04 Apr Newspaper Theme Review
A blog which receives a lot of entries in a month, or even a decent number of, is supposed to look like a ‘blog.’ You can find hundreds of themes ready to support the blog structure but there is none better than Newspaper from tagDiv developer. It is perfect for any sort of publishing niche, including a blog.
I’ve been using this product for past six months and have a good idea of how it works and whether or not it should be used. If you are here to know if Newspaper theme is worth or not, then go ahead with it. It is one of the best WordPress themes I’ve ever used and it won’t disappoint you on any stand.
Here is a thing you should know about Newspaper theme from tagDiv. It has very few or almost negligible cons. Everything is designed and developed in such a way that it either works perfectly or it is not present at all.
Enough praising, let’s dive into the details.
Newspaper Theme review
I can start this review with any topic but I want to start with a unique thing I noticed. The developer behind this product, tagDiv, has released only two products so far. Newspaper and Newsmag themes.
It sure sounds like they don’t have team or expertise to create many but to me, it sounds like they are completely focusing on these two. They are always working on improving the existing products and regularly release performance and bug improvement updates. I haven’t noticed any new feature in past six months, but then, the theme features everything a publisher needs.
At ThemeForest platform (where it is available to purchase), the developer is listed among Power Elite Author. As a developer or WordPress expert, I know gaining this badge is not that easy and it is impossible to make it happen in an overnight.
Premium plugins inside
Font Awesome 4 Menu, Visual Composer, and TinyMCE WYSIWYG premium plugins are included in the package. It also has a custom built Lightbox integration which increases the overall experience of images and videos.
When compared to other premium and known themes, you might find the number of premium plugins very less. But, the developer here has included all the features and functionalities in their own form. So, there is no need to rely on third-party solutions. From a developer’s point of view, it’s a good thing to have.
The framework which drives this overall product is rock solid. It not just handles the available features and functionalities included by tagDiv developers, but, also works perfectly with third-party plugins. As aforementioned, it packs premium plugins which are all supported by default. Other than that, you can pick any popular or known third-party plugin, use it, and it will be well-supported by the theme. If not, you can contact the support team which can look into the matter and bring some possible solution.
The framework behind is the building platform which allows everything to stand rigidly. As I said, it is rock solid and shows how powerful and efficient this theme is.
Design and simplicity
Before we talk about the primary design features, let’s talk about the responsive one. As a modern theme, it has to be responsive but it takes the concept beyond just completing the checkboxes. It overall reduces the size of the website by half, making it super fast loading on mobile devices. It is possible due to the highly optimized mobile specific theme.
As per the official details, if the page size is 2MB on the desktop then it will be reduced to just 0.7MB on mobile. If the page load time for desktop is 4.2 seconds then it will reduce to just 1.3 seconds on mobile.
Now, before you start thinking about how this much reduction is achieved, let me confirm that the design part of the overall theme remains same. Yes, it looks gorgeous on mobile devices but still manages to weigh less. Impressive, right?
Moreover, it allows sharing touch supportive logo, Retina display supportive logo, and other visual elements. It specifically supports and has a dedicated version for Retina display featuring mobile devices, i.e., iPhone and iPad. The same applies to every Mac model.
This first thing you just learned about this product gives you a hint about how simple it looks. The design part is not just kept simple, but also attractive. All the visual elements are thoroughly researched before including them in the theme.
Moreover, tools like Visual Composer drag and drop editor is also available to help you create any sort of possible webpage design. It helps in achieving a completely custom solution (more on this later).
The Theme Panel available behind the scene is always working and is featured with features which can let you change the overall design and impression. You can decide the layout to keep, how the Logo should look, how Menu should look and operate, and much more.
There are very few things you’ll find which are not available for customization via the Panel at the Dashboard. For the design part, it has managed to win featuring awards from AWWWARDS, CSSWINNER, and CSSDesignAwards. These are not that easy to win and it reflects how pretty the CSS part is handled.
The Demos available are one-click away from setting up and it overall increases the experience. One can simply decide which look to keep by checking all the demos and then setup the same with a single click. If you want, the demo content can also be imported. Just to check how things will look with some data published.
If you like, you can anytime switch to Dark theme. By default, most of the Demos are built in the Light mode which gives an authority to the online publishing website. But, in case, you wish to go with the Dark layout, then it’s just one-click away.
About eight premium widgets are included in the package which can be placed either in Sidebar or Footer areas. Widgets are the quickest way to edit an overall theme and showcase a specific data. Like, an Instagram feed!
Moreover, social integration is also included, showcasing quick sharing and follow buttons for all popular social platforms. It again helps you from installing and relying on any other third-party plugin.
The Homepage layout is customizable either via available options at the Theme Panel or you can always put custom Content Blocks. You can even publish Smart List type posts. Yes, multiple post types are also supported by default.
Drag & drop editing
Visual Composer is a premium plugin which can be bought separately, but in Newspaper, you can find it included in the package. It’s a drag & drop page builder which can overall increase the fun of customizing a theme and making sure that any possible custom layout can be made easily.
While running a news publishing website, you will find a lot of situations where the default and available layouts don’t fit in with the specific requirements. In all these cases, the drag & drop page builder comes really handy. It gives you a clean slate with dozens of visual elements to play with. Also, it can be either used in Live mode or from the Dashboard side. What it means is that you can either play with the elements in a live mode, which offers an instant preview. Or you can make changes from the back-end which can be later checked in the preview.
SEO and performance
These two are crucial ranking factors and they are well covered inside the Newspaper theme. The developers at tagDiv have keenly ensured that the SEO part and performance part is well focused. The page load time which can hurt the overall ranking is being taken care of. As the details I’ve already mentioned at the responsiveness topic, the mobile theme is well-supported by all known smartphones and tablets. Also, the overall page size is reduced by a big margin in order to keep the overall page load time to as low as possible. In exact words, the overall page load time usually stays below 2 seconds.
This number I’ve mentioned just now is a clear signal that there will be a boost in the overall ranking at search engine result pages. This is because Google takes page load time as a ranking factor. Not as a minor, but as a major one!
So, the speed itself increases the SEO scorecard. Other than that, Schema and other SEO elements are well included and taken care of. I’d still recommend you to use Yoast SEO plugin which adds premium SEO features without any cost. In short, SEO and performance part is well covered and you don’t need to worry about anything technical. Just focus on content and social marketing strategies.
It also has dedicated options to support Ad Management properly. The theme is monetise-ready and supports different types of ad units which can be placed at specific positions. This saves the Admin from installing any other third-party plugin which overall maintains the performance. The ad placement varies as the demo in order to ensure maximum impression and CTR are achieved.
Setup, Documentation, and Support
How about video tutorials by the developer? You can always check the video tutorials, explaining most of the things and DIY guides. If videos don’t help you much, then there is a proper set of documentation available, explaining everything which is part of the theme and its Theme Panel.
As I’ve already mentioned, the setup part is simple and quick. All thanks to the one-click demo install button. Rest, you can easily decide which options to keep active and which one to be disabled. You definitely have to be aware of how WordPress theme functions and must be aware of the nomenclature included in this domain. Otherwise, the support can be used to learn new things which you see inside. Being a WordPress user, I have used about hundreds of themes so far. So, I didn’t find anything new for which I might have required help from the support team. However, I did fire up a query to the team which was attended within a day.
Over to you
This is all I have to say about Newspaper WordPress theme and I hope it helps you learn everything you needed to make the final decision. Before you make any decision, remember it’s a theme suitable for publishing websites, like news or updates on any niche. By default, it includes 24 different demos, ready to install and setup 24 different niche blogs. Impressive, right?
Do let me know what’s your thoughts on the theme once you purchase and begin using it. In case you need assistance on any related subject, feel free to describe it in the discussion section below and I’ll take it from there. Peace!