It is common knowledge that there are numerous premium and free magazine WordPress themes out there. Generally, opting for a premium WordPress theme is a good choice because it lends a unique look to your site. Plus, premium themes also come with guaranteed priority support and updates.
However, does that mean free WordPress themes are bad? Of course not! Many good developers and theme shops take their free products equally seriously too. Furthermore, several free magazine WordPress themes tend to receive updates almost as regularly as their premium counterparts.
So, where should you begin your search for free magazine WordPress themes? Well, this post itself is a good start. In this short roundup, I have put together ten of the best free magazine WordPress themes. So without further ado, let’s get started.
Ten Great Free Magazine WordPress Themes
IsleMag is a modern and colorful free magazine WordPress theme. It is responsive, translation ready, and comes with custom widgets and page templates of its own.
IsleMag features a carousel-based slider that can be used to showcase your latest or popular posts. It also comes with widgets for placing ad banners in your sidebar and header regions.
As the name suggests, SportsMag is is a free WordPress theme meant for sports websites. It is a child theme of Accesspress Mag.
The theme is responsive and supports ad banners and widgets. Plus, SportsMag also offers custom page templates as well as different homepage layouts. You can have a magazine page, or a grid-styled display of your posts, or the generic blog-like layout.
3. News Mix Lite (Demo)
News Mix Lite caters to the needs of news and magazine WordPress sites. It is responsive, clean and can work well with almost every type of website.
News Mix Lite also has a Pro version that comes with priority support and added features, such as the ability to use custom color skins and fonts. On the downside, however, News Mix Lite works with its own layout manager. This means while you can setup your pages the way you want, if you ever wish to change the theme, you risk losing a good deal of your customizations.
4. MH TechMagazine (Demo)
MH TechMagazine is a free magazine WordPress theme based on the principles of flat design. Quite obviously, much like the concept of flat design, this theme is something you will either love or dislike — there are very few people who are neutral when it comes to flat design.
MH TechMagazine is a child theme of MH Magazine Lite. It is responsive, and can serve for the needs of technology blogs, gadget review sites, etc.
EasyMag is a responsive and clean WordPress theme. It comes loaded with all the features that you might expect from a standard free theme, such as social icons, multiple widget areas, ad banners, etc.
EasyMag also offers six different homepage layouts for you to choose from. It showcases a large slider on the homepage.
Merlin is a free magazine WordPress theme that can be used for a wide variety of sites. It is responsive and offers a clean homepage layout, with a featured slider followed in turn by category-based sorting of your posts.
In terms of design, Merlin is nothing out of the ordinary. It is a simple WordPress theme that does what it’s supposed to do. If you are looking for a niche-centric magazine theme, such as SportsMag or MH TechMagazine above, Merlin is probably not the pick for you. But if you want a theme that just blends well with your site irrespective of the nature of your content, this is one theme you should surely look at.
Don’t let the extremely simple name fool you; Tuto is a free responsive theme that can even give many premium themes a run for their money.
The best part about Tuto is that it just works out of the box! You do not need to tweak or setup a custom homepage for this theme. Simply activate it, and it will show your posts in a magazine-like layout. There are no sliders, but you get the first post as a large featured one, followed by three posts in a column, followed in turn by the rest of the posts as normal blog-like list.
8. Codilight Lite (Demo)
Codilight Lite is a magazine theme that comes with responsive design and a widgetized homepage builder.
The free version offers limited customization abilities. You can consider using it if you need a cleaner and simpler layout for your site. If, however, you wish to change colors or edit fonts, you might have to upgrade to the Pro version.
Based on Bootstrap 3, Envince is a highly loaded WordPress theme. It comes with a drag and drop page builder, multiple homepage layouts, custom widgets and ad banners, and a lot more.
Bear in mind that Envince is a rather colorful theme. Not everyone is fond of different colors being used in their pages. You can, of course, change that from the theme settings, but for a magazine theme that on colors to distinguish categories, eliminating the different colors might not make it look as eye-candy as it’s supposed to be.
10. NewsAnchor (Demo)
The last free magazine WordPress theme on our list, NewsAnchor, is a minimal and clean option. It is responsive, comes with custom widgets, and supports Google Fonts.
NewsAnchor offers multiple homepage layouts. You can opt for a custom magazine homepage template, or showcase your posts in a blog-like manner, or have masonry style layout. The theme also offers a configurable post carousel.
I did notice a minor discrepancy in terms of updates, though. The WP.org page for NewsAnchor states the last update date as August 5 of the current year. But the theme’s own page mentions the last update as November 7, 2015. Maybe the theme authors forgot to update their site but to be on the safer side, be sure to download it from WP.org repository only.
So there you have it, ten of the best free magazine WordPress themes. Which one is your favorite? Also, know any similar magazine theme that should be on this list? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below!