20 Of The Best Free Magazine WordPress Themes

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
  • Localization
  • 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:

  • Responsive
  • 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
  • Localization
  • Shortcodes
  • 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 (Free) | Get it | Demo

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
  • Shortcodes
  • 15 Pre-Defined Background Patterns

Megazine

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
  • Shortcodes
  • 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.

  • Localization
  • AD Management


109 thoughts on “20 Of The Best Free Magazine WordPress Themes”

  1. Saturday In searching for sites with content on Squeeze Pages or Affiliate sites and specifically for how to make money online for free, I found your site to be useful and full of content.

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  3. Mimbo and Branford are two of the top choices in my opinion. Several of these are new to me, but they look good.

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  6. I fell in love with the f8 lite theme but its NOT FREE!!!! :((( what a kick in the kintama.

    But thanks for the post. Very nice indeed.

  7. Hi Akira – Yes f8 lite is free – there are premium versions of the f8 theme that cost, but the lite version is free – follow the text link above rather than using the preview and trying to find the download link…the text link goes right to the download page.

  8. Polaroid is supposed to be the best theme in all themes and I have downloaded that for my oracle blog. Thanks for sharing all the themes though.

  9. Excellent List! It’s been tough for me, finding a good magazine theme that actually functions properly, this list is going to be very useful!

  10. A few months ago I really wanted a “Magazine” Style Theme…but after winning a free license of one from a blog contest (and the theme I won was beautiful!) I’ve decided I like the traditional blog format better. The ones you have listed here are all very beautiful – but I’m sticking to the more traditional themes these days :) I may check out that deadwood one – it is similar enough to regular blog style :)

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  25. All these themes have great design and appear to be very functional to the user. These are important things to include in the design of your wordpress blog.

  26. Thanks i book marked this post. I never seen so many free magizine themes in one post. I liked chared best not sure why i just like the look of it.

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  30. I’m really looking for a good looking magazine theme, much prefer the free ones. I’m a bit confuse because of these… omg

  31. Great collection of themes. I use a theme from Elegant Themes for one of my blogs, and I’ve recommended to them to everyone. Their themes are really clean and simple, and they can make your blog look a lot more professional. Highly recommend them!

  32. You listed some of the best magazine themes for wordpress i have seen. Everyone is good and has alot of features. Some are great for products others for ads thanks i saved this post.

  33. Most are nice themes, except deadwood…that one just looks dead boring. =P I wonder how it made it to the list.

  34. Wow, some of these are very impressive. I was just starting a new blog about a month ago and I was looking around for a theme.

    Really wish I had seen some of these beforehand.

  35. Those are some great themes. like some of the simplier designs with less on each page. they are eaiser to navigate and look good. massive press is one i like alot.

  36. Some very nice magazine themes! I like a little more graphic appeal, but they are simplistic. Simplistic is the new thing now xD

  37. Thanks i will have to look over some more of the themes. The site has so many it is tough to pick one i like best. I did see some are free and some you pay for but the cost is pretty good for how good they are.

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  41. Those themes are beautiful. Are you allowed to customize theme and do you have to give credit back to the designer in order to use them?

  42. I’m looking for a professional slick looking theme that has Suckerfish type drop down menus enabled. Most of the ones I have looked at are pretty lousy – Do you have any?

  43. Dude, my search for quality and professional wordpress themes ends here. I am so fortunate and glad that I got your blog post through google search when I was desperately searching for innovative wordpress themes. They are impressive and obviously elegant :D Thanks a ton. I am gonna use their services.

  44. Polaroid is supposed to be the best theme in all themes and I have downloaded that for my oracle blog. Thanks for sharing all the themes though.

  45. Wow! Their business templates are highly professional and slick. I have been searching on and on for a long time to identify the best resources which offers nice wordpress themes. I am glad that I found your blog post which put an end to my search.

  46. I love Elegant Themes. I have been using them on many of my blogs for about six months now and have had the best luck with them.

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  49. I’ve been looking for some good magazine themes.

    I find it interesting that wordpress is getting used more and more for normal “non-blog” type sites too lately. WordPress is gaining traction as more of a content management system instead of just a pure blogging platform.

    The more great themes people make, the merrier!

  50. Hey, A couple of questions: I was just wondering if you know if the header images are included in the themes shown above? Secondly, are you using “Elegant Themes” for this website?
    On a different note – I started using WP about 1 year ago and am so happy with it. It makes launching websites easier than ever!

  51. they are very beautiful. I recently took and updated my blog with a theme but after some time i will change it to a new one and definitely take from here. Thanks for the wonderful post.

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  53. Elegant themes are nice, they have a hug collection of themes, very powerful and just $20, it’s like $0.5 a theme, an amazing deal i would say.

  54. Yeah, I’m going to have to agree with a lot of the comments here that Elegant themes is a good option. I absolutely love WordPress and all the themes that are available. WordPress has definitely changed the game in terms of who can create a website. No longer do you have to be a programmer.

  55. These are all some very beautiful themes that could easily be tailored to suit just about any site. My favorite that’s become outdated since is the Brightness theme. Has some very cool features although its become somewhat buggy. If you have some CSS and PHP skills, I don’t see why any of these themes wouldn’t be a good fit for your site.

  56. I like the structure theme. Simple and clean so people can find what they wnat fast. Page should load faster also.

  57. One thing I like is the comments area. The space for the name, email address and URL are much longer than on other blogs which makes it so much easier. I also like how the comments are shown in a box which almost resembles a “speech bubble”. Cool theme :-)

  58. All the themes are really cool. I’m having a hard time choosing the right one for my site. Mixxmag is on the top of my list, it’s cool!

  59. I like the GlobalPress theme myself a lot! Very refreshing to look at. Great choices by the way. Keep those themes coming for more inspiration!

  60. Beautiful free themes… or are the beautiful because they are free? I didn’t realize there were so many good-looking free themes out there. Most of the ones within the WordPress data base aren’t that great other than Arras but I didn’t want to overuse it.

  61. Simon, this is a great list of themes you’ve compiled here but you should think about updating it. Alot of the themes including the one i wanted (Yamidoo) is not free anymore.

  62. Elegant themes have so many wordpress themes wherein the user will have a wide variety of selection and excellent benefits.

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  64. I’m amazed at the number of new styish magazine themes available these days – and many of them for free. WordPress clearly is leading the way for others to follow where blog templates are concerned. I’ve been using Thesis for a while but I’m always on the lookout for something new.

  65. Its nice to hear that WordPress release a free themes. I like “Minimag” coz it has black background its cool to my eyes.

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  68. DesignMagz is the best theme for my next project. I develop a website especially thought for Kindle users. Do you think it will offer the feeling of a “realish” newspaper if you’d read the news on a Kindle (or iPad ) ?

  69. i’m ever using arthemia theme. But little bit difficult to manage the theme. somethime, the thumbnail didn’t wanna shown.

  70. hi, many thanks for the templates. i have worked extensively with joomla! However i have just began a project that requires wordpress.

  71. Nice collection. now i got the what i was looking from last few days.. my site in new design coming soon.. thanks dear.

  72. Thanks for your post Simon! These are some of the best themes out there. I have been using Elegant Themes for roughly a year now and am very satisfied! Their support is crazy good and top notch. No I do not work for them, if you seen my sites you will no doubt know that…haha
    ~ Cheers ~

  73. Actually Arras is a nightmare right now. It doesn’t work properly with the latest version of WordPress and the developer isn’t updating it. I’m getting ready to ditch it from all my sites as it’s causing too many problems. A shame as before this it was excellent.

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