*. Although there are many magazines themes in the WordPress repository you will not find the same quality as premium magazines themes. The developer might not have added customization options to a template that looks great. The exception to this rule is the ColorMag theme from ThemeGrill. It is a free WordPress theme that is being used on over 100k websites. It offers many options and a premium design. ColorMag is rated 4.8 out 5 Every day, it is downloaded by over 3000 users.

. Is CM the best WordPress magazine theme?

Is CM a better free magazine theme than premium templates? Here’s my unbiased review of the ColorMag WordPress theme:

Download and installation

ColorMag is a free WP template that you can install from the WP dashboard’s themes page. The ZIP file can be downloaded and uploaded from the WP dashboard.

ColorMag options

Options

Once you install the ColorMag template, you’ll find a new entry “ColorMag Options” in the WordPress dashboard’s sidebar. This section doesn’t contain any theme-related options. You’ll find links to ThemeGrill’s documentation and demos on the options page.

Demos

ColorMag lets users use one of the 25 pre-built demos. Some of the demos you’ll find on the demo page are built using the Elementor page builder. The rest are created using the WP Live Customizer tool.

ColorMag Customization

Customization

Users can customize ColorMag with WordPress’s built-in live customizer tool. The live customizer boasts the following options:

Global

Users can change the site layout from wide layout to box or change the position of the sidebar for pages, posts from the Global options of the ColorMag. Global settings allows you to change the page’s background, color, or skin color.

Also see: Divi theme review

Front page

With this option, you can configure ColorMag to hide blog posts from the front page.

Header

The header option lets users set a text/image logo for the website and website tagline and icon. ColorMag allows you to display both the image logo and the text in the header. You can disable/enable the topbar with the template. This theme’s top bar can display the date and the most recent post. ColorMag supports three header styles. The first style has a menubar that is full width with a dark background. The second style has a menubar with left and right margins. It is also slightly higher in height. This style’s background color is slightly lighter than style 1. The logo is shown at the top of the header in the third style. The menus are located in the middle of the header. The menu bar is white with black text and has a white background. ColorMag can display the search and home icons on the primary menu bar. You can toggle the responsiveness of the menu bar or make it stickier.

Single Posts

ColorMag has a single template for posts. The featured image can be enabled/disabled for each post, or you can activate a lightbox. ColorMag allows you to display related posts under the content of your post. Without editing the single PHP file, you cannot hide author bios or tags/categories/comment links from posts.

Footer

This theme from ThemeGrill supports two footer color schemes – darker grey and dark grey. ColorMag’s footer has its own sidebars, where widgets can be placed. Sidebars can be described as columns. CM supports up 4 sidebars/columns.

Widgets

You can manage widgets on the website with the WordPress live customizer tool.

Social icons

ColorMag lets users enable social networking icons with the WP live customizer tool. The icons can be displayed in the header or footer. The default template opens the social media links within the same tab. ColorMag can be configured to open these URLs on a different tab.

Custom CSS

ColorMag, like other WordPress magazine templates, supports custom CSS code. With the WP CMS’s live customizer tool, you can add code to any site without having to modify any files.

ColorMag free vs Pro

ColorMag Pro costs $69 or $99. Prices will vary depending on how many sites you wish to use the template, and whether you are purchasing a Lifetime subscription or a Yearly plan. The yearly plan, priced at $69, offers 15+ demos/page options, multiple blog page layouts, many advanced options. You also get a year of support and updates. Are there better templates than ColorMag Pro template? Yes, the TagDiv Newspaper theme costs $59. You’ll have unlimited support and updates for the life of your subscription. Is there any better free newspaper theme? It might be, but I haven’t found one.

Pros

Easy to customize: As CM is fully customizable with the WordPress live customizer tool, you can see the changes the options make to the site in real-time.

Fast: CM is not bloated with features that a user may never use.

Cons

Post page: There are just 3 post page customization options.

Final thoughts: ColorMag is a nice looking WordPress theme for magazine and news sites. It’s free and offers many options