(More) WordPress Magazine Themes


My last post on magazine themes brought quite a bit of attention to the Theme Playground, which I can’t really complain about. After bringing in over 1,400 visits on Friday, nearly 4,000 on Saturday, and almost 1,500 today (Sunday), We’ve reached a new high for Theme Playground. Thank you everyone that visited, and those that subscribed. I appreciate it, and it definitely encourages me to push what I’m doing here to the next level. Again, I can’t thank you enough.

I’m thankful for all of the themes that were mentioned in the comments as well, and I mean to review each of them here, same as before. Credit will be given to those that brought the themes to my suggestion, too. I’m going to aim a bit higher even, and see if I can’t blow the lid off the top of this blog again this week.

And just out of curiosity—is this an easy way to read reviews for WordPress themes? Is there anything else you would like to know? What other information would you like to have included? Drop them in the comments so I can see how to improve this little system I have working for me.

A Quick Note

This post is a part of a series called WordPress as a Magazine, a series here at Theme Playground all about how WordPress is being used specifically as—you guessed it—a magazine. See the full post listing in the series announcement post.

Trevilian Way

Magazine Themes - Trevilian Way home page

Page View

Magazine Themes - Trevilian Way page view

The first thing I thought when I saw Trevilian Way was Whoa, that’s a lot of stuff. And there is a lot of stuff in this theme. But that doesn’s make it all bad stuff, either.

Magazine Themes - Trevilian Way small screenshot

This just reminds me of Nooma. And I like Nooma.

Overall, the large images and color choices are pretty much in style with popular trends these days. And there are a lot of options, what with all of the widget space and descriptions here and there. But that could work against, from a design perspective; it can hurt the design if there is just too much to look at.

I can see this theme being used as something to start with rather than something to end with. I’m sure the techniques and the functions being used in this theme could be applied in other themes—which any developer, WordPress or otherwise, will tell you is something valuable in itself.

Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that the color scheme, in some areas, reminds me of the Nooma style created by the folks at Flannel. I’m a big fan of their work in simplicity, so seeing this almost feels like an homage to them. Whether that’s the reason or not, it gives me another reason to like this theme.

Positives of Trevelian Way

  • Lots of widgets to mess with
  • Contemporary color scheme
  • Good theme to start with

Negatives of Trevelian Way

  • Maybe just me: tough theme name to spell.
  • Might be too busy for most

Links for Trevelian Way

Upstart Blogger Futurosity Altera

Magazine Themes - Upstart Blogger Futurosity Altera

Upstart gets a nod for painstaking simplicity, what with very little to the design except, well, the content. But boring it is not.

Magazine Themes - Upstart Blogger Futurosity Altera small screenshot

Can there be an award for most creative RSS icon? This gets it.

I like the second tier of pieces (what else can I call those?) because the size is determined by their importance. I like that. I also like the modest menu and search bar (like I tend to design) which draws the attention toward the whitespace below the header, and then the content. Overall it’s put together pretty well.

This theme may be a bit confusing to mess with at first—even the author says so himself. But, he has also provided a video tutorial to accompany the theme. How’s that for caring for one&rsqou;s users?

Notice the splash of red in this theme versus the splashes of blue in the first theme mentioned, Trevelian Way. I think it’s interesting to see similar themes side by side and notice where designers differ and where they think alike. A lot can be learned from this process.

Positives of Futurosity Altera

  • Pretty unique look & feel
  • Could fit a lot of news needs
  • Design principles in use
  • Video tutorial along with instructions

Negatives of Futurosity Altera

  • Critics may claim it’s too plain
  • Even with instructions, may be tough to customize

Links for Futurosity Altera

Jello Wala Mello

Magazine Themes - Jello Wala Mello front page

Page View

Magazine Themes - Jello Wala Mello sub page

Small Potato of WPDesigner.com has, just this weekend, released his own version of a news/magazine theme for WordPress, entitled (not too surprisingly) Jellow Wala Mello. Of course, what else could it be called?

Magazine Themes - Jello Wala Mello small screenshot

I love the subtle colors and rounded shape of these buttons.

My favorite part of this theme is the design/color scheme, which is interesting because Potato doesn’t consider himself a good designer. I beg to differ, my friend.

Potato doesn’t yet have a testing grounds up for this theme, since he has to update his testing grounds with 2.3. I (hoping he doesn&rsqou;t mind) uploaded it to one of my test sites, which can be viewed at demo.aspiringindie.com. Check it out to see how it works when clicking around a bit.I’ve recently removed the demo for the sake of another testing ground.

After using it for a few minutes, I find it pretty easy to use. The instructions on the download page for the theme are enough to get me using it with no problem, but I can imagine that some users might need some more help with it.

Although it&rsqou;s presented as a news/magazine theme, I guess I see Jello Wala Mello as more of a unique blog setup. I think it would be cool, I could even see the Playground running on it (reminds me of my first site design). But I don’t see this being accepted by many as a full fledged magazine theme. That&rsqou;s not to say anything against the theme—it really is premium, as Potato said.

Positives of Jello Wala Mello

  • Beautiful color scheme
  • Subtle design touches
  • Not difficult to start using

Negatives of Jello Wala Mello

  • More of a unique blog design

Links for Jello Wala Mello

34 thoughts on “(More) WordPress Magazine Themes

  1. Pingback: CBS Bibliotek » Blog Archive » WordPress Magazine Themes

  2. I’ve just found your site this weekend. And it’s allready on my – very strictly managed – readinglist. I like the way you write and the way you analyze the themes. The screenshots are pure gold. Never give ’em up. The Positives and negatives could go first in the review. It’s the whole “conclusion first, details later theory”, that comes in to play.

    It’s clear to see that you use more than 5 minuttes to do a review. That high standard, is what makes me come back.

  3. Thanks for the Trevilian Way review. You hit on one of my goals for the theme: Make it something people can further build upon and customize.

    Add a few background images and it can really turn into something unique.

    Thanks again!

  4. Thanks very much for including Altera here!

    I wish I could take credit for the feed icon, but I didn’t design it. I picked it up somewhere from the web, but can’t remember the source or I would give kudos where they are due.

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  7. Trevilian Way is beautiful. There’s just something about it which breathes fresh air into WordPress theme designing.

    Nice reviewing.

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  25. Check my website / blog http://www.debtconsolidationandpeace.com . I have used a wp theme called as “The Morning after”. Its amazing that people often think its a website that I put and never know that its a simple blog.

    This theme is awesome, its highly customized to be a professional magazine. Make the best use of it! Good luck!

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  28. Hey Ryan,

    Just one word, man: THANKS! 🙂

    Was looking for something adequate for my blog/magazine site – Trevelian & Upstart Altera (now Futurosity) look REAL promising!


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