All my blogging life, I have stuck with using a regular WordPress Theme except once, when I revived this blog, I tried using a Magazine Style WordPress Theme. From that short experience, I found that Magazine Style Themes do not suit a regular blog like this one and millions of others like this. To fully realise it’s potential and put to use the functions available in a Magazine Style Theme, a blog must, just like a magazine, have different sections or categories of specialized news that should be updated very regularly or else the front page of your blog will look like yesterday’s newspaper.
Use if images is also almost compulsory for most of your postings because again, just like a magazine cover, if it is all text with no images, the magazine will look as bland as your school text book. Of course there are Themes where you can assign permanent images for each category you choose to display in your front page, but preferably these images should not be there for too long to the extent that it becomes stale.
Geared towards more advanced users there are a few new functions that many users will have to learn. One of the most basic things that users of regular themes have never bothered with is knowing your category ID. There was no need to know as there was never a need to know. However, if you do not know your category ID and do not know how to find for it, then trying to display the categories you want in the Homepage of a WordPress Magazine Theme is next to impossible. Just for information sake. if you want to find out your category ID, just go to your Categories Section in your Dashboard, place your cursor over that category and you will see the category’s ID number in your browser’s task-bar below.
Another thing that users of regular WordPress Themes never has the need to learn is the use of the Custom Fields function just below the WordPress Post Editor. Some theme designers gives you the key and it’s value and some don’t. Theme developers expects users of Magazine Style Themes to already know how to look for the key values so in many cases, there will be no instructions about the Custom Field Key and their Values or even instructions about how to use them to insert images into the different categories showing in the front page. Even then, there is no fix standard on the Keys and Values and every designer assigns them differently.
More Advanced themes will auto adjust the images to fit into the category sections when you assign the images in the Custom Fields, but for lessor ones, you will have to resize the image first. In many instances, you will have to upload the images in 2 sizes, one for the post and another thumbnail size one for the Homepage which after sometime becomes a chore, especially if you are a one man show running an online magazine.
All said, if we are just a blogger, whether serious or casual, running our blog single handedly, then we should stick to a regular WordPress Theme. Magazine Style Themes are best left to those professionals who has a few full time staff writing and uploading their own articles.
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