Design Review: Two Magazine Themes35
And lastly, Adii paid me to review these themes, but that’s not going to influence my opinion (as you’ll see ;) ).
There has been a fair bit of hype about magazine style themes for blogs lately, but are these two worth the cash? I’ll start off by looking at my favorite of the pair, Block Magazine.
What Has Been Done Well?
- Structured layout. The layout just fits. Everything has its place, and it doesn’t feel cramped. The regular, grid-like, columns give the sense of structure that is crucial to the newsletter feel.
- Ajax “Recent/Popular/Comments” widget. These widgets are a great way of showing 3 extremely popular blog widgets, in a small amount of space. The widget used in the Block Magazine theme is a pleasure to use, and fits in perfectly with the rest of the theme.
- The header. It is as well structured as any other aspect of the design. I love the simplicity of the title and navigation background and how the RSS and search sections have been positioned. Adii has made great use of the header area.
What Could be Changed?
- Perfect the structure. The page isn’t laid out with a grid. It is just well positioned, e.g. Whilst the page is nearly split half and half horizontally, it’s not exactly. Minor details like this can make a fair difference.
- Jazz up the “Welcome” box. The Welcome box feels like a gray blob on the page. There’s no life to it. Perhaps a new design or color for it would be a little more interesting?
All in all, Block Magazine is a great theme. It’s colorful, easy to read and navigate from, and has that newspaper feel that so many are after. If you’re looking for a good template to start your blog on, I have no problem recommending Block Magazine (Provided you still make a few of your own customizations to it of course!).
“Your Revolution” Theme
I’m not going to do the normal review style for this one, because I don’t really like it as much. It’s plain, but not in the minimalist sense of the word. It’s just plain.
There is nothing in particular that’s wrong about the theme, but there’s nothing too right about it either. It doesn’t have anything that makes it memorable, and it’s not even a great layout. It’s lacking spirit.
As a theme in itself, it’s not bad, and a normal blog would look fine with it. However, with so many great WordPress themes available for free, I wouldn’t say that Your Revolution is actually worth paying for.
In conclusion, we have two very similar, but very different themes here. Block Magazine has had a lot of attention spent on detail and positioning, which has paid off big time. Your Revolution is a fine theme, but it’s just not in the premium caliber.
Your turn. What do you think of the two themes? Which do you prefer?
PS – Adii is running a competition at the minute, with each of the themes as possible prizes if you’re interested (Ends 29th October).
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