September 19, 2020

Best 20 WordPress Themes for a Journalism Portfolio

WordPress Themes

the website architect

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journalism portfolio themes for wordpress

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 20 best WordPress Themes for a Journalism Portfolio:

  1. MediaDesk – Magazine WordPress Theme
  2. Marlow – Distinctive, Typography-First WordPress Blog Theme
  3. NeoMag – News and Magazine WordPress Theme
  4. Kutak – Minimal Blog WordPress Theme
  5. The Newspaper – Magazine Editorial WordPress Theme
  6. Starter – Optimized, fast & minimalist blog theme!
  7. Carrino – An Exciting Gutenberg Blog Theme
  8. Akea – Blog WordPress Theme
  9. Gutentim – Modern Gutenberg WordPress Blog Theme
  10. The Writer – Modern WordPress Blog Theme
  11. Ofelia – Travel Personal WordPress Blog Theme
  12. Narrator – A Fluent WordPress Blogging Theme
  13. Aldo – Black and White Gutenberg Blog WordPress Theme
  14. Grafton – Blog & Magazine WordPress Theme
  15. GutenTag – 100% Gutenberg Blog WordPress Theme
  16. Harborne – Magazine & Blog WordPress Theme
  17. Signy – A Personal Blog WordPress Theme
  18. Katelyn – Creative Gutenberg Blog WordPress Theme
  19. Xmazine – WordPress Personal Blog & Magazine Theme
  20. Kimberly – WordPress Blog & Shop 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 about Gutentim

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

The Bad about Gutentim

  • 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 about The Writer

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

The Bad about The Writer

  • 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

Learn more or buy The Writer theme on ThemeForest

Ofelia – Travel Personal WordPress Blog Theme

ofelia wordpress theme for journalism

This theme is another great option if you have power phototherapy to go alongside your Journalism portfolio pieces. It’s a fast and simple theme that’s good for someone who doesn’t want to get too complex with the more technical side of WordPress.

Key notes and features

The Good about Ofelia

  • Simple and fast loading speed
  • More affordable price than a lot of the other theme options

The Bad about Ofelia

  • Offers only basic customization of the theme in its options, not super-customizable
  • No builder pre-installed to make more complex page layouts

Learn more or buy the Ofelia theme on ThemeForest

Narrator – A Fluent WordPress Blogging Theme

narrator wordpress theme

This theme is perfect for a Journalist with a respective Instagram account. The Instagram feed is at the bottom of every page showing off more personality to your portfolio.

Key notes and features

The Good about The Narrator

  • Simple and uncomplicated. It just works.
  • Beautiful typography. You can tell it’s been done by a real professional designer.

The Bad about The Narrator

  • No page builder to make more complex page layouts

Learn more or buy the The Narrator theme on ThemeForest

Aldo – Black and White Gutenberg Blog WordPress Theme

aldo wordpress theme

This theme is perfect for any minimalist Journalist who sees the beauty in words, as this theme is very content-focused.

Key notes and features

The Good about Aldo

  • 4 different styles of post pages to choose from
  • Supports both dark and light themes

The Bad about Aldo

  • Not the fastest speed on mobile, could be better

Learn more or buy the The Aldo theme on ThemeForest

Grafton – Blog & Magazine WordPress Theme

grafton wordpress theme

This theme has a very refreshing blog grid layout design that makes you want to read and look through.

Key notes and features

The Good about Grafton

  • Great value for money – only $20!
  • Refreshing layout and design
  • Uses Elementor page builder

The Bad about Grafton

  • Not the fastest speed on mobile, could be better

Learn more or buy the The Grafton theme on ThemeForest

GutenTag – 100% Gutenberg Blog WordPress Theme

gutentag wordpress theme

This theme has a very effective homepage layout to convey your personality and brand. Though used as a health blog in the demo, this theme can easily become an effect Journalism portfolio by populating it with your own content and images.

Key notes and features

The Good about Gutentag

  • Includes seperate Porfolio post type rather than utilizing blog posts

The Bad about Gutentag

  • Could have better speed score on mobile
  • No reviews/ratings yet, as ThemeForest requires at least 3 to show.

Learn more or buy the The Gutentag theme on ThemeForest

Harborne – Magazine & Blog WordPress Theme

harborne wordpress theme

This theme’s best homepage for a journalism portfolio is Home v5. Aside from the really weird homepage slider, This homepage and theme overall does a lot right. It starts off showing you some highlighted articles, then the article categories, then a general list of some more articles.

Key notes and features

The Good about Harborne

  • Custom layout blocks available to use without the need for a website builder
  • WooCommerce ready

The Bad about Harborne

  • With its font and styling, it looks a little outdated
  • Has some unnecessary plugins that slow down the site

Learn more or buy the The Harborne theme on ThemeForest

Signy – A Personal Blog WordPress Theme

signy wordpress theme

This theme’s layout is unque amoung the other themes listed so far. It features a powerful author image on the left side consistent accross all pages.

Key notes and features

The Good about Signy

  • Very fast loading speed
  • WooCommerce ready

The Bad about Signy

  • No page builder for more complex and custom page layouts
  • Bad menu design for user experience

Learn more or buy the The Signy theme on ThemeForest

Katelyn – Creative Gutenberg Blog WordPress Theme

katlyn-wordpress-theme

In my opinion, Home 4 is the best – espeacially for a Journalism portfolio. This theme is very clean and easy on the eyes.

Key notes and features

The Good about Katelyn

  • Clean and properly designed
  • WooCommerce ready

The Bad about Katelyn

  • Not a great speed score

Learn more or buy the The Katelyn theme on ThemeForest

Xmazine – WordPress Personal Blog & Magazine Theme

xmazing wordpress theme

The Xmazine theme is a powerful theme if you have big plans for your journalism portfolio. It includes a lot of paid premium WordPress plugins that you get for free when you purchase the theme.

Key notes and features

The Good about Xmazine

  • Powerful menus that can include sliders and tabs
  • WooCommerce ready

The Bad about Xmazine

  • Uses unnecessary plugins that slow down the site like Slider Revolution
  • Mobile speed could be improved

Learn more or buy the The Xmazine theme on ThemeForest

Kimberly – WordPress Blog & Shop Theme

Kimberly wordpress theme

Kimberly is an all-encompassing WordPress blog theme with a nice design for a journalist.

Key notes and features

The Good about Kimberly

  • WooCommerce ready
  • Attractive homepage layout

The Bad about Kimberly

  • No page builder for making more complex page layouts

Learn more or buy the The Kimberly theme on ThemeForest

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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.