Hello, 2017 We’d like to start out your year with a fresh list of WordPress Themes that are perfect for starting an online magazine or bringing your print magazine to the digital world. Some of the most widely read magazines in print today also have an online presence using WordPress, including the likes of Vogue, Time, and Fortune Magazine. How did they do it? Bringing your magazine to the web is easy so long as you have the best WordPress magazine themes on hand.
Use our curated list of fantastic, super optimized themes to help you sift through the myriad of options out there. But before we get to that, let’s spend a few moments discussing what these themes have to offer.
What Features Come Standard?
While magazine themes can vary widely in terms of what features they include, there are a few things we’ve come to expect as “standard.” For instance, stylish typography is a must. We particularly enjoy themes that draw inspiration from print publications to inform their headline and body text typography choices. You might also expect plenty of text styles, featured images, and gallery options for showcasing photojournalistic stories.
How Can I Make Use of a Magazine Theme?
You can use a magazine theme much as you would any other theme for any other site. You can even use it for a blog, if you’d like, but that might take some fiddling to get the format to match a blog’s less structured appeal. In any case, you can develop and publish any kind of magazine you want with such a theme from serious news to parody; sports to technology.
The Best Magazine Themes for 2017
Now, let’s explore our best collection of themes for magazines this year.
Essence is a stylish theme packed with features. It has 17 different homepage layouts which allow you to create a unique look for your website and provide a nice starting point for your design. It also allows you to easily feature your Instagram photos and add a gorgeous slider to showcase your recent blog posts. Custom widgets such as “About Me” and social media icons allow you to easily incorporate your bio and your social media profiles so you can add a personal touch and further connect with your audience.
The theme can easily be customized with the front-end live customizer which lets you see any design changes in real time and you can also customize the colors to match your branding perfectly. The theme is fully responsive so you can rest assured your content will look great on any device.
IsleMag is a free magazine WordPress theme boasting lots of colors for intriguing visitors that land on your site. One such way of enticing readers to explore more of your site is to include a beautiful carousel slider for showcasing your top posts, latest news, or best images in a smooth sliding manner. And, keeping in tune with the colorful nature of the theme, each slider image will be a different color making a bold statement that says “Check me Out!”.
Never lose out on readers because IsleMag comes fully responsive and mobile-friendly. Keep your content super organized and distinct with the colorful header drop down menus. And, let your readers enjoy the columned thumbnail images leading them to your blog content. In addition, if you are looking to monetize your website you can easily do so with IsleMag’s ad banners. And lastly, to build an international reputation, make sure you translate your content for those who may have a different native language so they can keep up on your latest news as well.
NewsTimes by MyThemeShop
NewsTimes is a very modern theme with an elegant layout suitable for professional magazines. With any theme from MyThemeShop, you can always count on free updates for the lifetime of the theme, so your magazine will always stay modern. The theme includes a handy calendar archive search option. NewsTimes also includes the OptionsPanel that enables you to customize the theme without using any code while allowing more advanced users to use custom CSS. The theme includes an unlimited sidebar, color, and background options. Homepage and featured images have stunning parallax effects. The front page also features a really unique slider with images in a grid format. The theme also includes social sharing capabilities built into the pages to help generate traffic without being too social media-centric. The theme is responsive and a built in ad-manager allows you to add third-party ads and track the stats and revenue. Shortcodes are included in the theme and menu, making it really easy to customize your site. NewsTimes is also SEO optimized and built for speed.
Cirrus Pro by Nimbus Themes
Cirrus is a very versatile theme built to function beautifully for multiple kinds of sites with 5 frontpage layout options and an extensive shortcodes library. Cirrus already has a beautiful design, but the Nimbus Themes Options Panel allows you to easily change design elements without having any coding knowledge. Curated Google Fonts options ensure your fonts look great without the hassle of having to sift through the hundreds of options. The theme also comes with custom widgets, social media integration, and SEO optimization. Cirrus is an awesome theme for those who are looking to get their magazine started with an already fantastic design. All Nimbus Themes also come with stellar support, regular ongoing updates to ensure the theme functions with the rapidly changing technology of WordPress.
MagXP by MyThemeShop
The MagXP theme has pretty much all the bell and whistles you could hope for in a Magazine Theme for WordPress in 2015. The theme has more than enough options to satisfy even those who want ultimate control over their website’s look and feel. When you purchase this theme you purchase unlimited domain usage (this is true of most paid themes today) meaning you can use it on an unlimited number of websites. Thanks to the aforementioned numerous options, you can create a truly unique website each and every time. MagXP has 9 different demos which make this theme suitable for a variety of niches.
OptionsPanel lets you easily customize the theme for your magazine and a drag-and-drop custom home page builder is perfect for those aren’t familiar with coding. The theme is built for security and speed which is definitely a benefit with a theme that is so feature-rich. MagXP is also WooCommmerce ready, so setting up payments for subscriptions, swag or any trade merchandise is a breeze. This theme is also SEO optimized with rich snippets and built to be responsive on all devices and browsers. MagXP also includes a comments and review section with an optional rating system to help you readers navigate your magazine content by popularity, simultaneously giving you information on your best-liked content.
OneEngine by Engine Themes
Oh yes, this one is FREE! If you’re looking for a single page theme for your magazine, OneEngine is a really functional theme that organizes lots of information in a really smart and digestible way. The theme even has several parallax sections to draw the attention of your visitors. Unlike many free themes, OneEngine has dedicated and transparent support forums so you can get answers if you run into any problems with the theme. Considering support is usually reserved for paid themes, this is a nice bonus for a free theme. The blog template has a clean and minimal layout which puts most of the focus on your content and eliminates all the distractions.
Showroom by ZigZag Press
The Showroom theme by ZigZag Press combines a modern look with traditional elements really beautifully. For any magazine covering topics having to do with classical subject matter or a more refined audience, the Showroom is the perfect Magazine Theme for WordPress. The home page features a full-width interactive image slider and an easy-on-the-eyes grid layout for more articles, all with featured images. The Showroom theme is SEO optimized. It also includes the same Genesis functionality of the Studiopress themes, which is largely recognized for its high level of security. This theme offers enough customization options to make your magazine unique, but not so many that starting your site will seem overwhelming. The Showroom theme is responsive and looks good on any device.
Best by MyThemeShop
The Best theme by MyThemeShop offers nearly all of the same benefits as the Socially Viral theme in a slightly cleaner format and with more white space. The theme also comes with SEO optimization and social sharing options which are handy features for attracting and growing your audience. You will be able to customize this theme with the MyThemeShop Options Panel with unlimited background options and with shortcodes for more advanced users. Best is mobile-ready and responsive with touch sliders that work beautifully on mobile devices. It is also Google AdSense compatible which provides a way to monetize the site. This theme’s design options also include a grid format or a stacked layout. Best also has a huge variety of sidebar options to create a unique layout. A floating navigation menu makes it incredibly easy for readers to navigate your website, especially if you plan to add loads of content. As with all MyThemeShop themes, Best offers excellent round-the-clock customer support which makes their paid themes a real bargain.
Food Blog Theme by Nimbus Themes
Food Blog Theme is the perfect online platform for any food related magazine. The photo-friendly layout and grid format with customizable sidebar options mean that any way you re-organize your theme, it will be modern and beautiful. The Recipe Card plugin makes it easy to add well-organized content and easy for your readers to use the magazine to its full potential. Nimbus themes have an extensive shortcodes and widgets library, an incredibly easy to use Options Panel to customize your website without code and the amazing drag-and-drop capability. This theme also has hand-selected Google Fonts to take the guesswork out of the perfect combination of fonts for your theme. This theme is also built for speed with clean coding while still utilizing SEO optimization and Social Media integration. As always you will receive ongoing updates and Nimbus Themes’ stellar support.
Immunity by Mythemeshop
The Immunity theme is similar to the MagXP theme in that it is highly customizable to suit any type of magazine. This theme includes a layout that’s optimized for video content which allows you to create a media-rich website. The theme is built to generate traffic with SEO optimization, includes a framework made for speed, and built-in Google AdSense capabilities. With Immunity you will get MyThemeShop’s 24/7 support and tutorials. The theme is built to be responsive and translation-ready. The OptionsPanel allows you to change design elements without any code, but an extensive list of shortcodes are included for deeper customization. With unlimited color options, all Google Fonts, and unlimited backgrounds you can ensure your Magazine won’t look like any other online periodical on the web.
News Pro Theme by Studio Press
The News Pro Theme by Studio Press is perfect for an article focused online magazine. The design is clean and modern with loads of white space and clean breaks. There are also dedicated places to include various types of ads. Another fabulous perk to this theme is the Genesis Framework included in your purchase that guarantees you an incredibly secure website and a safeguard from spammers as well as some easy customization options. News Pro is also beautifully responsive so you can rest assured your website will look great even on mobile devices such as phones and tablets. The menu options and organization of this site are designed with the user in mind, with super clean and simple drop-downs and multiple menu options within the header, body, sidebar, and footer.
Digitalis by MyThemeShop
Digitalis has a uniquely clean and minimal layout with eye-catching hover effects. The grid layout without text makes the theme very visually appealing which allows you to add gorgeous images for added visual appeal to your featured stories and news. This theme is fully responsive and translation-ready. It also includes the options panel to edit the theme without code and built-in shortcodes as well as multiple built-in page templates for quick customization. With SEO and Google AdSense Optimization as well as integrated social media, this theme is designed for traffic. It is also WooCommerce ready which means you can easily merchandise through your website. The use of text, white space and images in Digitalis is really unique for this type of theme and is sure to make your magazine stand out.
Woodie by MyThemeShop
Woodie has a unique design with a rounded corner grid layout which makes your website look different from similar magazines in your niche. This flexible theme has a really nice featured post slider and is built to be multipurpose and completely responsive. The MyThemeShop Options Panel makes it simple to customize this theme to match your branding style with unlimited background and color options as well as access to the Google Fonts library. The theme is SEO optimized and includes integrated social media features which facilitate sharing your content on social media platforms. Google AdSense integration also ensures you can start generating revenue right away with Woodie. With the great support offered by MyThemeShop you won’t have to worry if you run into any hiccups.
Vogue by MyThemeShop
Vogue is a lovely modern theme with loads of white space and a refined feel. As far as features go, this theme is full of useful features such as a related posts widget to keep your readers engaged. The site is fully responsive and the grid format functions really well on a mobile device. MyThemeShop Options Panel has unlimited background options as well as colors and use of all Google Fonts. Vogue is SEO optimized, social media integrated and is built to incorporate Google AdSense meaning it’s ready to generate traffic and make you money. Of course, you will also have access to lifetime free support and updates from MyThemeShop.
Drone by ZigZag Press
Drone is for the Modern Online Magazine. The awesome dynamic grid sets it apart from other more traditionally structured magazine themes for WordPress. It has a stunning parallax effect which won’t slow down your website. If the unique grid style is too minimalistic for you magazine, check out the homepage with blog layout option instead. Along with beautiful featured images, the posts include the excerpt and a button to read the full version of the post, in an elegant grid layout. The Drone theme is mobile-ready and SEO optimized and can be translated into any language. The landing page for this theme is drool-worthy with a slider on top and plenty of space to include the best features of your product or your company. This theme is great for any magazine that wants to feature an image rich site.
The Goliath WordPress theme all the necessary features of a high-quality magazine theme. The Goliath theme is completely optimized to place ads from sponsors. It also includes news, sports, tech, and fashion presets so you don’t have to design those elements yourself. Edit your layouts with the drag-and-drop functionality and enjoy all the benefits of the responsive design.
The theme is bundled with several premium plugins, including Slider Revolution, Visual Composer, and Mega Menu. Translations are easy, thanks to the localization features. On top of that, the Goliath theme is WooCommerce ready, so you can sell merchandise that relates to your magazine.
For magazine websites that want a high degree of customization and a dynamic homepage builder, Compass is a wonderful place to get started. If runs off of the ZOOM Framework for the ultimate customization and it’s completely responsive. The touch slideshow works well for displaying presentations of your best content and visual customizer is included for those who don’t have experience with code.
The Compass theme comes supercharged with the JetPack plugin allowing you to incorporate features for tiled galleries, sidebar widgets, and related posts. The custom background and logo input tools are ideal to incorporate your own brand and the easy translation tool allows you to translate your website into any language. The Compass theme looks beautiful and has a strong focus on high-resolution photos which are great for attracting the attention of your visitors.
The Massive Press magazine WordPress theme offers a striking grid-based homepage layout with customization options such as widgets and font modifiers. The WordPress customizer allows you to change the menus to make sure navigating your website is easy. Sample content comes with your purchase, meaning that you don’t have to start from scratch with your design. Ad space is also available for placing advertisements in columns, headers, and more.
You can also translate the theme for more exposure and use the infinite scroll feature to add as much content as you can without overwhelming your visitors. The theme integrates well with premium contact forms like Ninja Forms and Gravity Forms and it inlcudes a few solid social media buttons match the rest of your website. Image galleries are easy to arrange and the widgets range from anything like recent posts to photography credits.
The Material theme is a viable option for companies and individuals trying to build a large online magazine. It’s a premium and responsive WordPress theme with tons of shortcodes for adding elements like buttons and columns without any programming knowledge. The simple and clean design has a logo and header area that’s easily customizable, along with WooCommerce compatibility, which is great for magazines that want to sell merchandise or digital downloads to monetize their website. Over 30 theme options are included with Material, such as social media integration, layout modifications, and a blog.
The optimized code is clean and fast and the unlimited color options ensure that your website looks just the way you want. Translation features are provided to reach a wider audience and you can install demo content with one click so you don’t have to start from scratch with your designs. Along with areas for posting banner ads and powerful media support, the Material theme is certainly a wonderful option to look into when looking for a magazine theme.
Consider the Krava theme if you’d like a multipurpose magazine theme with light and dark versions. The theme includes many customization options such as a drag-and-drop page builder for those who want to speed up the creation process. Play around with 14 custom widgets and use the mega menu to add dozens of pages without cluttering the navigation bar. Multiple headers are available as well as unlimited colors to create the look and feel you like. PSD files come along with your purchase which are handy if you are a more experienced designer that wants more customization.
Krava offers translation features allowing you to expand your magazine’s reach to an international crowd. The premium slider is an ideal way to show off your promotions or upcoming features, all in a responsive format. A portfolio custom post type is provided in case you’re trying to build a client base and unlimited sidebars mean you can fit as much content on your homepage as possible. The design is rather stylish and you can add your own blog for additional content. Some of the widgets provide functionality for contact fields, about information, social media buttons, and client logos.
The Grimag WordPress theme has a beautiful design with several areas for implementing ads. Since most magazines make their money from ads, it’s nice to know that this theme supports this feature. As a responsive theme, the Grimag theme looks great on mobile devices. The Grimag theme is completely ready to work with the bbPress plugin which allows you to create forums and encourage discussion on the burning issues of today’s society while building a community around your website. The theme also includes translation files so you can easily add extra languages to allow people from all over the world to read your magazine.
The theme comes with several social media buttons which are a great way to build your following on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and others. The shortcodes are nice for adding elements such as pricing tables and icons while the page templates include contact pages, 404s, and more. A clean and elegant menu along with a search bar makes it easy for readers to find relevant content. This is a highly widgetized theme, so you can show people a wide variety of featured posts throughout the homepage, along with recent posts, comments, social media comments, and more. An email subscription form is included to let your visitors know when the next articles are published. Overall, the Grimag WordPress theme is a highly useful magazine theme and we recommend it to magazines of all sizes.
The Blocco theme comes from the folks at Press75 and it offers a responsive layout. This isn’t your typical-looking magazine layout. In fact, the majority of the article thumbnails are consolidated into a grid-based form, using small square images to generate interest. The navigation menu is on the right-hand side and you can implement a logo to the left, leaving your content in the center. Various widgets are included with the Blocco theme. Social media widgets improve the chances of getting people to follow you while the ad widgets are great for selling ad space to advertisers or inserting ads from ad networks such as Google AdSense. The coding is quite lightweight and you can even write your own custom CSS. An infinite scroll feature is provided as well as translation files to make your magazine available in multiple languages.
Use the sample content to speed up the design process. Feel free to insert images and videos in your posts and include a search bar in the sidebar to help your readers find articles that are most interesting to them. A comments section allows you to encourage conversation about individual articles and topics. Along with that, you can customize the fonts to add a touch of elegance to your website. The Blocco WordPress theme is one of the more unique options on this list, with an elegant design. And the modern flare assists with grabbing the attention and standing out from the hundreds of other magazines you may be competing with.
Mag Pro by AccessPress
Looking to create a full-featured magazine with minimal setup effort? You’ll definitely want to check out AccessPress Mag Pro. Developed by AccessPress Themes, Mag Pro comes with several demos and you can easily install any one of them with the one-click install feature. This theme comes with tons of features including featured stories, advertising widgets, mega menus, a trending banner, and more.
It also comes with large social icons, a post ratings system, custom widgets, and more for customizing and optimizing your magazine to your precise specifications. WooCommerce integration, multiple page layouts, post formats, and shortcodes round out the feature set for this eye-catching theme that makes setting up a magazine seem easy.
Picking Nexus by Elegant Themes as your theme of choice is a surefire way to make a statement. This theme offers a stylish header where you can display featured stories that show descriptions upon hover. The homepage is built with widgets, so it’s easy to display articles from different categories wherever you’d like.
Advertising widgets make it easy to monetize your efforts and you can choose from two to three-column layouts, a full-width layout, multiple page templates, and more. It also comes with tons of shortcodes, an image gallery, a portfolio, sitemap, advanced search, social icons, and so much more we can’t possible squeeze in all the details here. Nexus is a top theme choice for a reason: it looks good, functions well, and offers everything you’ve come to expect from a magazine website.
MH Magazine - Multipurpose Newspaper Theme
The Multipurpose Newspaper Theme by MH Magazine is another notable choice for putting together an online publication in an intuitive way. This theme offers a featured story slider that’s powered by Flexsider 2 (which means touch control is included), a news ticker, dropdown menus, and tons of demos so you can setup and install your site in a matter of minutes.
Just some of its features include custom widgets, a full theme options panel, a drag-and-drop homepage editor, a sliding carousel, a custom footer, and more. Plus, you can customize the logo, colors, fonts, and menus; use advertisements, and take advantage of the flexible layout options. This theme is responsive, SEO optimized, and equipped with Google Fonts, is translation-ready, and comes with updates and support.