Newspaper Themes for Drupal 7

Tran's picture

I own a small hyperlocal news website and have a limited budget.
I am using Open Publish 3 and was using the Gazette theme that came with it, but people didn't seem to like it very much.
Since then, I've bounced around from theme to theme and I've been unsatisfied.

Most premium themes cost about $40 to $80. I'm willing to pay $300 or more for a good one that has ample space for advertising slots.

I've decided that dynamic display blocks are really over rated. I'm just looking for an attractive, newsy-looking theme that is easy to customize.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?


We like

Pica's picture

We like NewsCenter.
It's D7 and responsive.
I prefer using 300 px wide ads (IAB Standards)
Just let me know if you want something more specific. Best...
Rob Anfinson
Pica New Media
"Successful Web Sites for Community Newspapers" Design & Revenue

However Newscenter will not

sksitl's picture

However Newscenter will not work with OP 3. Do you have any suggestion for an OP3 theme

NewsCenter nice But right

Valeratal's picture

NewsCenter nice

But right sidebar, (standart banner - 240px width)

Press Blog for news websites

skounis's picture

Depending on the specifics of your website, you may find PressBlog useful:

A number of users have been using parts or the entire sidebar for ad placements. In addition to this, PressBlog is responsive so it's layout adjusts optimally to the monitor of each device you're visiting it from.

Hope this helps.

I really wish themers would

Tran's picture

I really wish themers would make news themes with news in mind

You need at least TWO leaderboard ads at the logo or higher.
Plus you need room for ads in sidebars etc. 300 is standard width.

I'm using the Current theme right now by themeshark (, and I've stripped out the slider --- which is extremely limiting.

Themers get carried away with sliders. OVERRATED.

The important thing is to give readers clean layout...with an easy way to present top stories and latest news... and advertisements.
Take a look at --- no sliders. New York Times. No sliders.
Washington Post- -- No Sliders.

News themes should look like newspapers, not YouTube.

margotdarby's picture

Thank you, midek, for raising that serious point. Videos and carousels do not belong on a newspaper site except as an occasional feature, and they should never be above-the-fold on the homepage.

Most "newspaper" themes are top-heavy with graphics and shiny toys. They look nothing like a newspaper. They look like marketing sites trying to sell me something. I suppose this is because designers create wireframes in Photoshop to look "pretty," without understanding what a newspaper does; hence they put in far too many images.

Newspaper Design with Drupal 2013

Pica's picture

We have help launch over 100 weekly and small daily websites using Drupal. Lately we've been using D7 because themes are now being built with responsive - it's how a growing percentage of people are reading their news, of course.
Here are three recent client sites: CT, WI, MT
Notice they all look different, they all make money.
I'm not guy who says, "You must do this or not do that.". I care about design only if it's effective, meaning it creates a good reader experience that increases repeat traffic and can be monetized.
To me, that's the ultimate favorable vote on design, everything else is just opinion.
PS: I am really Looking for a wider choice of D7 news themes. Let me know, thx,
Rob Anfinson
Pica New Media
"Successful Web Sites for Community Newspapers" Design & Revenue

Rob, do you have any Omega-based themes?

Tran's picture

Rob, do you have any Omega-based themes?

Newspaper News Magazine Themes

Pica's picture

I am always on the look out for a good news theme for my newspaper clients.
I want responsive, easy / simple UX, flexible and malleable and forward looking.
Does Omega accomplish this?
The last two newspapers in drupal - and


Sunshiney's picture

Rob -- I am so delighted that you wrote this post. The relationship between website creative and behavioral results, whether that behavior is voting, reading or buying, is something that I rarely see discussed these days. In past years, I was the head/founder of a profitable small (9-person) PR agency. We tested logos before decisions on use were made. We target audience tested all of our print designs. Creative is done to reach a goal, a behavior result. If the creative doesn't accomplish whatever the behavior goal is, then why produce it?

In today's scheme, it seems to me that we have moved so much into the geeky/techy side of our production, that we have lost sight of the fact that design choices are directly related to behavioral results. We want to move as quickly as possible into producing -- producing using a theme that gets the site up as fast and cost-effectively as possible. But what's saved financially, if the site doesn't reach its intended goal?

"I care about design only if it's effective.... etc" You bet! That's the whole point. The developers can't be faulted -- those in PR/Marcom, myself included -- have been far too quiet.

So right on, Rob. So glad you wrote this post... Made my Sunday morning..

TB Nex

chris183's picture

Well I've been using TB Nex ( from ThemeBrain and find it quite pleasant to build my news site on it. This theme was also recommended by Danny ( It is responsive and got a perfect layout/design for a newspaper site. So it's worth a try I guarantee.

Everything is "perfect"

ithacaindy's picture

Everything is "perfect" nowadays. It is a modifier that has lost any meaning. Saying something is "perfect" is like saying it is "great" or "the best."

However, I've used the Joomla version of TB Nex and it is modeled very closely after 9/10th (generalization alert) of news portals. The Drupal version is quite responsive - check it out in your browser.

It is quite easy - one might say perfectly easy - to shoot down comments based on their rhetorical style. However, the information within the comment is what's important. Otherwise, the forums will lose any contact with actual users, devolving into simply software engineers speaking in bits of code.

News Websites In Drupal 7

Pica's picture

Too many Drupal themes for News sites always seem to be built from the perspective of what a Tech thinks it should be and not from media knowledge. spent a lot of money developing their look - what readers wanted in type size / fonts / colors / layout for a newspaper.
The details are important, for example, so many themes build their thumbnail photos to be rectangular, but they should be square to work better, or the feature photo slider is overused, or the "ad gutter" on the right is almost completely ignored and is stuffed with news. (It needs solid ad space, "daily deals", directory links all with some news content.)
I'm still looking, no one has got it nailed yet. We use until I find something better for our newspaper clients.

I wholeheartedly agree that

ithacaindy's picture

I wholeheartedly agree that most commercially-available news site designs are graphically beautiful by cumbersome in real life usage. News sites are notoriously ill-designed, stuffed with ads, huge Flash advertisements and assorted promos and come-ons. Along with the Globe, the NYT is redesigning their site, starting with the article page. Then there is the research showing more people land on individual article pages, meaning the homepage is not all that important, except for branding.

News Media Themes Drupal

Pica's picture

I've helped over 300 community newspaper websites in some fashion over the last several years and I've seen the stats.
The homepage is always #1, followed by News, Sports, Obits, Classifieds.
- Rarely does a newspaper make more than 10% of their revenue from their website, the money mostly comes from the print edition.
- A newspaper site is always the #1 visited website in it's community because newspapers have reporting staffs that average about 10x's what TV or radio have.
- The public wants that level of news.
- Paywalls are going up everywhere to pay for this cost of reporting otherwise the newspaper would go broke.
I'm looking for a great Drupal theme with a good UX for the news staff.

Newspapers are being propped

Tran's picture

Newspapers are being propped up by archaic public notice laws. In Michigan, once those are gone, expect the bottom to fall out.

Media needs to be digital first.

3 sentences, all of which are incorrect

Pica's picture
  1. Newspapers are not being propped up by public notice law. In any given county there is only one "legal" newspaper that gets that income. It's only a fraction of all newspapers.
  2. The bottom is not going to fall out if the law changes. It will hurt some.
  3. Media does not need to be digital first, media needs to be relevant first.
    I have a client in MN that has no legals and has a website ready to launch but refuses to do it because they make $2 million year in revenue from print - people love the newspaper because the articles and opinion are of such quality. (Why cannibalize the newspaper?)
    Advertisers pay to be around that kind of quality journalism because the public wants it and the media delivery form doesn't really matter that much.
    I don't paint broad brush comments about the web because too many people theorize, speculate and misinterpret the "facts".
    Success trumps theory.

IAB standard ad sizes

yelvington's picture


The IAB units are a mess, but they're the mess we have to work with. The most common sizes have nothing to do with any sane grid design. They're accidents of history derived from early designs of a few major websites. When you throw responsive design into the mix, you create an even tougher challenge.

I'm looking at one of the cited off-the-shelf themes right now and seeing ads that correspond to no known standard. On another, leaderboards are dynamically resized but other ad spaces are not.

You HAVE to get the ad inventory right to create a solution for news sites.

Spam removed

yelvington's picture

I deleted the post referring to the Current theme. It was from an SEO house in Finland, while the real Current theme comes from Themeshark in Canada.

Proper url is here:

I purchased Current and Submerge

Tran's picture

But got no support from Themeshark.

"No support from ThemeShark"

mattiethehatter's picture

Thanks for that info -- that's great to know. It doesn't matter one iota now good a theme seems if the firm producing it won't support it!


seosopt's picture

sorry i forget to give the theme link this is the demo
as well as you can find this theme as well , this is free and you can download here

Nice clean, simple

andren's picture

It seems nice clean and simple. Good work so far.

However the slideshow does not seem to play nice or being responsive with my firefox 20.0.1 or ie 9.

Great theme. I like the color

karophi's picture

Great theme. I like the color combination you applied.

GFA web solutions is here for your complete online solution

Great theme. I like the color

karophi's picture

Great theme. I like the color combination you applied

GFA web solutions is here for your complete online solution

MegaDrupal -- Good themes, no support

mattiethehatter's picture

I was thrilled when MegaDrupal's "TheNews" theme came out this year. However, as I've worked with the theme and needed support, MegaDrupal seriously dropped the ball. Now I expect to have to nag them to actually get an answer. Another disconcerting experience I've had is with implementing "out of the box" features associated with the theme. For example, I wanted to modify the size of image displayed in the video section, and the code hadn't even been included in the template! If they would even acknowledge that support might be slow, I'd have appreciated that, but I've got clients websites to build and support so I'm not going to be using MegaDrupal anymore ... which is too bad since I really like the theme.

TB Wall

yelvington's picture

We used TB Wall for this:

This is responsive and because our ad server is not currently mobile-aware, we're not using the leaderboard position -- just 300x250 in-story and 160x600 right rail on story pages.

Wow, really nice site you got

themebrain's picture

Wow, really nice site you got there, especially the social feed page is beautiful. Happy to see our themes customized this great.

ThemeBrain - new generation of Drupal theming

I am running open publish --

Tran's picture

I am running open publish -- but using the Nodemaker theme (available on drupal).

And though it's far from perfect, I love the things I can do with context and omega themes.

News theme

articlesleap's picture

Here is the nice drupal news theme free download.

my proposle

Newspapers on Drupal

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