Are you looking to amp up some of your article based content on the web? You want to be taken more seriously then just a typical blog. Maybe you want to include multiple authors, and have a custom front page like many of the famous news sites like Mashable and IGN. One of the closest ways you can get to that, is by running your website on a WordPress magazine theme. After several days of researching these themes, I’ve compiled a list of the best premium themes money can buy short of hiring designers to build custom sites for thousands of dollars.
One of the things that makes TrueMag great is that it features many different styles of presentations and sliders that you can work with. It’s not too cluttered like some other magazine themes. However, it does recommend you use a lot of their own plugins so it might be hard to migrate to a different theme should you choose in the future.
A highly colorful news style theme. Features clearly identifiable sections and plenty of spots for promoting social media. It’s also a theme that works well with reviews integrated into the them.
Contains presets for different types of websites. Headings are a little bit on the bold side. The theme also works nicely with a stars based review system. The theme would work well with many different kinds of news or article based websites.
Makes a great use of color without overwhelming the viewer. It feels very light and feathery. The full width carousel at the top looks exceptionally nice making it one of the best looking themes out there.
The magazine style uses a very neat trick with the featured posts. It will put a color overlay over the images with just enough transparency to see the image in the background thus enticing the user to hover over. The user is rewarded as the color is removed but their cursor is not hovering right over the text link encouraging a click.
Makes excellent optimization of space on the page. Looks very clean and keeps the colors interesting but under control. The footer design is particularly beautiful. One thing to note is that the theme comes with 3 different built in styles of post presentation – Full Width, Boxed Style, and Masonry.
Most magazine themes have a little too much going on for my tastes. The spartan theme is still a magazine theme in that you can still categorize and section off your front page easily but it takes a more modest approach. Lightweight and does not overwhelm the user.
For sites that are trying to look professional along the lines of the New York Times and Huffington Post, this theme is worth checking out. It’s a clean theme that feels a bit like reading a modern newspaper. Could be good for non-news sites as well.
Jarida and Sahifa are by far some of the most popular premium wordpress themes. They feature clean layouts with great social media button design. The primary difference between Jarida and Sahifa is that Jarida uses a red color scheme and Sahifa uses an orange.
This theme is heavily integrated with review systems off the bat. If you wanted to making a gaming or movie review site then this would be a great starting place for themes to consider.
It’s definitely meant for photo heavy fashion magazines. What’s really cool about it is how the photos load as needed when you scroll down the page and fade in nicely. It’s rolls with a black and white heavy color scheme which is pretty much what you expect from the fashion industry.
Another solid news theme. It’s color scheme is a little more on the dark side though the text is still white background with black text. I had to put this one here because it calls its ad spots “Money Maker Area”. In seriousness though, it’s got the works for a news site and looks good.
It’s about as minimalistic as WordPress Magazine themes get. Perhaps more so than the Spartan theme even but that actually turns out to be a good thing for it. By having less stuff on the page, it actually does a good job of focusing more on the content and calls to action. Color wise – It’s black and white with a splash of yellow.
X does things a little bit differently when it comes to it’s Ethos Magazine Layout. Instead of having different sections on the front page for every category, it actually contains a nice filter drop-down where you change the posts displayed by picking a category. At the very top of the page is the featured posts carousel and the main menu bar follows you as you scroll down the page. It feels slightly more blog and less magazine but it could definitely be used for both purposes.
This is a rather cute grid based theme that would be good for gaming, movie, or reviews sites. It might be a little simplistic for some but its a definite option if you want a grid display of images on the front page. Has built in functionality with reviews.
A speed optimized magazine theme. It may not have as many features as some of the other ones but it is a very fast loading and very clean theme. It has black text on a white background with splashed orange. Worth noting is that when you buy an ElegantTheme you actually get all of their themes. That said I don’t find many of their themes to be particularly amazing but this one is very good.
I’ll keep it updated as I find other worthy WordPress magazine themes so feel free to suggest themes for the list in the comments.