasn't enough, it's also ultra lean and optimized for hyper-quick page loading. Although, on top of this theme, I recommend sticking with a fast web hosting provider if you want to get the maximum potential out of it.
Recommended for: Those in need of a ton of pre-built layouts and a light theme for fast loading times
- One-click updates
- Setup guide included
- Fast page loading and performance
- Built-in translation options with multilingual plugin support
- May not be the best theme for those on a budget
- Not optimized for the new WordPress Gutenberg editor yet
3. The Next Mag
$59.00 - one-time fee
There's just something lovely and modern about the Next Mag theme. While some magazines struggle with looking up to date, The Next Mag theme looks great from the very start.
With full-width section article layouts, you can pick and choose from, coupled with sleek sidebar section blocks, it just oozes present day.
But what really makes it stand out is - it's incredibly simple to create a website that'll represent your magazine/newspaper the way you want it to.
With the drag-and-drop page builder, learning specific tools or being able to touch HTML/CSS isn't necessary. All you need is an imagination and the determination to build from it.
Have you got that? Then you're good to go.
And the inclusion of live search with Ajax (which is similar to what Google does by autocompleting your search term as you're typing) is also a significant feature of the theme. Users will be able to get the exact results they are looking for quickly, instead of searching mindlessly until they come across it. After all, quick and simple is always better in the long-run.
Recommended for: Beginners who will benefit from a drag-and-drop builder
- Easy to configure to whatever design you want
- Excellent customer support with quick response
- A wide variety of section modules
- No coding knowledge needed
- Not the best option for those on a tight budget
- May not suit those who want more features
4. City News
$49.00 - one-time fee
If CityNews isn't a professional looking theme, then I don't know what is. It may look simple on the outside, but that's not the case. Customization is key with this theme. You can choose to do many things with it, such as creating Mega Menus, displaying the weather and much more.
With a Mega Menu, you'll be able to hover over a certain topic and the three most recent posts from that topic will appear. That way, your readers are getting the most recent news straight away without having to go through multiple clicks. Plus, it looks pretty darn cool in action.
The City News theme is also fully responsive and adaptive throughout devices and major browsers. No matter where you are or what you're viewing on, City News allows your site to be consistent.
Recommended for: Lovers of Mega Menus and easy customization
- Clean and stylish formatting
- Built-in Mega Menu
- Competitive price
- Variety of plugins to choose from
- A limited amount of blog templates
- No drag-and-drop builder
$59.00 - one-time fee
Despite its the Big-Bang-Theory-esque name, this theme is actually pretty good. With its modern, visual design, it's easy to see why it's suitable for a magazine - particularly fashion magazines that are looking to show off their style.
The Bazinga theme comes with a drag-and-drop header and footer builder, allowing you to customize the way you want to with just a few clicks. In this way, you're the one in control of what your website looks like and thus, who you attract to it.
Plus, it comes off as SEO-friendly right from the beginning, meaning the actual process of attracting people to your site is one step easier.
And if you're a fan of custom layouts...
While having a pre-designed layout is all well and good, sometimes you just need something that screams 'you'. Fortunately, due to the Bazinga theme being compatible with the WPBakery page builder, you have the chance to create as many custom layouts as you want.
Recommended for: Fashion/lifestyle magazines to whom displaying visual content is of top priority
- Creating custom layouts
- Beginner-friendly as it uses a drag-and-drop builder
- SEO optimized from the start
- Easy installation
- Reliance on ThemeREX add-ons can be off-putting for users
- A limited amount of columns
These WordPress Themes for Magazines Each Have Their Audience
In this list right here, all 5 themes are very good - and they are slightly different from one another.
But there are also plenty of features every theme from this list has.
- They are creative in a way suited to a magazine or newspaper;
- Technical know-how isn't necessary to achieve a finished look;
- Drag-and-drop builders or useful customization options are included;
- There is multilingual and accessibility support available;
- They provide great value for money;
No budget? There are some free options, too
You'll be relieved to know that there are some great free magazine WordPress themes as well.
Previously, we have already covered plenty of amazing free WordPress themes. Out of such options, there are a few really good themes, suited for magazines. Here's what they are:
As a rule, free themes will be less powerful than their premium counterparts - but many of them may be good for some basic sites. But at the end of the day, the power of decision is all yours.
What do you think? Did you find the perfect theme for your magazine website here? Or maybe I've missed something really good? Let me know.