Free Magazine-Style Blog Themes – 5 Good Reasons to Try One

Free, magazine-style blog themes could be the best thing since sliced bread.  They’re as easy to maintain as blogs, but they don’t look boring.

Website visitors can see excerpts of multiple posts on your homepage.  Thumbnail illustrations and a professional, polished layout make your website — and you — look great.

Free magazine-style blog themes are available in many formats and designs.  Here are five good reasons to try a magazine-style theme at your website.

1. Many magazine-style blog themes are free.

You don’t have to spend a cent to turn your blog into a dazzling website.  Many of the most popular magazine themes are free.

For example, the Branford Magazine theme is free and works with WordPress blogs. You can download Branford Magazine — and WordPress software — at  no charge.

(Most popular hosting services even install WordPress for you, free.)

Mimbo is another free magazine-style theme for WordPress, and you can customize it easily.  Its impressive, non-traditional layout looks very stylish.

Likewise, many of the popular Revolution themes are now free.   They may not be as easy to customize as Branford Magazine and Mimbo, but they offer another attractive layout with no cash investment at all.

Sure, you can pay a lot of money for a theme.  Some of them cost hundreds of dollars, and don’t offer half as many features the free themes do.

Before buying any magazine-style theme, compare it with the free alternatives.  You may find a better design without spending a penny.

2. Your blog will look great.

Today, plain vanilla WordPress websites look amateurish.  The content may still attract readers, but they’re likely to be wooed elsewhere by the dazzle of a more polished design.

Magazine-style themes almost always looks impressive.

For example, the Branford Magazine theme is a clean design with many options, and the thumbnail images offer that “ooh, shiny!” appeal of a professionally-designed site.

3. Magazine themes offer visitors a quick overview of your website.

The “magazine cover” appearance and snippets of several articles provide your website visitors with an immediate, favorable impression of your site.

This is especially useful if your website is large.  Websites with as many as 300 articles (or more) rely on magazine-style themes.

Free WordPress plugins enhance navigation of those larger websites. The blog software makes updating easy, and the magazine format enables website visitors to see everything that’s new and interesting.

Some website owners find that visitors look at twice as many pages when the sites uses a magazine-style theme.

4. Magazine-style themes are easy to customize.

If you can upload files to your website, you can customize your magazine-style theme for a unique look.  With your own header image, your own color scheme, and your own homepage icons, your website will be distinctive.

Once you understand how the homepage layout works, magazine-style themes are as easy to use as email.

Hundreds of people have used “Sites that Soar!”, my guide to the free Branford Magazine theme, but even more have successfully used magazine-style themes with just the instructions at the theme creators’ websites.

(I wish I could say the same for MySpace  A year after setting up my page there, I’m still wrestling with how it looks!)

Once you’ve set up your magazine-style theme, it’s easy to maintain.  The learning curve is brief and – for most people – very gentle.

5. Magazine-style themes save time.

Like most WordPress themes, Travel uk magazine-style themes make your website easy to update and maintain.

*They automatically place your new articles in the right locations on your homepage.

*They automatically update your sitemap.

*They automatically add your new articles to the Search feature on your site.

*They automatically tell Google (and other search engines) when you’ve added something new.

*They automatically create RSS feeds for your readers and fans.

*Visitors can easily place links to your articles at social bookmarking sites.

*Magazine-style themes provide Web 2.0 interactions with your readers.

And so on.

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