If you are looking to pay for a magazine theme, the first place I would start is Elegant themes…for $39 you get access to 77+ professional themes that are constantly updated and added to.
List updated regularly
This article was originally created in 2008, however, a lot of the themes that were cool in 2008, are now relics, and because this page still receives a lot of traffic, I wanted to update it to keep it current. There are more than 20 WordPress Magazine themes in this article, however, I have added a few premium themes into the mix. Why have I put premium themes into a post titled: “20 Of The Best Free Magazine WordPress Themes” – I am no longer a huge fan of free themes. Often the authors create free themes to build backlinks to their sites, and then take the theme offline, or turn it into a premium theme. With free themes you often have no support. With free themes you almost always have to leave a footer link on your site, which is bad for SEO. Of the 20 free themes that were in this original article that I wrote in 2008, only 2 of the theme links were still live, and freely available when I went to edit this article in April 2011…For me the $20-$40 you spend on a premium theme is the easiest decision you should have to make when creating a new site or upgrading your theme. Still, as the original article was about free themes, I have included 20 new free, and great themes in this article. All premium themes have been labelled as such, so don’t fill the comments form with complaints. Hope you find this a useful resource.
Backlight (Premium) | Demo or Buy
Backlight is a premium WordPress theme by Theme Junkie. It’s a professional looking theme ideal for a tech blog, or a technology aimed online magazine. It clean, crisp and light weight theme. For $39 you can pick up this theme + 2 other Theme Junkie Themes, or you could join their Theme club for just $49, and gain access to all their fantastic themes.It has some fantastic features such as:
- Content slider
- Ad management
- Customized widgets
Minimosity (Premium) | Demo or Buy
Minimosity is a fantastic Magazine theme available Themeforest. It is very versatile with light and dark styles. It is a responsive theme, so adapts to your screen size depending on what device you view it on. It has all the bells and whistles you expect from a premium theme such as a content slider, and a very useful and powerful admin customization section. A fantastic option. Features:
- Content Slider
- Built in Reviews
- Light or Dark Skin
- Customizable 404 page
- Retina Screen Support
The Source (Premium) | Demo or Buy
The source is probably my favorite of Elegant themes magazine themes. The full width content slider at the top looks stunning, and it’s simply an around looker in regards to design. You of course get access to Elegant Themes entire collection for just $39 a year, so this is a very popular option. The Elegant Themes community is huge with over 140,000 customers. Features:
- Perpetual Updates
- Four Unique Colors
- Page Templates
The Morning After (Free) | Demo and Download
The first of our free themes, the Morning After is a very clean light weight magazine theme. It’s now hosted by Woo Themes, who employed/bought out the original author. As it’s supported by a large marketplace like Woo Themes you don’t have to worry about the usual free theme draw backs such as a lack of support or random links in the footer. However, as it’s free you do need to leave their homepage link intact in your footer if you use theme theme.
Arras really is an outstanding theme, that continues to be developed and supported, and somehow has managed to stay free. There is a support forum to help you with any issues, but this theme is truly fantastic, and a real steal for free.
Megazine (Premium) | Demo and Download
Megazine is yet another of the fantastic responsive magazine themes available on Themeforest. It comes with a drop and drag page builder which basically gives you endless customization options in a similar way that the very popular thesis theme does. This is an awesome theme.
- Drag Drop Page Builder
- Drag Drop Slider Manager
- Unlimited Color
- 6 Footer Layouts
- 4 Blog styles
- 15 Pre-Defined Background Patterns
Big Feature (Premium) | Buy & Demo
Big Feature is another Themeforest theme. It’s the most popular theme in the magazine category on Themeforest, and there is a good reason for this…it’s an awesome, clean, well coded minimalist magazine theme, few a huge feature at the top. This makes it ideal for product, or service based blogs or website. It’s been well supported with 7 updates since it’s original release.
- Many page templates
- 4 Free Childthemes
- Cufon font replacement enabled
Mimbo (Free) | Demo and Download
Mimbo is one of a few surviving themes from the original article I wrote in 2007. It’s a free theme by Darren Hoyt. It’s has been updated 6 times since the original 2007 release, when it was of the first WordPress themes to make use of a non blog standard layout, using categories for layout rather than the standard, latest at the top design. It’s a really classy theme, particularly because it’s free. There is even a child theme option if you don’t like the standard design.
Newscast 4 in 1 (Premium) | Demo & Buy
Newscast is a flashy magazine theme, that makes great use jQuery. It’s loaded with street appeal, yet it’s very clean in design. A great option available on the Themeforest marketplace.
- Sleek Image preloader
- Contact Form and News Submission Form
- Working ajax/php contact form
- Custom Sidebar News Widget
- Custom advertising Widget
Table Theme (Free ) | Download & Demo
Table is a awesome free theme by Theme Junkie. It comes with all the great features of their premium themes, such as an easy admin panel, ad management, and localization. A very good free options for the budget designers out there. ps…it looks nicer than the screenshot when it’s not loaded with Adsense ad blocks.
Big Foot (Premium) | Demo or Buy
Big Foot is another premium theme from Theme Junkie. It comes with all the great features of their other themes, and has a very slick design. A great option for a tech / design blogger.
- AD Management