September 19, 2020

Best 10 WordPress Themes for a Journalism Portfolio

WordPress Themes

the website architect

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journalism portfolios wordpress themes

Important: These themes have been hand-picked by a professional web developer/designer who knows their sh*t. These themes aren’t randomly pulled from Google search results – they are selectively picked and highlighted because they deserve to be!

Not just any WordPress theme will work when you’re trying to make your Journalism Portfolio stand out, As a journalist, you’ll want something that:

  • Highlights and focuses on your content
  • Fits your journalism brand whether you’re trying to come off as serious, informational, fun, or impactful.
  • Makes it easy for you to draft and publish as quickly as possible
  • Keep your users interested and browsing around

If you are on the quest to make your journalism portfolio stand out, I found a text-heavy article that can help you stand out.

Here are the 10 best WordPress Themes for a Journalism Portfolio:

  • MediaDesk – Magazine WordPress Theme
  • Marlow – Distinctive, Typography-First WordPress Blog Theme
  • NeoMag – News and Magazine WordPress Theme
  • Kutak – Minimal Blog WordPress Theme
  • The Newspaper – Magazine Editorial WordPress Theme
  • Starter – Optimized, fast & minimalist blog theme!
  • Carrino – An Exciting Gutenberg Blog Theme
  • Akea – Blog WordPress Theme
  • Gutentim – Modern Gutenberg WordPress Blog Theme
  • The Writer – Modern WordPress Blog Theme

MediaDesk – Magazine WordPress Theme

mediadesk wordpress theme

The MediaDesk WordPress theme has a beautiful magazine-style that focuses on the content. I recommend this theme if your style of journalism has powerful images that go behind it because it does a great job of showing the imagery on the posts post itself and in the posts grid.

Key notes and features about MediaDesk

  • WPBakery page builder
  • Has WooCommerce already built-in
  • Speed Scores are 40 (Mobile) and 70 (Desktop) with Googles PageSpeed Insights with all plugins enabled – can be improved by deactivating unused plugins
  • Has many different homepage layouts and demo content setup
  • The theme is $75 USD on ThemeForest

The Good about MediaDesk

The Bad about MediaDesk

  • The theme has too many plugins and features that you will have to go enable/disable to get the theme at a simplified level for a journalism portfolio.
  • To get the post pages looking as good as they are in the demo, you have to use WPBakery which takes more time. Though you can still use the simpler Gutenberg editor

Buy or learn more about the MediaDesk WordPress theme on ThemeForest.

Marlow – Distinctive, Typography-First WordPress Blog Theme

marlow wordpress theme

Admittedly this theme looks a bit outdated at this point, but it does a lot right. It highly focuses on the content of the articles, and the author who wrote them. When you have this theme, it’s clear that it’s built for journalism because of how it hights the content and the author who wrote them.

Key notes and features about Marlow

The Good about Marlow

  • Very fast loading theme – built for speed and simplicity
  • A minimal amount of extra plugins and dependencies making setup easy for anyone
  • Has everything you need to start writing posts immediately without much of a learning curve.

The Bad about Marlow

  • There is no demo about page setup, so you’ll have to create your own from scratch.
  • The theme looks semi-outdated. May need some rebranding or styling to get it looking up-to-date.

Learn more or buy the Marlow WordPress theme on ThemeForest

NeoMag – News and Magazine WordPress Theme

neomag wordpress theme

NeoMag is a bold styled blog entry heavy WordPress theme. This theme’s homepage introduces a lot of different blog categories in a really organized way. I would recommend this theme if you do have a lot of articles that are powered by categorization.

Key notes and features about NeoMag

The Good about NeoMag

  • Monetization built-in and ready to be set up
  • Very fast loading speed and score
  • Beautiful use of colours to differentiate categories
  • Article-focused built with little to no unnecessary bloat or complexity
  • Easy font and colour editing in the theme options

The Bad about NeoMag

  • You might need a builder plugin like WPBakery or something like Advanced Gutenberg to create pages with more complex layouts and elements.

You can learn more or buy the NeoMag theme on ThemeForest

Kutak – Minimal Blog WordPress Theme

kutak wordpress theme

This theme is a simple article-focused WordPress theme that implements AJAX quite well – no need for pagination or loading different pages for the same content! The theme is super-fast (almost perfect speed scores) and still manages to look good and have a lot of imagery.

Key notes and features about Kutak

The Good about Kutak

  • Infinity scroll – uses AJAX to avoid pagination to keep loading content without refreshing the page
  • Lazy loading and speed optimizations built-in. Overall, one of the best-optimized WordPress themes I have ever seen
  • Trending and Recommended posts

The Bad about Kutak

  • From a user experience standpoint – avoid the “modern header” style and use the “classic header” style instead

Learn more or buy the Kutak WordPress theme on ThemeForest

The Newspaper – Magazine Editorial WordPress Theme

the newspaper wordpress theme

A WordPress theme built for the nostalgic. The Newspaper is a black-white serif type theme that looks and feels like you’re reading straight from a newspaper.

Key notes and features about The Newspaper

The Good about The Newspaper

  • Great looking and functioning theme
  • The default sidebar content is actually useful – ad space and top searches
  • Cookie Notice already set up and styled

The Bad about The Newspaper

  • Uses an unfamiliar custom page builder
  • Unnecessary plugins installed like Revolution Slider, Layer Slider, and MegaMenu
  • Auto-Rotating Content sliders set up by default

Learn more or buy The Newspaper theme on ThemeForest

Starter – Optimized, fast & minimalist blog theme!

starter wordpress theme for journalists

I like this theme specifically for the above-the-fold section. Once you land on the page, you get your most recently published post in your journalist portfolio front and center. Underneath is where you can have your continued journalist portfolio in a paginated list.

Key notes and features about Starter

The Good about Starter

  • It’s simple and uncomplicated. It just works. No unnecessary plugins too
  • Great speed scores

The Bad about Starter

  • Beyond some fonts and some colors, customization is limited. For the most part, what you see is what you get.

Learn more or buy Starter on ThemeForest

Carrino – An Exciting Gutenberg Blog Theme

carrino wordpress blog theme

This refreshing WordPress theme is perfect for a journalism portfolio going for a trendy and soft feel. The pink comes off strong, but it can come in any color you want by changing the color scheme in the theme settings.

Key notes and features about Carrino

The Good about Carrino

  • Trendy and smooth design
  • No unnecessary plugins that slow down the site
  • 4 different (and good) homepage designs to choose from

The Bad about Carrino

  • Very limited static elements set up to create non-dynamic landing pages easily from the demo content

Learn more or buy the Carrino WordPress theme on ThemeForest

Akea – Blog WordPress Theme

Akea wordpress theme

Akea (Not to be confused with Ikea) is a clean WordPress blog theme. I like this theme in particular because of the individual blog post pages and how distraction-free and content-focused they are for your journalism portfolio.

Key notes and features about Akea

The Good about Akea

  • Many different home and blog layouts to choose from
  • Made with the GoodLayers Page Builder which enables you to create more complex page layouts
  • Many different pre-styled elements like tabs, accordions, and call to actions.

The Bad about Akea

  • Not the most speed optimized theme. Might need some manual improvement

Learn more or buy Akea on ThemeForest

Gutentim – Modern Gutenberg WordPress Blog Theme

gutentim wordpress theme

This theme has an above the fold perfect for a journalism portfolio. When you land on the page you are immediately shown 3 of the most recent posts and a brief description of who you are (Home v2).

Key notes and features

The Good

  • A minimal amount of theme-dependent plugins
  • 6 significantly different homepages to choose from
  • Well-designed single posts page

The Bad

  • The design is nice, but it doesn’t have a wow factor.

Learn more or buy the Gutentim theme on ThemeForest

The Writer – Modern WordPress Blog Theme

the writer wordpress theme

Aside from the obnoxiously designed menu, this is a solid theme that is article-focused that has a focus on integration with your Twitter feed.

Key notes and features

The Good

  • Beautifully designed post grid
  • Simple looking, distraction-free theme

The Bad

  • Obnoxious and poorly designed menu
  • Theme isn’t as fast as it should for the simplicity it brings to the front end
  • Many different plugins pre-installed

By

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I'm The Website Architect, just another web developer in Toronto, Canada. I'm passionate about Web Design, WordPress, and anything to do with websites. My goal is to make the Internet a more beautiful and usable place, one design choice and website at a time.