When’s the right time to use a Magazine-style blog theme?

Magazine style blog themes seem to be all the rage right now – with sites like TechCrunch moving to more of a magazine/newspaper style approach for their main blog pages.

Even Chris Pearson has a new magazine style theme coming out soon to complement his successful Thesis Theme.

So when is the right time to use a Magazine style blog theme?

Smashing Magazine took a look earlier this week and offered some advice along with some key descriptors of what makes up a Magazine-style theme:

1. Magazine themes only use excerpts or headlines on the front page, while standard blogs will use either full posts or excerpts.

2. A magazine theme functions more as a portal to content on the rest of the site. The magazine theme will give visitors a glimpse at what is available and it will direct them to go in whatever direction they like.

3. Magazine themes make more effort to organize the content of the blog and present what is most important, whereas traditional blog layouts will order front page content based on what is most recent.

The post goes on to outline several pros and cons – along with a ton of resources to help you design your own magazine style theme, find premium wordpress themes in this style, and other great resources.


  1. says

    I think magazine themes are largely overrated for popular use. Very few sites actually require a “magazine theme”, and whenever one is used out of place the signal ends up drowning in the noise.

    I predict we are going to see a trend back toward stronger single voices delivered via simple, bold sites. I hope we see this trend beginning sooner rather than later.

    I’ve written a good deal about magazine themes at Theme Playground, because I think the topic is a very interesting one, specifically for WordPress as it develops as a CMS. But though the concepts behind this development are interesting, the techniques shouldn’t be implemented by bloggers on a large scale.

  2. says

    For nearly two years I tried the magazine layout wth Joomla as my back end. I think Joomla is one heck of a great CMS. However, it took a lot of time and effort to keep it going. As one person, that took a lot of time away from writing, which then took away from my ability to connect with my readers.

    Once I scaled back and went to WordPress, I was able to quickly get my site up and running on the new platform, and have been able to make it more intimate and personalized for my readers. What a load off my shoulders that has been, where I can just write and not have to fuss with my site.

    If I had a staff, maybe I would do the magazine thing. For a singlular presence like my site, I am definitely more for the traditional blogging format.

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