WordPress magazine themes are notorious for being packed to the gills with content, widgets, post meta, and advertising. Many have a chaotic feel as a byproduct of trying to pack as much content as possible into the homepage.
Semicolon is a shining exception among free WordPress magazine themes in that it features a super minimalist design with an emphasis on large, readable typography.
Semicolon was created by Konstantin Kovshenin, a WordPress plugin and theme developer who is currently a code wrangler at Automattic. It is based on the Underscores starter theme. The unique grid layout is 100% responsive and works beautifully on mobile devices.
You can further personalize the theme by adding your own background image or setting the background color with the WordPress customizer. It also supports two menus: a primary navigation menu and a social menu than utilizes the Genericons vector icon webfont.
Check out a live demo of Semicolon in action at semicolon.kovshenin.com.
Semicolon manages featured posts using Jetpack’s Featured Content module, so you’ll need to have that plugin installed in order to take advantage of this feature. You can then assign a unique tag for your featured posts via the customizer.
Single posts are followed by an author bio section that can be updated via Users → Your Profile in the admin. A list of related posts is also shown below the content. It’s generated by a simple algorithm that fetches recent posts in the same category.
The theme includes four widget areas. Unlike many other WordPress magazine themes, the widget areas are not used to determine the layout for the main content area. The primary, secondary and tertiary widgets are all located in the sidebar. The primary one is highlighted with a blue background and works best for a notice or information you want to feature. The fourth widget area is for the footer, where any widgets added will be stacked horizontally up to a maximum of three.
Want to test Semicolon on your site? Download it for free from WordPress.org or install it directly via the themes browser in the admin.