On what to attract our attention when looking for a WordPress theme solution for news website? The subject is more than important, especially for bloggers, newsmakers, major platforms with regularly updated content and business pages. And with the fact of drastically progressive social network tendencies: when news can be shared in seconds and go viral without even being published on one’s website, you too would want your theme to embrace the design and functionality in a progressive and live means. Not only this subject, but couples of other aspects have come to my mind when creating this blog post about strategies of choosing best WordPress news or magazine themes.
In a word, it is the elegant design of the theme, simple and clear layout, post slides or transition effects that shall capture the eye of site visitors. News and headlines shall pop in a simple but catchy way, when viewed on template. Site creators will want the media content to snap, when compared with competitors. Having the view to this subject from the perspective of a developer or site holder, the features of a news magazine theme shall also include intelligent ads system, besides the points mentioned above. Don’t ignore the fact that theme could require minimal coding skills of administrators and editors and also offer a wide scale of options for customization. In this case content creation shall be fast and easy.
Multitude social network options
I’ll start with multiple social network solutions when considering a news website. As I mentioned in the introduction, vivid and automated connection of the website to one’s social network platforms is vital. A lot of reporters work abroad and sometimes have no opportunity to access their laptops when out of office, yet they have to keep their columns and pages up to date. This is why you obviously would like your blog or website to render the audience in the most dynamic way possible. Despite the popularity of social networks, majority of people still validate trusted sources such as major online magazines, books and other information and media platforms, setting unconfirmed information aside. Yet the short tweet on a website will help readers to have that trust.
With the wide options for social networks and sharing options, I came to Sahifa WordPress theme available on ThemeForest. Both in the header of the home page, as well as in sidebar promote one’s website or spreads the word out to the target audience. The theme starts with $59 and unfortunately has no free version. The theme is really huge. From the list of 200+ quality features the main aspects of the theme are: support and integration with bbPress and BuddyPress WordPress plugins, build-in drag and drop homepage builder integrations, allowing to create the home page with a lot of custom blocks, that are editable on their point as well; Sahifa is compatible with WooCommerce shop plugin, allowing to sell online. Let’s go back to social sharing solutions and let me mention that this guy includes a lot of social counter widgets with variety of skins. Twitter widget that comes with the theme is probably a must have. Normally there are various issues submitted in forums and other support websites from a bunch of clients, referring to multiple issues with galleries, sliders and other standard WordPress plugins, as well as issues of comparability with third party plugins when using social sharing widgets or plugins. I personally too have been facing a lot of trouble with social network sharing plugins and spent a proper time of a research on this subject in order to solve the list of issues or find the one that will meet my needs. In in the case of Sahifa the Twitter widget works perfect. If you’d prefer a social sharing plugin, then I will strongly recommend to stop by GetSocial.
With the purchase of the theme users get a content slider, where they could showcase any news in galleries. Rather minor, yet productive points of the theme that fit a news site are the post view system, showing how many times a post has been viewed or commented, ajax live search, weather widget and custom background options for both posts and pages. And the last, but not least is the RTL language support. Perfect match for multilingual websites as well.
Capture readers attention
Another theme that I am obviously going to use in the upcoming months and suggest to clients and friends is called NewsPaper. This is another premium theme available in Professional version only. NewsPaper has pretty basic layout, but it has small tricks that make the money. First of all the wide menu of color options captured my eye. This means that editorial team can split different posts or pages in different colors even on the homepage of the menu. This helps to bring major news on spotlight. Social network buttons on the home page will allow users to subscribe, like and follow right from the home page without the necessity to be redirected to the original pages. Another cool feature of the theme is the option of the sidebars allowing to freeze the content on it when hovering from the main column layout and have category layouts on left or right side. The theme comes with a lot of slides on homepage; both for main posts at the top of the page, but also there are options to set slides in toolbar and widgets. The theme is integrated with WooCommerce and includes separate rating and comment system for each post. Besides main grid column support, NewsPaper includes grid columns of 1/2, 2/3, 1/4 or 1/3.
As a columnist, I appreciate the fact of ‘authors’ options of this theme as well. Besides the fact that editor can add authors using theme options, they have some options to set gallery of an author, allow readers to follow them, show the number of posts and comments author can add a short bio too. This all appears to be in one page. The rating system will bring the hot topics and/or popular authors in a chart on a right sidebar of the theme.
Graphics and design
Another theme that I would like to mention is not that popular in WordPress community, due to its specifics. Tempest is designed mostly for entertaining websites. Yet its outstanding front end design was the click that worked in my case. Why? Because from the layout even majority of premium themes look pretty much basic, they could match or even double a lot of themes that we have already seen in WordPress Theme directory. Yet this guy is something that looks very chic and quality. Beautiful aesthetics such as the full size of the home background with the main elements of home page on it make this theme to be a cherry on the top of the cake. With a simple and minimalistic menu I was able to showcase specific images and products right on the home page and showcase the things i need to share. Theme developers include a live tech support for customers as well. Yet the most productive tools that make Tempest to be a nice platform for entertaining content is its variety of media widgets. Photo bloggers and photography reporters who are eager to share only media content can obviously use the Instagram integration and Flickr feed – both in posts and widgets. I liked the tags option too, that is a fresh alternative to search bar, allowing to tag specific subjects and topics. And besides the standard social media links and share or redirect options, this guy includes buttons for Dribbble, Yahoo and Tumblr – platforms with large image and graphic content.
It features 4 custom post: videos, galleries, portfolio and slideshow. All the features bring HQ images in retina display when viewed on mobile devices. Latest posts and articles have wide list of options for customizing the default image, whether you want it to cover the whole home page or half of a sidebar. Videos can be showcased in a multiple sliders or posts as well.
Fashion blog, personal trip diary, recipes website or a gym and fitness guide will look fantastic with TouchSize.
In post categorization subheading I’ll put 2 themes. One is free and the other shall cost some money. Probably the major difference will be the price. The first guy is available in WordPress.org as well. So when speaking about stunning post categorization of news and articles from publishers or contributors perspective, WordPress News Magazine theme and Focus are the ones that come to my mind. Editors and contributors would like to have the information sorted on the website in the best way possible. And this guy does the job. All topics and stories can be sorted and categorized from back end with simple and clear options. It is important to show front-page posts in categorized manner to separate news and events in categories, whether it is a column from a journalist, media event, hot news or any other feed. Besides the fact that categorization draw attention to the needs of readers, it also helps to catch reader’s attention productively.
The first thing that caught my eye was the menu of hot topics on the slider. It not only showcases the top stories, but also allows navigating through it without changing the home page URL. Users are also able to get a sneak preview from the headlines. Another rather useful feature of the menu is its date calendar on the top menu of the home page, which when clicked on it brings the list of the most recent posts with featured image and title.
Trending now menu on the right side under the main menu is a great tool as well. This rather minor, but very popular among news websites tool is showcasing the most viewed and popular posts of the day/week. This menu will automatically update and display up to 15 latest news/articles on daily basis.
That’s my view on WordPress magazine themes that will match journalists, bloggers, contributors or editors needs. These are the criterions you want to consider when choosing a theme for a progressive website with a big content, wide team and publicity. Is there a theme that you’d like to have in this article? Or maybe check the list of 22 Best SEO Optimized WordPress Themes? Drop me a line in the comments section down below and let me know what I missed.