How to Create an Online Magazine with WordPress? (Step-by-Step)

Last Updated: 12 mins By: ThemeGrill Author

Want to know how to create an online magazine with WordPress?

To put it simply, online magazines are digital magazines published on the internet. They are also referred to as Webzines as they’re distributed through the World Wide Web. Due to technological advancement and easy access to the internet, digital magazines are more popular than printed magazines nowadays.

Hence, in this article, we’ll provide you with an insight on how to make an online magazine with WordPress. So, make sure to read this step-by-step guide till the end.

Let’s begin!

Why Create a Digital Magazine?

Digital media is a more convenient way of getting information about any subject that you’re interested in. It’s the latest trend in the digital world and doesn’t seem to fade anytime soon. 

Another main reason for its popularity is that people today are more tech-savvy. And when everything is at the tip of your finger, who would want to do that extra hard work of buying and flipping over the pages. Thus, printed magazines are slowly becoming no longer in use.

Some of the benefits of creating an online magazine are: 

  • Reach out to the readers beyond regional boundaries.
  • No more losses from the unsold copies.
  • Content flexibility.
  • Get rid of the costly printing process.
  • Better engagement.
  • Save cost and time.

Thus, it’s time you should also go digital with your magazines. And if you’re thinking of creating a visually appealing and fully functional online magazine, there is a wide range of WordPress news and magazine themes available. So, creating an online magazine with WordPress is even simpler today. 

How to Create an Online Magazine with WordPress? (Step-by-Step)

Now, let’s discuss the step-by-step process to create an online magazine with WordPress. 

Step 1. Set Up WordPress

The very first step that you need to follow to create an online magazine is to set up your WordPress. To do that, you need to get a domain name and web hosting for your WordPress website. 

A domain name is simply your website’s name on the internet. Using it, people can search your website on the web. Similarly, web hosting is the place where your site is located. It’s a space on the web server that you buy to store your website files.

You can buy a domain name from domain registrar companies and web hosting from web hosting provider companies. However, you can also purchase them from a single place that provides both domain name and web hosting.

WordPress Hosting

For instance, popular hosting companies like Bluehost, SiteGround, etc. offer both domain name and web hosting services at a reasonable price. The best part is these hosting service providers are officially recommended by WordPress as well. 

Most hosting providers like Bluehost and SiteGround include the WordPress auto-installation feature in their hosting package. You just need to check ‘Auto-Install WordPress’ when purchasing the hosting package. 

In case you forget to do that then you can still use the ‘One-Click Install’ option in the hosting control panel. Using this feature, you can install WordPress in just a few minutes. After that, you can log into your WordPress dashboard after the completion of the installation process.

If you need more help to install WordPress, you can check our blog: How to Create a WordPress Website? 

Step 2. Choose the Best WordPress Magazine Theme

The second step is to choose the best responsive WordPress magazine theme. You need to select a WordPress theme that is fully compatible with a magazine website.

There are plenty of online magazine themes available for WordPress. But all of them may not give you the desired layout for your website. Here, we’ve chosen the ColorMag for this tutorial. 

ColorMag Theme Demo

ColorMag is the most popular magazine and news-style free WordPress theme. It’s also the best-selling WordPress theme of all time at Using it, you can easily create news, magazine, blog, or any kind of publishing site. Furthermore, it’s easy to customize and comes with 25+ demo sites.

It has proven results with various speed testing tools like GTmetrics, Pingdom, etc., and is also optimized for SEO for higher ranking opportunities. Furthermore, it features a Unique Post System that prevents your posts/articles from duplicating on a whole page.

So, for this tutorial, let’s go with the ColorMag theme.

Step 3. Install the ColorMag Theme

After choosing the best theme for your magazine website, now you need to install the WordPress theme. For this, you need to follow some steps. 

From your WordPress dashboard, go to ‘Appearance’ and hover your mouse over it. After that, click on ‘Themes’ and you’ll be directed to the Themes page. Find the ‘Add New’ button there and click on it. 

Add New Theme to Create an Online Magazine

Now, you’ll reach the Add Themes page where you’ll see a search box on the right side. Type ‘ColorMag’ there, after which you’ll see the theme appearing in the search result. Hover your mouse over it and click on the ‘Install’ button.

Installation of ColorMag Theme

After the installation process is completed, hit the ‘Activate’ button.  

Activating Theme

That’s all. Now, you’ve successfully installed the ColorMag theme on your WordPress site.

Step 4. Build Your Magazine Site

Now, the next step is to build the magazine site. For this, you need to import the theme demo content first. ColorMag provides multiple demos both in the free and premium versions.

Soon after you activate the ColorMag theme, you’ll see a dialogue box appearing on your screen with a welcome message. There, click on the ‘Get Started with ColorMag’ button to automatically install the ThemeGrill Demo Importer WordPress plugin.

Get Started with ColorMag Button

Then, you’ll reach the Demo Importer page where you can find different magazine-style demo options for your website. Choose one and hover your mouse over it. After that, click on the ‘Import’ option. Again, a dialogue box will appear with a ‘Confirm’ option. So, press on the option to import the demo. 

Import Magazine Demo to Create an Magazine Website

You’ve successfully imported the magazine theme demo for your online magazine site. Now, you can modify your website and customize it according to your need. Contrarily, you can also build your digital magazine website from scratch. However, it can be a tedious and overwhelming task. 

Step 5. Customize Your Online Magazine

To create an amazing online magazine, you have to customize its appearance, widgets, and layouts. One of the best features of the ColorMag theme is that it’s fully customizable. From site identity to footer, you can customize it all as per your liking. 

While making the modifications to your site, you can use the live customizer to monitor your changes in real-time. Thus, the look and feel of your website are completely under your control with this theme. 

So, go to ‘Appearance’ and click on ‘Customize’. After that, you’ll reach the WordPress Customizer page, which includes various options to customize your news magazine website. 

WordPress Customizer How to Create an Online Magazine with WordPress

i) Customizing Global Settings

Global settings are one of the elements of the WordPress Customizer that allows you to change the overall design of your online magazine. You can change the Colors, Background, and Layout of your magazine site from here. 

Global Options to Create an Online Website

You can easily change the primary colors, skin color, and category colors from the Colors tab. Select the desired primary color for your website from different color options just by clicking on the ‘Select Color’ button. 

Primary Colors

Similarly, you can choose between the ‘White Skin’ and ‘Dark Skin’ options to set the Skin Color of your magazine website. You can even select the different shades of color for different categories of your online magazine.

Skin Color Options

Furthermore, you can change the background color and background image of your online magazine from the Background tab. Just click on the ‘Select Color’ option to add your desired color. Likewise, click on ‘Select image’ and upload the image in the background from the image galleries. 

Background Options

Additionally, there are two Site Layout options i:e ‘Boxed Layout’ and ‘Wide Layout’. And you can also choose the Sidebar Layout from four different options: ‘Right Sidebar’ (for right sidebar widgets), ‘Left Sidebar’ (for left sidebar widgets), ‘Full Width’ (for no sidebar layout), and ‘Content Centered’ (to shrink the contents and place in the center).

Layout Options How to Make an Online Magazine with WordPress

ii) Customizing the Front Page Settings

From here, you can either display or hide blog posts/static pages on the front page of your magazine website.

Front Page Options

iii) Customizing Header Settings  

With this customization option, you can modify site identity, header media, header top bar, primary header, primary menu, and sticky header. 

From Site Identity, you can set your site logo and site icon along with the site title and tagline that is suitable for your magazine website. You can also decide whether to display both the header logo and text on your website or not.

Site Identity Options

Through Header Media, you can either add an image or a video, or both to your header section. To add a header video, you have an option to select the media or to embed the YouTube URL.

Header Media Options to Create an Online Website

Likewise, you can either enable or disable the display of date and breaking news on your magazine site from the Top Bar. Furthermore, you can choose different header styles for your digital magazine from the Primary Header tab.

Primary Header Style

Besides, the Primary Menu tab enables you to display the home icon, search icon, random post, and display the responsive menu style on your magazine website. You can also decide whether to display a sticky header on your website or not from the Sticky Header tab.

iv) Customizing Content Options

Through content options, you can choose to disable or enable the display of feature content images in a single post or page of your website. You can also decide how to display your related posts either by categories or tags.

Content Options

From this panel, you select the type of footer area display as per your choice. It has two options: Type 1 (Default) and Type 2

Footer Style Options to Create an Online Magazine

vi) Customizing Additional Options

From here, you can modify the social icon settings of your online magazine. You can choose which social media icon to display i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. on your magazine. Also, you can choose the location on your website where you want to display it. 

Social Icons Customization

vii) Customizing the Menu Settings

This section lets you add different menu items on the footer first, footer last, and footer second. Similarly, you can also add items to the primary menu of your magazine site. You can even delete the added menu items easily. 

Adding Menu Items

viii) Customizing the Widgets

From this panel, you can add the required widgets to different available widget areas easily. The areas include the Header Sidebar, Advertisement Above the Footer, Footer Sidebar One, Footer Sidebar Two, Footer Sidebar Three, and Footer Sidebar Four.  

Customizing Widgets

ix) Customizing the Homepage Settings

This section provides you with the option to select what and how you want to display on your homepage. It can either be your latest posts or a static page.

Homepage Settings

x) Customizing the Additional CSS

Generally, you can use this option to add custom CSS if you want to create your own unique design and overall appearance of your website. So, you do not have to rely on just what the theme provides.

Once you complete the customization of your magazine, you can check the view of your modified website on different screens i.e. desktop, tablet, and mobile. Finally, find the ‘Publish’ button at the top of your screen and click on it. 

Publish Button

You’ve successfully completed the customization of your online magazine. But how can an online magazine be complete without content, right? So, let’s see how can we add the content using the most popular drag and drop page builder- Elementor!

Step 6. Add Content to Your Online Magazine

Elementor is the no. 1 drag and drop page builder plugin for WordPress that provides the easiest way to design a website without a single line of code. Hence, you can also create an online magazine website in a breeze using this plugin.

Lucky for you! Because Elementor is one of the major highlights of the ColorMag theme as well. Since the release of 1.2.3 (Free) and ColorMag 2.2.3 (Pro), Elementor has been integrated into it. Hence, you can use this page builder plugin to add and edit your content easily with zero coding skills.

If you’re confused about how to add content or how to create an online magazine as a whole using this page builder, let’s get into it.

Firstly, go to Pages>>Add New.

Navigate from Page to Add New

A new page will be created. After that, click on the Edit with Elementor button at the top.


Then, an Elementor editor will open up. Now, you can use its drag and drop interface to add all sorts of Elements/content to your page like text, image, video, button, etc.

Elements of Elementor

Not to mention, you can also drag and drop various ColorMag Widgets and edit them easily to match your brand.

ColorMag Widgets

For more detailed information on how to create a WordPress website with Elementor, please check our beginner’s guide.

And, that completes the basics of creating an online magazine with WordPress. Easy-peasy!


Hence, this is how you can create an online magazine with WordPress. You can easily install the ColorMag theme, import the magazine-style demo, and build your online magazine site in minutes. 

ColorMag is one of the best choices for magazine publishers who are willing to build attractive magazine websites. It’s fully customizable and can be modified easily according to your preference. 

We hope that now your confusion regarding how to make an online magazine with WordPress has been clear. Follow this simple guide and build your digital magazine with ease. If you liked this article, please share it and don’t hesitate to leave a comment. 

Also, if you’re interested to explore the best news and online magazine WordPress plugins, check out our blog.


ThemeGrill Author

We are a team of SEO copywriters and editors who work both individually and in the team. ThemeGrill author is where one of the editors here is working on one project personally. Write to us @themegrill_blog in Twitter.

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