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Themes Indep author developed the SimpleMag theme for news, blog and magazine websites in June 2013. It is a modern, trendy and practical template, that supports most of the plugins. SimpleMag is innovative, attractive and has a responsive layout. As the author describes it, the theme is a minimalist magazine for creative content.

Design

Themes Indep paid a lot of attention to the design of this theme. SimpleMag is a minimalistic theme with a beautiful design using simple and clear layouts, with aesthetic spaces and fine lines. With this template, you can choose to display your page in three different ways: 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.

Beautiful pages, distinct layouts, and styles with animated mega menus will be your guiding tools in designing and building your website. SimpleMag brings two custom menus: the main menu and the top strip menu. The main menu is placed under the logo, and 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 to see how your website will look like and behave, you can import demo content from the file package.

Functionality

SimpleMag theme is powered by a custom page builder called Page Composer that lets you add new sections in 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. SimpleMag also, allows you to add one posts carousel on a page, and set the maximum number of posts that will be displayed in this section.

Choosing between two custom posts or full width and white, black or tint style, adding an image, a title, a button text and a link and so on will give you the thrill of building your own custom slider.

For high performance, Themes Indep developers recommend users to install four free optional plugins. One of the plugins is Shortcodes Indep, which is a shortcode generator, that allows you to insert different buttons or settings into a post or a page, like drop caps, columns, image box, tabs, title, website’s author profile and other elements.

Using Theme Options you can setup your header, general design, posts and ads. You can add advertisements like ad image, ad link or ad code in your header, above the content, under the content, and on the footer area.

SimpleMag theme is social network friendly and your posts can become viral using the social sharing buttons. This theme has a review system, and features like audio and video posts can give dynamism to your creative website.This theme is compatible with Woocommerce, bbPress and BuddyPress plugins.

GENERAL
Item name SimpleMag
Category News / Blog / Magazine
Type Premium
Author Themes Indep
Envato elite author Yes
Tested version 4.1
COMPATIBILITY
Content width 1172 px
Browser compatibility IE8+ / 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 Yes
Smart lists Yes
Social share Yes
Custom image lightbox -
Custom image galery Yes
PAGE FEATURES
Page templates 3
Blocks 11
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 -
ADS
Ad system Yes
Adsense support Yes
Background image ad -
Custom ads Yes
PERFORMANCE
CSS file size 142 kb
Overall speed High
Perfomance documentation Yes
USER EXPERIENCE
Total ratings 742
User rating
Learnability Easy
DESIGN
Responsive design Yes
Retina ready -
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

In our era, time has become a precious commodity. We value a product by the benefits it offers, but we also judge it by the speed its output is delivered. We have tested the SimpleMag theme’s default demo on different page speed tests, and it loads the content high. (screens) 87/100 on Google Page Speed.

Downside

Theme’s changelog shows that a major update was done in September 2015, and since then, no considerable adjustments were made. SmartMag Settings could use a new design with more customizing options. No post views system is available and there is no masonry layout. Even if video posts can be created, you can not add a video playlist on your website.

SimpleMag
Category: News
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Price: $59
Poor
Excellent
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User experience
Documentation quality
Flexibility
Performance
Stability
SEO Friendly
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Conclusion
Perfectly suitable for news & magazine websites, SmartMag will cover your basic demands with the drag and drop page builder and Themesphere custom plugins. For advanced users this is a simple template. You can enhance your website using this template only if you have the required coding skills to take the theme beyond the author's design. All in all, this theme can be a beginner’s guide into the news world.
Good for
  • The page loading speed is high
  • Innovative and minimalist design
  • Custom Page Composer
  • Animated mega menus
  • Posts sliders and carousels
  • Custom shortcode generator plugin
  • Social network friendly
  • Provides a review system
Not so good for
  • Is not retina ready
  • Video playlist is not available
  • Limited flexibility
  • Documentation is not the most detailed
Overall score:
78%
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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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