I get asked pretty regularly: What is a good magazine or news theme to start a design with?

The great news is there are many themes to chose from these days… almost too many.

Courtesy of Elegant Themes
Courtesy of Elegant Themes

I spent many hours combing through magazine and news themes from all the major theme publishers and selected a group that met 2 criteria:

  1. They are mobile responsive. A non-mobile ready theme won’t cut it as 50% of digital reading today gets done on a mobile device.
  2. The theme must have a clean design so you can build up from it. I would argue that simplicity and cleanliness wins every time as a starting point. Let your content shine, and let the theme design support the content. It is far easier to add styling elements to a minimalistic theme then it is to start with a complex visual piece and then remove design elements. Think of your theme as a canvas to lay your content on. WordPress themes are very editable and when done right… your finished publication will always look very different compared to your starting theme. If you can find a them you “like” as a starting point, your finished design with your brand applied will look fantastic.

So without further ado here are my (very subjective) top WordPress theme designs for news and magazine publications: