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2016's Top 10 Best Wordpress Magazine Themes

Updated on June 23, 2016

See this year's top 10 best Wordpress Magazine-style Themes that simply can't be missed! Before you re-design your site (or simply need inspiration), you've got to check these out - simply drop them in your Wordpress installation, and let the customization begin.

Thanks to these Wordpress magazine themes, Wordpress has worked itself from being simple 'blog software' becoming the world's foremost open-source content management system with the ability to look, act and be a true magazine or news-centric site! Get inspiration for the site ideas you've been holding off on, and consider dropping one of these into your WP installation for an instant framework just waiting to be customized.


1| Nexus Theme

Oversized and vibrant, Nexus is one of the most innovative new Wordpress magazine themes geared toward image-heavy content sites. If color coordination is your thing, it has the framework to satisfy your palette along with big, bold headlines and smooth, easy-to-read text that looks great on monitors and mobile devices alike. Its site structure is amongst the best of any theme you'll find, taking the hard part out of custom coding your main pages to entice as much interaction as possible.

Let the home page of a Nexus-powered Wordpress site be as intricate or minimalist as desired: a test drive of the demo shows how feature-rich it can be, highlighting key articles, new additions, star-rated content, tabbed content, authors and tons of other built-in features.

2| The Source Theme

A simple look at the demo of Source Theme shows you how far a great theme can take a simple Wordpress installation. An oversized in-your-face front page banner scrolls through featured content with overlayed captions, followed by four main color-coded featurettes. Recent articles and sub-articles neatly line the area underneath. It's an affordable theme that you'd otherwise pay a creative firm thousands of dollars to create for you - and that's the glory of Wordpress!

Each individual deep page within this magazine theme is beautifully presented in all of its web 2.0 glory, with a structured right-hand double column showcasing recent and popular content, and all of the other great inter-linking elements we all know and love. Nested commenting makes your comments structured and easy to follow. If you need a professional kickstart to a new or existing website, this is one of the best magazine themes to give you that edge.

3| Breakout Theme

Complete with 13 different home page layouts alone, there's sure to be one that fits the needs of whatever magazine site you're looking to run with your Wordpress site. It doesn't stop there -- the depth of options for your inner-pages is staggering with a built-in layout builder that lets you create your own custom layouts and apply them on a page-by-page basis via a drag-and-drop interface.

Unlimited customization can also be found in Breakout's micromanaging editor, allowing you to tweak every little aspect of the theme's look-and-feel. It comes with tons of shortcodes, sliders, unlimited sidebars and is grid ready for streamlined page and post layout.

4| Lucid Theme

The contrast of colors against white space makes Lucid a great looking magazine theme -- especially for a site that has enough articles to populate all of its numerous front page areas. This is a grid-based theme, meaning that you can very easily organize objects horizontally or vertically, anywhere on the site, by putting a simple shortcode around it. Lucid has its own administration panel for quick modification of each detail of the site, so that you won't have to weed through code to do it the hard way.

Plenty of widgets, typography choices and other features (including article thumbnails) are already baked-in to the theme, ready for your modification, if desired. Color boxes, buttons and other elements can be dropped in anywhere within the content via shortcode -- they're outlined in the theme document.

5| Magazine Made Theme

Magazine Made takes the concept of the Wordpress magazine theme and ramps it up with a whole slew of bells and whistles that you've got to see for yourself. It's rare-to-find a magazine theme packed with an unbelievable amount intricacy, pushing Wordpress to its limits. A "Don't Miss" section slowly marquees posts of your choosing, while a slider displays your featured articles, complete with 5-star review (it's important to mention that this is a full 'review site,' too!)

One thing that really sets this theme apart is how you can truly customize the inner categories of your Wordpress site easily, due to this theme's simple backend. Finally, a way to get rid of the "uniformity" that most Wordpress themes have, and bring more personalization to each of your site's sections.

6| Anchor Theme

Crisp and minimalistic, Anchor is a responsive magazine theme that auto-resizes for all tablets and smartphones (but looks great, as you can see, on a PC). The developers of Anchor added a ton of usability features, including hassle-free theme updating that won't kill your modifications, an entirely widgetized home page that is customizable to the max, a custom template control panel in the backend, and full compatibility with WooCommerce ecommerce platform, and the bbPress forum plugin.

This magazine theme is packed with shortcodes that make life easier. Simply add any of its custom codes in, and auto-generate anything from "call to action" boxes, columns, functioning tabs and accordion menus, buttons, progress bars and a ton of other useful things.

7| Aegaeus Theme

Aegaeus is a minimalist's magazine theme with crisp typography on a white backdrop, guaranteed to fit the dimensions of any mobile device. Fully brand the site however you want with a color chooser that lets you fine tune the color of anything and everything in the backend, and include a static backdrop picture that appears beyond the left and right borders of the theme (see demo for the mountain/lake image that was used).

This magazine theme's strong points, aside from its simplistic backend and unlimited customization, is that everything is SEO-friendly including the text-based sliders and beautiful shortcode special effects [speaking of which, there are over 150 shortcodes!] The site is also translation ready for multi-language purposes -- great for sites running in multiple countries.

8| Exciter Theme

Exciter is a magazine theme that turns Wordpress into an online newspaper that showcases many articles at once (therefore, it works best only if you have a decent amount of content being created on a regular basis). In fact, its layout is optimized in a similar fashion to other major news sites like CNN and BBC.

Exciter's strength lies in the way it displays Wordpress categories: when visited, the category page is a nicely-organized list of thumbnails and snippets of the newest articles created for each. Recent and popular posts with thumbnails can be displayed in the sidebar, including a call-out box for users to sign up to your email newsletter.

Lifestyle Wordpress Theme
Lifestyle Wordpress Theme

9| Lifestyle Theme

Lifestyle is a super modern, clean Wordpress magazine theme that works well for any sites pertaining to travel & hotel news, local sites, and most notably -- it is ideally set up for affiliate stores, too. The possibilities for Amazon or eBay affiliate storefronts is endless, thanks to the simplistic layout and composition of the home page.

Extraordinarily easy to modify, the theme practically needs no modification beyond swapping out images and possibly colors to fit your brand. Drop in your email list script, AdSense ads or anything else you need, and this will create a beautiful site in very little time, compared to most other themes.

10| Continuum Theme

Lots of modern functionality adorns this in-your-face magazine theme: Continuum showcases your featured articles with medium-size images, complete with an oversized 5-star rating system that's completely integrated.

So, use it as a magazine AND a ratings site, too. This opens the door to both movie or music reviews, and even product reviews for you affiliate marketers.

You'll undoubtedly like the layout of Wordpress posts in this theme. Just the right amount of space was spared for a social sharing widget on the left, and orderly stylized comments underneath. There are also tons of ad spots in the sidebar and below each article.

What To Look For In A Wordpress Magazine Theme

There are several key attributes that today's best Wordpress magazine themes have that you truly need, not just for a modern site, but for future expandability. Using a top-rated, professionally designed theme means regular updates from the theme designer and a more stable future for your site. Make sure your theme has these things!

Mobile Ready: You already know the importance of a site being able to conform to a smartphone or tablet, but here's where some of the best magazine themes will pull through for you in another way: instead of setting up a 'mobile' version of your site, your Wordpress theme already provides it. Magazine-style sites have more return visits from tablet users than any other site, and that's why this is such an important feature.

Custom CSS Areas: The better Wordpress themes out there have their own back-end menu that will appear within your Wordpress admin menu, with a section for "custom CSS." This section will allow you to modify the theme's visual aspect without having to use a child theme or modify the original, which would be overwritten whenever a new update is available. This feature makes sure that you'll never have to open your style.css file in Notepad ever again.

Individual Page Templates: There's nothing better than a theme that allows you to tweak the actual structure of your individual web pages through the usage of custom widgets and additional drop-in sidebars. When you can modify how your main category pages look, you can make a truly professional looking site, rather than one that uses the same site-wide layout. It really opens the door for category-specific advertising and a truly effective internal linking structure for internal SEO purposes.

Get more inspiration for your Wordpress site on my resource, "Best Wordpress Themes."

A full list outlining the best themes to serve the purposes of small business sites, blogs, photo galleries, magazine or newspaper sites and other unorthodox uses for Wordpress that you may have not thought possible!

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