While searching for a suitable Theme for one of my niche blogs, I chanced upon a Theme called Magazine Basic by bovatasan dot com. Tried out the Theme and I came away impressed, thus my recommendation here for those who are looking for a easy to use and very practical magazine style WordPress Theme.
There are a couple of neat features included in this Theme that gives those who are not very comfortable with playing with the customs field in WordPress a very easy time. The most notable is the thumbnail images in your front page. The theme automatically re-sizes the images you have inserted in your post as thumbnails for your homepage.
As in all magazine style Themes, the front page will only display excerpts of your post. If you want thumbnails in your excerpts, you will have to upload a image of suitable size and then display it using the customs field. For a newbie to WordPress this could be quite daunting. For me, it saves me lots of time and work and this is a big plus. I think all designers of magazine style theme should adopt this feature when designing their themes. Strangely, most premium magazine themes do not include this user friendly facility, something which I find kind of baffling.
Included in this Theme are options for you to change your layout without tinkering your css codes, which again is not something that you will find in many free themes. You can choose the width of your site, the number of sidebars and how you want to place your sidebars. You also have your choice of how you want your front page displayed, either in full contents or excerpts and if you choose excerpts, how many words you want displayed.
The other cool feature is easy insertion of your logo, and where you want the logo to be located. Though the size of the logo is not specified, I figure a normal logo of about 300px wide by 150px in height should be okay. I can’t determine if you can insert a full header though, but it might work if you your header image does not exceed the width of the layout you have chosen and you specify the image to be located in the center. Try it out yourself.
The last feature you can fine tune is not much of a big deal but useful nevertheless. You can choose to have a control panel or should I say a bar at the top of your page of you can have a widget at your sidebar that lets you have easy access to your dashboard, write a new post or even edit your profile.
There is also a widget that you can choose to have your Featured Posts displayed in your sidebar by choosing the Featured Post Widget if you like. I find this kind of an overkill as I feel having a featured post displayed at the sidebar is not to my liking. I made use of the Latest Post feature for this instead.
In default, the latest post is displayed very predominantly, above fold on top of all the excerpts. What you can do is to make whatever featured post you want and then make the post “sticky” by choosing the “Stick this post to the front page” option hidden inside the “Publish” panel beside your post editor. Doing it this way will have the post always displayed as the Latest Post, until you decide to “unstick” it and make a new “sticky” post.
All said, it’s a good and very user friendly theme to use. It is perfect for those wanting a magazine style Theme but do not have the knowledge to use a full fledged Magazine Theme.