After talking to a friend recently I might have a new project coming up. If they are at all interested I’m hoping to actually use WordPress as a CMS for them. Set it up in a “magazine” layout look so they can easily add photographs and thumbnails for entries. I just hope I can sell them on the idea!
I spent some time looking around at all the WordPress magazine-type templates to see if there was one that stood out as a good one to work off of or if I could find ideas in these icon/image heavy templates.
One thing that really stood out about this design is the way it structured hierarchy and importance not just by position, but also by the size and shape of the images. There some things I would consider “imperfections” in the grid structure but that’s the kind-of thing that gets worked out very easily during implementation of the theme.
I wasn’t crazy that the single posts didn’t integrate the thumbnail photo unless the author included it in the post, I’d think for continuity you’d want to use that image somewhere with the styles of the post to create a seamless transition. Going from a highly-stylized, organized, visually oriented home page to a simple, two column, plain text page is a little uncomfortable for me.
I do really like the way the authors are displayed on the interior pages, including their bio and a photograph. It’s simple and really elegant, giving it a very newspaper editorial (not to mention personalized) feel.
I like the drop down navigation for the sub pages within the main navigation, it’s very simple though it lacks a “current” marker once you are in a page or subpage.
Unfortunately The Morning After only displays a preview of the home page and no demo so I can’t tell at all what is going on in the single pages or archive pages.
I really like the layout of the home page, with only two size images to work with I can imagine that it would be an easier thing to help a client implement. There’s even some great documentation about recommended plugins for the theme and how to correctly implement a lot of the customizations.
I especially like how different elements break the grid, like the description above the two right side columns. Yet this grid still feels very tightly intact. the built in ad space will be helpful for someone, where as I am not a huge fan of ads on something like my personal blog. I don’t see the benefit being great enough, though I do like to self-advertise for different featured series or posts.
Downfall…well let’s see could it be the $79.99 price tag yea that would be it. So I clearly will not be building off of this template but it is beautiful and there are a lot of things to be learned from it.
I’m not crazy about the limited use of the newest content, though I’m sure these modules are editable as pages I’d like to see more “blog” or category based modules. the image sizes are splendid and the grid was comfortable until I really looked at it and realized I might change things if I was to use this template.
I’m a big fan of the three column interior pages, but only if the content is constantly (at least every other day) updated. I’d worry about a template whose front page barely emphasizes the new content emphasizing that recent content so strongly within the interior pages. There’s something very clean about the design though.
The pro version is considerably more robust and seems to be aimed as a web portal magazine idea.
They’ve also got other to the Revolution theme, including one that is aimed towards a small business or sports. Definitely worth a look-see to see if you can find inspiration for your next project.
Absolute favorite (hands down) part about this theme is that beautiful Ajax featured-story area on the home page. The beautiful use of one image size and WordPress’s auto resizing thumbnail is perfect for a user who might not be savvy enough to make multiple thumbnail sizes. I like the integration of the full size image into the post though I think it might be too big for some people’s purposes.
Since the home page has that AJAX which is so cool the interior pages seem a little boring, almost like there should be a mini version on the sidebar or something to bring more interest to the site or that particular article.
This theme has a hefty $75 price tag itself. Though that Ajax feature might be a good enough value for some implementations.
Again, there is no demo site, but I found this screen capture and it’s quite a lovely template. I can’t say anything for sure but if the interior pages are remotely as exciting as this home page this is a good blog meets magazine alternative.
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