The Best Magazine Theme For WordPress

Last night I noticed that on one of my sites there were hundreds of duplicate files being crawled. These files were all generated by the WordPress Theme as it appended a version number to the end of each javascript file each time an edit was done. However, there was nothing in place to “remove” old version numbers, so I had a whole bunch of virtual files, all identical, all being crawled.

As I felt that this could be deemed duplicate content by Googlebot (I was actually looking at the access logs of the site to see if Googlebot had been as the last 2 articles I had written had not been indexed) I decided action was needed.

Magazine Basic by Bavotasan.com

I had spent some time (days, weeks?) editing and modifying my WordPress theme (I am not going to name the theme that created all the silly file names in case I upset someone, again….) so was a little reluctant to update it. But I threw caution to the wind (I do that a lot, as well as added little remarks in brackets) and decided to use the trusty old (and regularly updated) Magazine Basic theme by Bavotasan.com. It is actually the theme that I use for Webologist at the moment too.

What I like about Magazine Basic is:

  • It is free
  • It has a nice layout with images in the excerpts
  • Lots of layout options
  • Sidebar options (1 or 2, left or right etc)
  • Logo and adverts can be placed in the header section
  • WordPress Menu built in.
  • Very easy to edit
  • FAST! My pages load so much quicker than they did with the old bloated theme

Bavotasam provides a Support Forum for his clients. As well as the free Magazine Basic he also has some impressive looking premium themes which start from $39.97.

Magazine Basic is his most popular WordPress theme I think. It was first released in October 2008 and he keeps it updated well. Another free one that I have been meaning to test out is Feed Me, Seymour which provides a grid like magazine front page for wordpress.

Magazine Premium is the enhanced version of the most popular freebie. If offers various new features such as full width posts, improved headers and backgrounds and a 3-column front page. Also the footer for the site is much better with, I think, widgets in the footer section. Something I was trying to hack yesterday. As I type this blog and review what is on offer, I am starting to think that the premium version may actually be a good move….

Magazine Flow is another premium theme, built for WordPress 3.1. It uses David DeSandro’s Masonry plugin to create an improved front page grid – I may take a peek at that plugin later too. It gets rid of the side bar/s on the home page to make the blog look much more like a professional website. In fact, I am now liking this….

My problem is that I am constantly tinkering. One thing I like most about Magazine Basic is that it is very easy to quickly set up and modify to make it look unique. I am loving Magazine Flow now – see here – http://demos.bavotasan.com/magazine-flow/ – it even embeds YouTube videos in excerpts on the homepage. Wow.

For photo enthusiasts Bavatasan also offers Elemental Portfolio, it looks smart, but maybe needs some more work.

He showcases some of the best looking sites on his blog: themes.bavotasan.com/category/showcase, some very smart examples there of why WordPress is no longer just a blog CMS.

OK, my boy is crying now, better help him find his dummy so he goes back to sleep.

  3 comments for “The Best Magazine Theme For WordPress

  1. Webologist
    June 8, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Discovered a problem since installing this theme, Magazine Basic. Not the theme’s fault, well, maybe not. The problem is that on one site I had “Nested Comments” turned on which creates links to URLs in this format:

    /?replytocomment=100

    And this has caused duplicate content problems in Google, resulting a page being dropping in the search index.

    I have deactivated Nested Comments in WordPress and the links are gone from my site.

    I have also set the parameter ?replytocomment to ignore in Google Webmaster Tools.

    Hoping this resolves it all.

  2. Webologist
    June 22, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    For some reason my Magazine Basic theme broke on me today. Very odd. I updated WordPress yesterday, I think it may have been the last thing I did. The stylesheet was being ignored for some reason. I installed the latest version of the theme but that did not work. Strange. So now using a random theme, in fact, it was the latest Wordperss theme listed.

    Miss the Magazine Layout. No idea why it is not working as I use the them in other sites and it still works. Really strange. Deleted the Cache, no joy. In Preview it looked OK.

  3. Webologist
    June 22, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Update: Magazine Basic back online. See this blog for the reason: http://www.webologist.co.uk/blog/w3-total-cache-and-bad-bahaviour-plugins-removed

    Seems that there may be a conflict of sorts between the latest version of WordPress and one or both of the plugins mentioned there.

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