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SimpleMag Theme
Last updated on March 14, 2017

Themes Indep author developed the SimpleMag theme in June 2013, especially for the news and magazine websites. The theme has a beautiful, minimalist design with attractive layouts. SimpleMag brings you a custom page builder, widgets, and additionally tools, to help you build a great magazine, blog or eShop website. This modern theme is also compatible with many browsers and supports most of the popular WordPress plugins.

Design

The beautiful design combines with the simple and aesthetic architecture. As a result, SimpleMag is an interesting and styled template. It’s suitable for creative authors who want to develop a blog or magazine website using a refined design. SimpleMag comes with two options for selecting your site’s layout, full width or boxed. You don’t have to worry about the site’ behavior on small screens since the ThemesIndep author made the SimpleMag layout responsive with retina ready logo. So, your website will look gorgeous on any device and supports swipe gestures and off-canvas navigation for mobile gadgets. If you want to see how your site will look like and behave, you can also import the demo content from the theme’ files package.

SimpleMag comes with three different ways to display pages – using a default template, customizing it with the Page Composer and as a sitemap. All the page elements, starting with the pagination buttons, numbers, categories, and tags, are crafted to be user-friendly.

The theme brings you two custom menus: the main menu and, also, a Top Strip menu. The main one is placed under the logo, while the top bar menu called Top Strip will appear in the top section of the website. These two menus can be displayed at the same time, or used independently.

If you want a slider, SimpleMag brings you a flexible one to enhance the value of your page. First, you can choose between displaying two custom posts or full width article, then add one of the three styles and create a beautiful slider. An image, title, button text, and link can also be a part of your slider. You can insert images and create sliders or carousels like a block from the Page Composer. Also, if you would like to feature a video, you can embed a YouTube or Vimeo clip into your website with a custom widget.

This theme has a review system, and features like audio and video posts can give dynamism to your creative website.

The SimpleMag template comes with three header styles and a smart footer that can adjust itself according to the number of displayed sidebars and widgets. Also, both header and footer areas can be customized, starting from colors, typography, borders, or links.

SimpleMag is a social-friendly theme and, as a result, brings social sharing buttons to your posts helping the visitors engage your content.

Functionality

SimpleMag comes with a Theme Options panel that organizes all the settings in one place for you. From there, you can customize the general design, header, posts, ads and import dummy files.

SimpleMag brings you a custom page builder called Page Composer. This page builder lets you add new sections to your pages, like text, posts slider, post carousel, custom slider, latest posts, latest reviews, image ads, code box, and more. You can insert a post slider and customize its type and style. With this in mind, SimpleMag also allows you to add one post carousel on a page, and set the maximum number of posts for this section. To work with the page builder, you’ll first have to setup the template style as ‘Page Composer’. Then you can drag the desired sections (Posts Slider, Carousel, Feed, Image Ad, Code box, and other).

You can help your visitors to reach the most relevant articles while displaying custom widgets on the sidebar. In addition, SimpleMag comes with over ten already-made widgets like About the Site, Featured Posts, Image Banner, Video, Latest Reviews, and others.

SimpleMag has an ad system designed to help you monetize your website. Therefore, you can add advertisements like ad images, ad links or ad codes into the header, above/under the content, and in the footer area.

The theme comes with four free optional plugins recommended by the ThemesIndep developer. One of the plugins is Shortcodes Indep, which is a shortcode generator, allowing you to insert different buttons or settings into a post or a page, like drop caps, columns, image box, tabs, title, website’s author’s profile and other elements.

The template is also compatible with popular WordPress plugins like bbPress, SEO by Yoast, WooCommerce, and WPML.

GENERAL
Item name SimpleMag
Category News / Blog / Magazine
Type Premium
Author Themes Indep
Envato elite author Yes
Tested version 4.3
COMPATIBILITY
Content width 1172 px
Browser compatibility IE9+ / Chrome / FF / Opera / Safari / Edge
Woocommerce Yes
Bbpress Yes
Buddypress Yes
WPML Yes
FONTS AND TRANSLATION
Integrated translation -
Google fonts Yes
Custom fonts Yes
Typekit fonts Yes
RTL support Yes
POST FEATURES
Video posts Yes
Audio posts Yes
Post templates 4
Review system Yes
Post view counter -
Smart lists -
Social share Yes
Custom image lightbox -
Custom image galery Yes
PAGE FEATURES
Page templates 3
Blocks 14
Widgets 11
Header styles 3
Footer styles 1
Category layouts 4
Masonry layout Yes
Mega menus Yes
Sticky menu Yes
Sticky sidebars Yes
Social networks Yes
Social counter -
Video playlists -
Instagram widget -
Currency widget -
Pinterest widget -
Weather widget -
OTHER FEATURES
Mobile theme -
Demos included 1
SEO optimized Yes
ADS
Ad system Yes
Adsense support Yes
Background image ad -
Custom ads Yes
PERFORMANCE
CSS file size 142 kb
Overall speed Medium
Perfomance documentation Yes
USER EXPERIENCE
Total ratings 773
User rating
Learnability Easy
DESIGN
Responsive design Yes
Retina ready Yes
DOCUMENTATION
Difficulty Beginner
Explanations Less Detailed
Explicit screen shots Yes
Video tutorials Yes
Search option -
Extra documentation -
PREMIUM PLUGINS
Plugins Shortcodes Indep
VALUE
Price $59
Value for the money Very good

Performance

We have tested SimpleMag default demo on different page speed tests, and the content loads at a medium page speed.

SimpleMag PageSpeed
SimpleMag PageSpeed

Downsides

Even if SimpleMag is a great template, it includes very few options dedicated to the news industry. For example, if the video posts are available, the video playlists are missing. As a result, the website’s content engagement rate can be affected by the lack the energy provided by the video content.

The documentation is located in the file package. But it is not as detailed as expected, with very few print screens, and no video tutorials. It looks more like an ordered list. Furthermore, theme’ knowledge base and video tutorials are outdated. In order to find them, you have to register on the author’s site.

SimpleMag
Category: News
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Price: $59
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Conclusion
SimpleMag is a beautiful magazine for creative content, but with limited flexibility. It will be a perfect theme to work with if you want to set up a site without code knowledge and advanced settings.Themes Indep author is updating the theme every once in awhile and fixes incoming issues. Inspired by the ‘Less is more’ motto, adopted by the German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, SimpleMag uses the essential visual features, with a touch of meticulosity, just like in architectural design.
Good for
  • Fast page loading speed
  • Custom page builder - Page Composer
  • Animated mega menus
  • Posts sliders and carousels
  • Custom shortcode generator plugin
  • Social network friendly
  • Provides a review system
Not so good for
  • Video playlist is not available
  • Limited flexibility
  • Documentation is not as detailed as expected
Overall score:
78%
Awards:
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Lisa Jones
Editor-in-chief of WPion. 100% passionate about WordPress, Lisa is part time web developer and part time front-end designer. With a master's degree in computer science, she is specialized in CSS, HTML, JavaScript, MySQL and PHP. Lisa uses her knowledge and experience to offer you a complete analysis of WordPress most popular themes and plugins.

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