This blog post is about Newspaper WordPress theme, which I am using on one of my website about Gaming (TheGamesLover). In this post, I will tell what I like and don’t like about it.
Table of contents
- 1. What type of website is Newspaper good for
- 2. What is good about Newspaper WordPress Theme
- 3. So, what is bad?
- 4. Newspaper WordPress theme performance on a shared hosting
- 5. Plugins
1. What type of website is Newspaper good for
Although Newspaper is a multi-purpose theme, I feel that just like the name, it is mót suitable for a website with lots of information like a magazine website. It helps you to organize different categories and information into a clean, modern, and neat website.
Additionally, Newspaper can be a good theme option for your blogs of several niches: from technologies, travel guides, architecture to sports, cars, health & fitness, and so on.
And, of course, this theme is available on WordPress platform.
2. What is good about Newspaper WordPress Theme
So, with more than 53,000 sales and 4.85-star average ratings (statistics until December 13, 2017), this theme sure receives a positive attitude from the community.
Clean and modern design
There is a lot of demos that you can run from Newspaper store. Each demo is a combination of colors, styles, and fonts that look nice for different niches. You can also uninstall the demo easily.
These demos save me a lot of time to design a site from scratch. However, I feel difficulty in removing the sample articles installed with the demo.
I am using the Tech News Pro demo. You can visit this website and see how it looks: TheGamesLover
Easy to use
With tagDiv Composer, you can design your site in an easy drag and drop way. There are many design elements to choose from. Probably so many that I haven’t checked all. I only choose the one I like and stick with that. But I’m sure you will have a good time playing around with it.
Newspaper also provides users with customized sidebar columns. Each time you declare a new sidebar, it automatically turns the sidebar into a widget that is easy to drop elements in. With different articles, you can choose what type of sidebar to display together with the content. So it is rather flexible.
Optimized for advertisements
Newspaper includes Smart Sidebars (a kind of floating box) that display advertisements better. However, if you use Google Adsense, you should not use this feature because it is against the Adsense Term of Services.
In total, Newspaper allows you to place code easily in 5 main positions (header, sidebar, article top ad, article inline ad, article bottom ad), 5 custom positions, 1 footer ad, 3 smart lists ad, 3 post template ad and 1 background click ad. I don’t use them all but they are rather helpful with customizing ad position.
However, it does not load your site design with full of advertisements. The way it displays ads is rather natural.
Also, it allows you to disable advertisements on different platforms.
Newspaper theme provides users with a good documentation with video tutorials. It covers most of the basic concepts to run a website based on this theme. However, if you need any support or have pre-purchase questions, just leave a comment on their site or in Themeforest. Notes that the support license is only valid for 6 months.
In my opinion, the Q&A section of Themeforest is quite helpful because it already loads with a lot of earlier questions. You just type in the keyword of your question in the comment search and maybe there is already an answer for it.
Easy to switch to another theme later
The posts with Newspaper theme will be saved in the same Posts section of WordPress. I thought this is a good idea because if I need to switch to another theme, I don’t need to do much of Redirection work. Just choose a theme that saves the Posts under the same section with no custom post type.
Let me explain a bit clearer: after changing permalinks to custom post, the slug of a post will be right next to the domain name. For example:
I think this is good for SEO. Earlier I had been using a theme that saves the post under Article custom post type. So, the slug would look like this:
If I want to use another theme, it would take time to look for a theme that has the same /article/, or I need to change a bit of the code if I don’t want to make redirection for all of them.
3. So, what is bad?
The Newspaper supposed to work well with the WordPress’s official AMP plugin, but always there is some problems related to AMP in Google Search Console. I have no idea what happened, but when I switch to another AMP plugin, the errors disappear.
Switching from one demo to another creates redundant posts and pages
If I would like to switch the look by changing to another demo, the Newspaper will install all posts and pages that they have made for that demo, and it is quite annoying because I would need to delete all irrelevant elements out of the current demo after applying the new design.
In general, this should not be a bad thing. In fact, Newspaper offers a very good display of authors area. Also, it shows articles which are written by the same authors in the related content section below all the posts.
Supposed that you are running a big magazine site, this is good for you. You can simply give all the content contributors own usernames and passwords to post content to the website.
However, in my situation, I don’t like this feature at all. That’s simply because I have to make login information for all the authors listed on the site. Besides the articles that I wrote by myself, there are also several people contributes to the content. But they are not frequent writers. Some of them only wrote 1 post. Do I need to make login information for all of them? That is a rather labor work to do.
In my case, I have to turn Author feature off. But somehow I still want to show the name, so I decide to mention write the author name in the Via section of the post. I’m not sure if this is the right way to do, but somehow it looks unprofessional.
I wish that in the future they will change this. Maybe to make authors a kind of custom post type or so?
4. Newspaper WordPress theme performance on a shared hosting
So, my site is hosted on Bluehost shared hosting with 3 more websites. The site uses Cloudflare CDN Free Plan.
I have about 13 plugins, images are optimized with WP Smush Free Plan.
Also, I run a number of advertisements code from Google Adsense and Amazon Affiliate Banners.
In that situation, I perform several tests that I would want to share here.
Tests from Pingdom, GTMetrix and Google Insights
Another test on Google PageSpeed Insights:
So, clearly, I have some work to do to optimize the speed. If you have a better hosting, it will perform better.
But what I want to say here is that the site’s performance is much better on a cheap hosting with Newspaper than the early themes that I used.
The single license from Newspaper also includes the use of these plugins for one website:
- tagDiv Composer: A plugin that allows you to design your site with simple drag and drop mechanism.
- Visual Composer: A plugin that enables drag-and-drop. It is also rather famous among WordPress users However, I don’t know why it is included because tagDiv Composer is already rather good. Anyway, if you can’t install Newspaper demo, Visual Composer is rather helpful to visually design a page from scratch.
- tagDiv Social Counter: Allows you to connect and display the number of your social profiles’ followers such as from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Youtube, and so on.
- Revolution Slider: A slider plugin that is rather popular among WordPress users.
- tagDiv Mobile Theme: Creates a different website version of your website to display on mobile devices. Although Newspaper theme itself is optimized for mobile display, tagDiv Mobile Theme plugin makes your site much lighter. Therefore, it loads faster.
Newspaper provides a list of plugins that were tested and will work well with the theme. The plugins that do not bring about conflict include:
- WP Super Cache
- Contact form 7
- Font Awesome 4 Menus
- WordPress (Yoast) SEO
- Wp User Avatar
So, you can be assured that those plugins will not cause your site to crash when using with Newspaper.
That’s pretty much what I know about this theme. This theme is updated rather frequent so I think it would be a reliable choice.