When it comes to buying any theme for WordPress, there’s always the worry that the theme you’re buying is going to be a bit of a damp squib when you buy it.
It’s bad enough when you download a free theme and it turns out to be awful. When you’ve spent your hard earned cash on it and it’s terrible, it’s even worse.
Previously this site changed its theme. The theme that was on it before wasn’t necessarily bad, but for the amount of pages that are being added to it, the better choice was to use a theme that was responsive, as well as having a great score when it comes to GTMetrix. This was bought from MyThemeShop, and it was worth every penny. The score for GTMetrix has improved dramatically. One or two plugins are still slightly slowing the site down so it’s getting a PageSpeed score of 82%, but that’s not to be sneezed at.
A great theme for news style sites
Anyway, today we’ll be looking at one of MyThemeShop’s newer themes; NewsToday.
This theme is based around those that have websites that have a lot of posts on it daily. Obviously, the most common application of this would be a news based website. However, it also great for people that want to have a news style theme, but for a general blog instead.
We didn’t use the theme on here, but instead on a test site that we have. This is still bringing in a small sum of money in a select niche, so obviously we don’t want to share how it looks. However, MTS do have an interactive demo available for the site so you can see it in action, which is available on the purchase page.
Of course, as with other themes from MyThemeShop, you’re not restricted to using this on just one site. If you’re the kind of person i.e. an internet marketer, that has a lot of websites on a lot of different topics, you’re in luck. Since you can use this theme on unlimited sites, and the level of customisation available, it means that you can tweak each site to its specific needs. However, you’re saving money in the long run by only buying the one theme.
One of the key stand out points of this theme however is the fact that it can easily be integrated with Woo Commerce. The benefit of this is that you can gain additional revenue by selling products and merchandise related to your site. This is a huge bonus.
This theme, along with others from MTS, is highly optimized. We were curious how this would perform on an old test site that we keep around that has a lot of useless plugins attached to it. The reason for this is that whilst we all know that a clean website will get a great score on GTMetrix, for one that’s cluttered to the hilt, it’ll really slow it down.
Speed is key
As mentioned above, we didn’t use the theme here on The Review Space as we’ve got it configured to an extent that we didn’t want to be messing around with it. However, the results speak for themselves. Whilst the score is far from perfect, it’s curious how a simple theme change can improve the score in such a dramatic way. This is without actually removing the bloatware from the site. If it were the case that we then started going through the motions on it and begin to remove all the rubbish from it, the results would be even better.
The fact that there are options embedded in the theme to optimise the speed is a crucial step in making sure your website is running as quickly as possible.
Responsive and customisable
It is also extremely responsive. This is a huge factor now in terms of ranking as non-responsive sites by and large have a higher bounce rate when viewed on a mobile device. This high bounce rate in turn causes your site to be seen as unpopular by Google, and therefore a drop in rankings often follows. By having a theme that alters its layout to those that are viewing it on a mobile device, you’re safeguarding yourself from a potential drop in rank and also traffic.
When you add in the fact that since it is a news site and by extension a lot of high quality photos are shown on the homepage, the speed at which this loads is nothing short of exceptional. Yes, the example listed above is still just under 10s, but that is on a bloated site which has way too many plugins on it.
The degree of customisation is a key selling point here as well. A lot of themes restrict you in how much you can actually do with it. This isn’t the case with NewsToday. It is totally customisable and the degree to which you can alter things is staggering, from the fonts you use to the specific layouts of the site. You can do this on other themes too, but in some cases this involves changing the code in them which is never a fun thought.
A nice addition is that after you install it, you’re given a list of recommended plugins to use. These include a shortcode plugin, and also a review plugin, both of which are developed by MTS. Not only are these excellent in their job (we’re using both on this site), but they don’t lag the sites they’re on either.
Advertiser and Social Media friendly
Let’s be honest, all sites need some sort of revenue to survive. Be it WooCommerce implementation as mentioned above, or using adverts instead, it’s still necessary. For those that don’t have physical products to sell, adverts are the alternative. One annoying thing for WordPress is that Google has discontinued the Adsense plugin. There are other plugins that allow you to use Adsense codes (and other advertisers) on your site, but these are extremely clunky.
As you’d expect, this isn’t the case here. There is the option to drop in widgets to your side bar for small adverts. The benefit of this is that is already embedded into the theme. All you need to do to put the code in is to select the ‘Customize’ option and select the adblock size you want and drop in the code. That’s it. Your advert will appear on your site and you can start earning revenue from it. A friendly tip; apply to be part of the Amazon CPM adverts system. This means that you can earn money on impressions. This is ideal if your site gets a lot of traffic. As an added bonus, if Amazon can’t show any adverts at a given time, they’ve got a passback code system. This means that your other ad partner will display adverts instead.
Likewise, there are social media buttons included in the theme. However, there is also the option to add in widgets for Twitter and Facebook. Many sites have an account on at least one of these sites. By having a box for your social media platform in the sidebar, it allows readers to follow or like you directly from your site. This can greatly increase your social media presence and bring in more visitors over time.
NewsToday truly is an excellent theme for anyone that wants to rejuvenate their site, or even start a new one. If you’re wanting to buy it, you can get it today directly from MyThemeShop.