Times Blog Theme is a complete package with a prior focus on newspaper layout. The theme redefined newspaper design providing ease in creating and reading content. Times has high resolution, is widget ready and responsive with good browser compatibility. It provides the editor that lets the writer’s continuity flow with live preview enabling the author to produce the best content. A variety of typography makes the content comfortable in reading providing the pleasure and convenience to the reader. It has four different layouts for content representation i.e. left, right, center and random. The theme comes with integrated bookmark system that gives the reader an ease to bookmark their favorite content and share it. Efficient comment system and Facebook sharing engages maximum readers and also lets theme give their reviews.
Responsive layout lets the content readable on all devices with optimized images and elegant look. With prime focus on users, the theme maximized its usability by simplifying menu to one level since it’s complicated to navigate menu too much. Lightbox feature lets a user see the enlarged image by simply by one click. Unlimited caption word counts with efficient text adjustment over the image empowers writer to be more expressive.
No doubt, Times is an elegant theme with the maximum features to magazine and newspaper but in the world of technology where we are pushing boundaries away, there is always a chance to make things more perfect. The critical analysis of the theme with respect to Design and Usability, functionality, SEO, Updates and Support will give users a clear idea of what they are purchasing.
Design and Usability: (9.5/10)
The design of any WordPress theme is vital as a well-designed and well-outlined site may develop your business exponentially. Clients love extraordinary plan and odds of them going to your site increment as they want to explore around. Thus convenience is likewise a vital component, on the grounds that if your site is not effortlessly usable, guest won’t waver to shut it down without considering.
Similarly, usability is also a very important factor, because if your site is not easily usable, the visitor won’t hesitate to close it down without thinking. Therefore, a special attention to the design and usability of the theme should be given before making a purchase. Times is an elegant neat theme in terms of design and usability. Some of the insights about templates are:
Varied layouts enable to opt for most appropriate one
The theme provides different column designs that can provide a different look to the website. The purchasers have a concern with the change of appearance as they scroll down and the non-support of custom post types. However, the development team is working to satisfy the concerns in the future versions.
Simple design for mobile with minor drawbacks
Times is a professional theme that is suitable to all screen sizes. The tap targets on mobile are small minimizing it’s usability. The team is optimistic to fix the issues in next releases. Template has efficient usability with simple and good presentation and convenient legibility of articles. Times has already specified matching viewport sizes that allow proper rendering on all devices.
WordPress is renowned for module play and doing things effortlessly with no cerebral pain. Same is the situation with WordPress topics as these make one’s life really simple if the topic is sufficiently giving a number of bug-free components to manage extensive information and making the site effective. Notwithstanding, if the topic is not sufficiently giving number of bolster elements, you may keep running into the issues as your site will develop. Therefore, you should always check scalability option available in the theme. You should also consider social media sharing support that if theme is providing it or not.
When it comes to functionality, Times critical analysis is below:
Social sharing options
ince template’s prime focus is newspaper and magazine, it provides efficient social media sharing option. The functionality of the sharing is so efficient that it’s just clicking, opt for the social media platform and share. The configuration of Facebook Comment System is in the to-do list of the team.
The theme supports all the available plugin on WordPress however, they need to be customized personally in order to blend them with the website design. It does not support the comment via social media login feature currently, however it has been compensated with “Guest Commenting” till next releases. The theme should support login and comment via social media. In this way, it will attract more traffic to the website.
Bookmark & Recommend
Times Blog themes enable users to bookmark the blog post and also recommend to other users. Medium.com has the same functionality which provides the more engaging platform.
Search Engine Optimization, Speed and code infrastructure: (5/10)
Let’s have a look on Times theme with respect to SEO, speed and code infrastructure. The theme is lagging behind in this regard:
HTML not minimized
HTML of the theme is not minimized which may result in slow server’s response time. The developers should minimize it in the very next release.
Rich snippets and compatible with SEO plugins
Times is not Search Engine Optimized however it supports SEO plugins. Therefore, in order to make the SEO work, you need to install SEO plugin. Times is completely compatible with the plugins and works well with them. Yoast SEO plugin is recommended for a purpose. Moreover, theme resources are not blocked by robots.txt hence providing Google bot access providing great assistance to indexing and SEO. The theme owns rich snippets as witnessed by Google rich snippet tool as show in the figure:
Bad server response time
The theme load time is very high giving the website biggest lag. Page speed score C grade at GTmetrix and server response time is more at Google Page Speed insights. The HTML is not minified and serves as prime reason for slow server response of the website. The website should be precisely evaluated over mobile and tabs as it the need of the hour and maximum people uses it nowadays.
There is render-blocking JS and CSS in the above fold content which developers should fix in the very next release.
Browser Caching is not enabled
The browser caching is not leveraged that also add time in loading the theme. The .htacces file should be updated to enable the browser caching. WordPress plugins are also available for this purpose.
The theme is highly professional and elegant except for the minor issues that need to be fixed as soon as possible. It will turn out to be the best for Newspaper and Magazine website. Till then fingers crossed.
Updates & Support and Documentation: (9/10)
An important factor that adds value to the theme is updates, support and documentation factor. It shows that the theme is still moving toward betterment. Before the purchase of any theme, make sure the theme is updated and is well supported. Times is well-documented theme explaining the detailed usage. Moreover, the simplicity of the theme makes it easily controllable for almost everyone. The development team of Times is active and give prompt and satisfactory response to all the queries made over the selling website. The team is making required updates and fulfilling the possible demands made by the users.
General Pros and Cons of the Times Blog Theme
- Elegant, simple and professionally designed with the primary focus to newspaper and magazines.
- A Variety of layout options are available i.e. left, right, center and random.
- Excellent and neat social media sharing options are available on each post.
- Efficient SEO plugin integration.
- Good support provided by the development team.
- Limited functionality options and no Facebook Commenting System in the current version.
Overall, Times is good theme for Newspaper, Magazines and blog, however, every product has some loopholes and so does this theme. The use of appropriate plugin to achieve good speed with elegant design will provide the best result to your website. If you are a regular user of WordPress, it would not be difficult for you to fix these minor issues. On the other hand, you may consider other themes in the same category prioritizing the needs of your website.