Developing an attractive and relevant theme on a niche topic is no easy task.
You do necessary research on a specific industry for which you’re developing the theme, but is that enough for a magazine theme?
Before you develop such a theme, you have to understand how a magazine in general and a magazine website in particular, works. You have to include features that other developers can customize easily and publishers can use with minimal effort on their part.
While a good design is paramount in a magazine theme, you need to pay attention to features, security, and optimization in a magazine website.
In this 3-part series, we’ll be focusing on each of these three aspects of a quality WordPress magazine theme.
This post discusses various points you should consider from the design perspective.
Just as people judge a book by its cover, a theme design is the first thing that attracts customers. Once you have their attention, visitors will take a deeper look at theme features, before making their purchase decision. You have to make a good first impression with your prospects, as their readers will be making similar judgments on their website.
Consider these points before you design and develop a magazine theme.
- Great Design: While gradients, visuals, and animations are foundation elements of design, a great theme should focus as much on a complete user experience. You need a visually appealing theme which is perfect for a target audience.
A magazine website is a place where people come to find and read information on various topics. Both online and print versions are all about content in various forms – text, graphics, videos, or presentations.
Avoid too much of animation and ensure the design is easy-on-the-eyes and comes with enhanced readability. Make sure your theme represents all these aspects of a magazine website. As publishers tend to monetize their magazine sites by allowing ads on them, make sure your theme is optimized for ads with in-built spots.
- Responsive: The world is turning mobile as seen from various customer and online marketing research and statistical information. More customers are accessing online sites through mobile devices, especially smart phones, than other devices.
According to Journalism.org’s news magazines fact sheet, half of the traffic on leading magazine websites comes from mobile devices and this number is growing every day.
While reading news and magazines is a leisurely activity, people want to remain connected to what’s happening around them. Mobile devices like smart, phones and tablets make it easy to obtain this kind of information at any time. With internet being easily accessible on the go, more people visit news and information sites through mobile devices.
If you want to capture this market, you need either a dedicated app or a responsive theme. Individual publishers or small and medium sized magazine companies can’t afford their own app. They prefer responsive websites than their readers and subscribers can access from any device and one that provides a legible content format.
- Easy to navigate: Navigation flow is essential in theme elements. Studies have shown that visitors don’t stick for long on sites with confusing navigation links. They’ll move to another site with smoother navigation. Your theme should define intuitive navigation for important topics, categories, and products, to ensure that visitors don’t struggle to find items. Remove guesswork on the part of readers by providing a clear and obvious path to important theme elements.
When you create an issue based magazine theme, ensure that users can access latest issue when they visit the site. Provide navigation elements that show recent issue and featured information on home page. Magazine sites are basically categorized and curated content, which makes it essential for you to provide clear navigation links for categories and post tags.
- Easy to customize: Whether it’s a magazine, industry specific or general theme, create one that can be easily customized from the admin panel, as most publishers aren’t good at technical aspects of a website. A theme that is amiable to fresh coding makes it easy for other designers to customize your theme for their clients. A theme with more customization options is likely to sell well than a rigid theme.
These are key points you should keep in mind while designing your next WordPress magazine theme.
In the second post in this series, you will learn about essential features to include in your magazine theme.
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