Magazine/News Themes The New Black?

Earlier this morning, Brad Potter and I were engaged in a conversation revolving around the aspect that magazine/news type themes are on the rebound. I remember when they were all the rage but along with the news/magazine layouts came an increase in complexity. These types of themes decreased for awhile but when taking a look at the big picture, it’s easy to see that they are coming back. Just take a look at these released or soon to be released examples.

StudioPress News
ElegantThems eNews
WooThemes The Daily Edition
Darren Hoyts Dispatch
Darren Hoyt – The Local

Why is it that these types of themes are making a strong comeback? Is there a resounding market for them? I’m not sure. But part of the conversation this morning discussed how newspapers were going downhill. I made the prediction that there would be a strong market for these themes throughout this year and next as hyperlocal bloggers begin to get together and use their phones, netbooks, etc to write about their community without any overhead costs that the newspapers have. The definition of hyperlocal is as follows:

In journalism, local news refers to news coverage of events in a local context which would not normally be of interest to those of other localities, or otherwise be of national or international scope.

Sounds like the perfect market for these designs! I’m happy to say though that these types of themes are not nearly as complex or difficult to work with as the first round of 2008. Theme designers have come a long way and it shows.

Are you looking forward to these types of themes showing up everywhere or do you want to see more variety outside of news/magazines?

10 Comments


  1. I can’t wait for the new themes to come out. I came from the Joomla world, so the blog type templates are the ones foreign to me.

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  2. Magazine themes are consistently the top sellers for the theme developers. Even some of Woo’s old original magazine themes are still consistently some of their top selling themes despite their age. I don’t think they ever waned in popularity.

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  3. @Danny G Smith – Out of the ones I mentioned here, the Daily Edition looks awfully sweet with The Local coming in a close second. That’s my opinion. I also come from a Joomla background and I’m finally beginning to think that WordPress themes are catching up.

    @Martin – Well, I noticed a brief period where not EVERY theme that was being released was a news/magazine type layout. That is why I said it decreased somewhat but it never disappeared.

    @Carl Hancock – I guess so. As I mentioned to Martin, I noticed that there was a bit more variety of theme and layout types arriving on the scene but now it looks like we are heading into another splash of themes with the news/magazine layouts. I imagine if they weren’t popular, they wouldn’t keep releasing themes of that style

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  4. I like them because the classic blog look is horrible for quickly scanning a site’s homepage looking for interesting articles to read. It forces the latest post to always be an absolute killer to draw new homepage visitors into your site (note: some A-list bloggers achieve this anyway).

    I dislike them though because it increases the development time for new sites and (sometimes) increases the time per post as you deal with all the extra post backend stuff that goes along with a lot of them.

    But overall I think they’re a great thing for self-run sites/blogs in general.

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  5. I’m happy to see lots of Magazine/News themes being released. They are my favorite type of theme and the main reason I was attracted to WordPress to begin with. As Jeff mentioned they never went away, it’s just interesting to see so many being released at the same time.

    I can’t wait to see the impact “Citizen Journalism” has on old school media. The larger media companies are currently discussing ways in which they can start charging for the majority of their content. If that happens, many people will seek other sources for news. In my community we are seeing several small news startups begin to compete with one very established local newspaper. In many cases they publish stories that are more in-depth and engaging than the established paper which has been forced to continually cut it’s staff.

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  6. No doubt citizen journalism will fuel these types of designs. I’m already starting to see quite a few local sites spring up focusing more within a small community that newspapers can’t cover as they mostly discuss big topics that can reach a national audience.

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  7. Being in charge of the digital department of a traditional publisher using WordPress as a CMS, yes, I love the magazine themes and this trend and really hope there will be even more focus on them with the code merge of WPMU in 3.0!

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  8. I write for Examiner.com. as one of those “citizen journalists.” I am considering expanding and developing my own site. Can you advise me on which WordPress theme would be best for someone who wanted to post articles, photos and video? I also want a theme that is suitable for advertisements and user friendly. The publishing tool I use now is very easy to work with. It features a variety of page templates, automatic hyperlinks, photo and video uploading.

    Thank you!
    Lynne Erickson Valle

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  9. Moderator, I no longer need help. Please delete my two posts. Thank you!

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