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“These themes are hand-picked for their outstanding design quality, features, and customer reviews.”
Want to build a following?
Running a news site is exhilarating if you’re breaking stories and keeping an active audience engaged.
Or it can be totally boring if no one shows up!
Your site design is incredibly important when it comes to building an audience.
You need a site that looks professional so new visitors take you seriously. And it has to perform great on mobile devices.
The themes picked out below all look amazing on mobile devices and have modern designs that will elevate your brand.
Only highly-rated free WP themes have been included. Keep reading to find my top recommendations.
If you want more templates, visit our collection of premium newspaper WordPress themes too.
Free newspaper themes
Each theme here is fully responsive and has been updated recently. They also have a fair number of customization tools included, so you can adjust the style how you see fit.
Here are my top picks for best newspaper WordPress themes for 2023.
1. Mission News by Compete Themes
Mission News has been styled like a newspaper and modeled after the popular New York Times website. It has a professional and familiar aesthetic that visitors will instantly recognize as a news site.
Don’t be fooled by the old school design! Mission News is totally modern and adapts beautifully to mobile devices. The search bar and menus have special mobile-friendly layouts that keep your site easy for visitors to browse.
Mission News is also incredibly customizable. There are nine different layouts which you can change for any page type or specific posts on your site. There are also four different layouts for the blog post previews that display in the center column. The Recent Posts Extended widget that comes included is highly flexible and can be added to both sidebars to feature more of your finest content.
Overall, Mission News has an awesome design for a newspaper website, and there are lots more features not covered here. If you want to see more, click the link below.
2. News Portal by Mystery Themes
News Portal has a clean and balanced style. Even with a boxed layout, the designers managed to include tons of opportunity to feature posts throughout each page. News Portal will work great for any news site that publishes fresh content frequently.
All of the customization options in this theme have been included in WordPress’ Live Customizer. This means you don’t have to navigate through different menus in the WP admin to customize your site, and you can watch all of your updates take place as you make them.
Speaking of customization options, News Portal includes a lot! The homepage is fully widgetized, so you can decide exactly what content you’d like to display. Add posts from a particular category to one section, the latest posts to another, and display a handful of featured posts at the top of the page.
3. NewsCard by Theme Horse
The NewsCard theme has a layout and features that work great for newspaper sites. The header, in particular, has a perfect design.
Utilize the main menu to include links to all of your post categories and save the secondary menu at the top for links to important pages like the Contact and About pages. There’s also space for a logo, advertisement, and social media icons linked to your profiles.
One thing I really like about NewsCard is that it feels alive. Today’s date is always displayed at the top of the page, there is a Top Stories news ticker promoting top posts on the site, and the homepage slider switches automatically between features stories. These elements breathe life into the design and will make your site feel much more professional.
4. Short News by Design Lab
If you want a more minimalist design, try out the Short News theme.
This basic newspaper theme has a very spacious and calm style. The blue accents and crisp, bold fonts make for a modern and professional look. While it’s not as dense as some other templates listed here, you’ll find plenty of opportunity to feature all your posts with Short News.
Short News has a few small touches that give it a premium feel. The latest news ticker smoothly flips from story to story in the header. Posts in the featured section at the top of the homepage have a subtle animation when you hover over them. The relatively new “Work Sans” font is optimized for screen displays and helps to complete the look.
Short News is also translation-ready, so you can easily translate it into any language. Every page is written with SEO-friendly code to help you rank higher in search engines like Google too.
5. CoverNews by AF Themes
CoverNews has the look of an active news site. You can adapt it to any niche you want from business to sports or even global health topics.
If you visit the homepage of the real demo site, you’ll be impressed by how many different sections there are. With CoverNews, you get a huge amount of control over which posts you want to display on each section of the homepage. Layout control is extremely important for popular news sites that always have new posts to highlight.
Another cool feature in this free newspaper theme is its WooCommerce compatibility. With this integration, you can add a complete eCommerce store to your website. The shop will be perfect for selling brand merchandise like hats and t-shirts.
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Which free news theme is best for you?
Mission News is an excellent choice if you want a classic looking news site while the other templates here will be better for a more modern style. Short News, in particular, has a minimalist style that stands out.
Regardless of which one catches your attention, you can try them all out on your site because they’re free.
If you have a question about one of these free newspaper WordPress themes that couldn’t find an answer to, please post in the comments below.