When you’re creating and curating a news site, design is everything. Readers want to get straight to the information they’re looking for. They don’t want unclear navigation or a visually overwhelming interface to get in their way. That’s why choosing the right theme for the job is critical; after all, there are plenty of poorly designed news themes out there.
The specific features to look for when picking a news theme will vary with your site’s purpose, but you’ll certainly want to choose a theme that prioritizes readability and ease of navigation. You’ll also want to make sure that the theme is impeccably optimized for search engines, since readers want only the most relevant, up to date news content. Additionally, easy support for ads is a must if you’re planning to monetize your site.
To help you make the right decision, we’ve compiled a list of the 22 best WordPress news themes out there. Let’s get started!
With the high volume of content displayed by your news website, it’s important that its layout is clean and inviting – otherwise, visitors may go elsewhere for their daily news fix. For a theme that offers an uncluttered design with flexible layout options, consider MH Magazine.
The theme offers more than 26 widget locations including a fully widgetized front page template to create flexible layouts, and prominent sections to display advertising. A large number of custom widgets are available to display content such as posts based on categories or tags, social media, YouTube videos, and more.
Important news stories can be displayed prominently with the bundled FlexSlider 2 plugin, and a jQuery news ticker is also included, for short, rolling news items.
Matching your website’s style to your branding is possible with a custom logo uploader, an extensive color palette, and a wide selection of Google Fonts. If you wish to make further customizations to MH Magazine, the developers have included files to create a child theme.
Overall, MH Magazine is ideal for those needing a clean design coupled with a flexible layout to deliver daily news content.
Newspaper is a very popular news WordPress theme with a modern look and lots of style.
The theme comes with 5 stacks — i.e. unique design styles all packaged into the theme that help you achieve the perfect design for your website. Loaded with 1 click and able to be customized to great detail, these stacks are a central point in the theme, with more along the way.
A custom-made drag and drop gallery and also lightbox further highlight the worth of this theme. 17 custom widgets — 9 for content and 8 for various user interface purposes — are built into the theme along with 9 content blocks and 7 templates that allow you to build over 60 different layouts. An intelligent ad system detects AdSense code and makes all ads responsive. Speed Booster v2 makes sure that your site never gets slowed down, even with all that content and imagery up on it. Many, many more features figure in this theme, making it very much worth its $59 price tag.
When browsing through the Voice theme, the word that perhaps most prominently comes to mind is “elegance.” The combination of a flat, boxy design with bold colors creates a pleasing effect – perhaps not particularly artistic, but certainly pleasing on the eye.
As with some other themes in this collection, Voice offers color-coded categories, which can be practically useful when your site publishes articles on a wide range of topics. The full-width manual slider with subtle CSS3 effects on the homepage does a great job of featuring a variety of stories, and the attractive visual experience continues through to the article pages.
The typography – arguably all-important on a news theme – is not perhaps as striking as one would hope. In a theme that tends to exude style far more often than not, the fonts seem a little unimaginative and plain. Having said that, Voice offers simple font customization, so if you have the time and inclination to find your own striking font combination, you can impart your own style on the design.
News websites need to be functional and place your content front and center. With that in mind, Newsmag PRO fits the bill, and could be the ideal theme for your news website.
Right off the bat, we found that Newsmag PRO is lacking when it comes to customization options. Normally, themes prominently show off available demos and customization options. Not so with this theme. While there are demos (installed via a one click option), you don’t get to view them upfront. In addition, while layout design is carried out from a custom admin panel, there’s no drag-and-drop page builder bundled with the theme. In fact, there are no bundled plugins at all – and that’s because Newsmag PRO has included some thoughtful functionality out of the box.
There’s a news ticker for displaying small news snippets, and a plethora of slider and carousel options for prominently showcasing your featured content. Furthermore, social media integration enables your readers to share your content online, and there are even built-in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) settings for improving your search engine ranking.
Overall, Newsmag PRO lacks flexibility and customization. However, it’s saving grace is its well-thought out functionality. This theme will be ideal for those who want a functional theme that is ready to go right out of the box. However, buyers looking for a modern-looking theme will want to continue their search.
Newspaper is a beautiful news theme with elegant typography. It has the same name as the previous theme on this list, sold on ThemeForest, so don’t get it confused — this one is from the folks at MyThemeShop. The design is simply stunning; it combines a very photo-centric interface with a fitting amount of white space. You’ll find the same story even with the megamenu navigation: images again take central priority.
The responsive layout focuses on a functional front end interface, so you have multiple options to filter posts by tags like popularity, brand, specially “featured” posts, etc. If you’re planning to monetize your news site with AdSense, then you’re in luck because Newspaper comes with powerful AdSense integration that optimizes ad placement for maximum CTR. As added bonuses, the theme is also optimized for search engines, speed, and translation.
Clearly, it would be hard to go wrong with Newspaper.
Herald is a business-like, straightforward news theme. While it’s less elegant than some of the other news themes available, it manages to pack a lot of content onto the page while still being easy to navigate.
Like many of the themes in this collection, Herald offers a large amount of design customization. It features modules that enable more than 500 different layout combinations, as well as a customizable header. You can easily color code categories, create multi-page posts, and enable infinite scroll. A related posts feature is built-in, and you have the option to create posts that feature audio, video, images, or galleries.
Monetization is straightforward, with predefined locations for ads on home pages, archive pages, and posts. Herald also ships with a Theme Translator that enables you to create translations of all parts of your website in the Theme Options panel.
NewsTime offers a type of ‘flat’ design that seems ever more popular with each passing day. It combines the allure of prominent photography with an ease of navigation that is not always found on news sites.
The stylish design continues into the individual article pages, with parallax scrolling on the featured image and a simple yet functional content/sidebar layout. The theme includes functionality that one would typically consider important for a news site, such as as “Related Articles” widget and an author byline widget.
The Theme Options panel and drag-and-drop Homepage Layout Manager will ensure that you can customize NewsTime to your satisfaction. And at just $35, it’s a strong contender amongst the top themes in this collection.
The Voux is a gorgeous news theme with a very fluid design. Everything about it screams fashion: the typography, the animations, the bold images, even the name. You’ll see some really exquisite scroll effects when you view the demo, like social buttons that fly in when you hover over a share counter.
This theme comes with a lot of backend functionality that’s ideal for news themes. We’ve already discussed the social icon animation, but did you know that you can also customize your share counter so that the count resets after a specific period of time? The megamenu too is elegant, but without being overly complicated. Support for infinite scroll is also built-in.
With a striking design that’s sure to arrest every new visitor’s attention, The Voux is an excellent choice for any up-and-coming magazine site.
It’s difficult to sum up the appearance of Grand News in one sentence, because the theme offers so many possible design combinations and layouts. The unifying principle, though, is modern and clean design.
The area where this theme shines brightest is its pre-built demo layouts. These include General News, Technology News, Lifestyle and Magazine, Fashion News, Sport News, and Design Magazine. Each of these is a fully functional, beautifully designed news site that you can load with just one click. This makes Grand News a perfect option if you just want to get started and focus on your content.
That being said, Grand News includes plenty of customization options for those who want to tinker with design. A drag and drop content builder and a shortcode generator plugin enable you to modify your site design in nearly infinite ways. Further design customization is also possible with the inclusion of over 500 Google Fonts and a variety of gallery display options including slideshow and parallax.
WordX is yet another stunning news theme complemented well with great features. The tasteful design incorporates white space, dazzling typography, and lots of images to produce a pretty sweet front end. It comes with plenty of custom layouts and hundreds of Font Awesome icons.
The theme is optimized for speed, search engines, and AdSense. The MyThemeShop developers also say that they’ve tested the theme extensively to ensure a low bounce rate. WordX comes with support for post ratings, social sharing, author bios, and 630+ typography options built-in.
Woohoo is another news theme that gives you lots of customization options. Its default styles are suitable for a variety of purposes, with Tech, Health, Fashion, and Sport demo layouts included. You can install all of these with just one click, letting you focus on your content. Note that all of these demo themes include lots of scroll, hover, and transition animations, which may not suit everyone’s design sensibilities.
Woohoo includes and supports a lot of different plugins right out of the box. The iLightbox plugin is included, enabling you to create a variety of different images galleries. Also included is the LayerSlider plugin, which lets you create over 200 different sliding transition effects. Finally, the theme supports the WPML translation plugin and WooCommerce.
You can also customize the site’s design with a drag and drop page builder and 11 different post layouts. In addition, support for all Google Fonts and an unlimited number of sidebar elements is included.
15Zine is a versatile news theme that’s perfect for a multicategory magazine site. The theme comes with some really cool features out of the box, like the built-in review system. This system enables you to manage a network of product reviews across your site, while using the same post format, criteria list, and rating structure. A front end rating system is also possible, which allows site visitors to vote on the quality of the content they read.
The design bears witness to most of the current trends, including thick typography, tons of white space, and king-sized images.
If there’s one area the theme falls short, it’s the megamenu, which is a little slow to load. Even so, 15Zine boasts a near-perfect 4.95 star rating on ThemeForest after 1500+ sales. So you know that overall, this is definitely a top-quality theme.
GoodLife is a theme that keeps things clean and simple. Straightforward typography and minimal background textures keep your content front and center.
Like many of the themes in this collection, GoodLife comes with several built-in demo sites (seven, to be exact). Most notably, it includes a Music and Game configuration, so it could be a good choice if you’re publishing about either of those topics and don’t want to fiddle with design options.
In addition, GoodLife includes all the features you would expect in a news theme, such as built-in locations for ads, a variety display templates, and support for gallery and video posts. Finally, the theme ships with the Visual Composer and Essential Grid plugins, which give you complete drag and drop control over your site’s design.
Multinews is not a theme for the faint hearted. It is busy.
Of course, busy isn’t necessarily bad, and its action-packed design may suit your needs perfectly.
Multinews boasts a number of so-called “unique” features, none of which are particularly unique in reality, but are no less useful for that fact. For example, the social media icons widget is particularly effective and aesthetically pleasing. And nice visual touches abound throughout the theme, such as the wonderful use of featured images on article pages and the in-screen image zooming effects.
Different colors are used to distinguish the many categories your website has (or will have) – a nice touch. And while the ‘boxy’ layout may not be for everyone, it does lend a clean and organized style to the theme that might otherwise feel like a descent into chaos.
Everything about Newsroom is understated and elegant. Scrolling through its demo page is a lot like reading an old-school print magazine.
Yet beneath its apparent simplicity lies a lot of power and support for as many layouts and media types as your content requires. The theme includes six Home Page templates that you can load with one click, and it also supports Link, Quote, Audio, Video, and Gallery post formats. To complement these custom post formats, the theme enables you to create category-specific layouts and sidebars.
Rounding things off, Newsroom also includes subtle features such as a “Breaking News” widget, a “Back to Top” button, and support for drop down menus that contain videos, images, or widgets. Design customization is straightforward with the free inclusion of the Visual Composer plugin.
Legatus is a very powerful news theme with a fashionable appearance.
First off, the one thing that sets this theme apart from all the others we’ve so far looked at is its clear social media integration, even more so than NewspaperTimes. Right on the home page is a set of social sharing buttons for readers to spread the word about your site. The theme’s typography, though, is a bit clashy, as various font sizes roam each page, making it look a bit uneven.
The theme’s built in drag and drop page builder, Visual Composer, allows you to create complex page layouts in minutes. Another unique feature is the weather report, a feature that automatically detects the location of a reader and displays the temperature along with current state of weather (sunny, cloudy, rainy, or snowy) at the top right corner of your website. Tons of shortcodes, unlimited sidebars, and numerous helpful resources from the support team make Legatus an even better buy.
NewsPost is an excellent news theme from Magazine3. The theme’s design sticks to the basics; everything about it is focused on functionality. The result is a very easy-to-navigate, reader-friendly layout that’s bound to resonate with visitors.
NewsPost takes the same approach in the backend as well, where they’ve revamped WordPress’s native theme customizer. It’s been turned it into a much more comprehensive options panel that still retains simplicity and user-friendliness. Magazine3’s collection of widgets, which support everything from share counters to popular post lists to advertisements, is also packaged with the theme.
The only significant drawback is that the theme doesn’t offer native support for megamenus, which is a pretty vital feature to most news sites.
With hundreds of design and functionality options, Sahifa is without a doubt a fully-featured theme. Unfortunately, the plethora of included features takes precedence over the theme’s actual design, which is quite busy and visually overwhelming by default.
Despite this, Sahifa is still worth considering for a news site. A Custom Admin panel allows you to edit all theme options in one central location, and a drag and drop page builder is available for customizing the home page. Compatibility with the WPML plugin also makes Sahifa translation-ready.
Distinctive features include sticky sidebars, a widget that displays the current weather, and support for Ajax Live Search. Eight default skins are included, although, as mentioned above, their default design is a little too busy for our tastes.
There are some truly stunning themes available in this collection – the bar has been set high. With that in mind, one might not consider NewsCore amongst the cream of the crop.
In a word, this theme feels busy. The full-width design features tightly-packed images, which makes everything feel like it’s been crammed into a tight space (for no obvious reason). And below the featured articles gallery, the reader is presented with a huge variety of columns and widgets, all of which only really serve to add to the confusion.
In terms of positives, NewsCore does offer you three different homepage options, along with a great deal of customizability. And while it does all feel a little bit like too much, perhaps it will match your needs if they tend to be complex and varied.
Today is a beautiful news theme, perfect for modern magazine-style websites.
Today’s design is simply amazing. Everything is perfect — uniform structure, very complementary typography, the right animation & rollover effects, and various shades of background color. It comes with a plethora of slider options, including a rotation feature.
A photo gallery, support for YouTube & Vimeo videos, and hundreds of customizable theme options figure in Today. 4 blog styles are also built in.
Most news sites can’t fail to be rather ‘busy’, given the sheer amount of content that they must display. The key for theme developers is to present that content in such a way that it doesn’t feel so overwhelming. Unfortunately, Top News doesn’t appear to have prioritized that, as there is an awful lot of information (both graphical and textual) for the reader to take in as soon as they hit your site.
The homepage is dominated by a full-width post gallery, with not a pixel of whitespace to be found. Below that, a variety of widgets can be employed to present various content mediums (images, videos, etc). The sidebar remains static while the user scrolls down the page, although widgets within the sidebar can be scrolled independently. (It’s as confusing as it sounds.)
Top News is a well-designed and attractive theme, but there may just be a little too much going on for it to appeal as much as other themes in this collection do.
NewsPlus is a sleek WordPress theme with a full, structured design.
A slight problem arises with the NewsPlus design — even though all the elements in the design are very structured, they are not very distinct from each other. More pronounced lines separating various links and post summaries are necessary when so many different posts are places on the front page. That aside, however, NewsPlus is as good as any on this list from a designer’s perspective.
More impressive is the capability NewsPlus has to offer: both fullscreen and boxed options are provided, as are two locations for sticky navigation. Optimized 100% for SEO, the theme comes with proportional layout scaling, translation-ready files, two custom post formats, Flex Slider, and a visual shortcode generator. 6 custom widgets, an Ajax contact form with field validation, and social sharing integration are all included.