15Zine WordPress Theme Review
15Zine is a premium WordPress magazine theme by Cubell. Cubell Themes is the company behind one of the best WordPress magazine themes ever released.
On the surface, 15Zine looks like an awesome WordPress Newspaper theme, it comes with an integrated review system which makes it perfect if you are looking for a WordPress review theme or WordPress magazine theme. But as the old saying goes, “not all that glitters is gold”, so here is an acid test of the 15Zine WordPress newspaper theme.
Exploring The 15Zine WordPress Theme
15zine might come off as a niche theme but that is just a lazy tag. This theme is perfect for magazines, newspapers and blogs but like most WordPress themes it could be used across other niches.
15Zine is a versatile WordPress Newspaper theme, it comes with an integrated review system, which is no surprise considering the awesome review system Cubell themes all come packed with. The review system is really easy to use, it can be enabled under 15zine Post Options.
You can also select the type of score style; percentage, number or star option.
You can select the location of the review bar; At the beginning of the post, full option or half option, or at the end of the post.
Under Type of Review, you can select an Editor only, Visitor Only, and your editor review & visitor ratings.
You can also select a Subtitle, Criteria for the review, you can assign a score to the criteria, and add some pros and cons.
Here is how the review system looks.
Drag and Drop Page Builder
Drag and drop page builders have become the norm in almost all new WordPress themes. It is not a unique feature to find in 15zine but instead of bundling it with visual composer like many theme developers have become accustomed to, Cubell Themes took a shot a creating their own powerful homepage drag and drop builder.
After testing the page builder, I found it to be sufficient for the review and magazine niche the theme was designed for. Stretching it beyond that might just be asking too much of the user and maybe even the page builder.
Ajax Mega Menu
15Zine’s built in powerful Ajax megamenu option helps you to add some pop to your website’s design. The mega menu’s settings are a bit more complex and it requires just a little more thinking to bend it to shape. 15Zine comes with a complex megamenu system that is very easy to use.
The Megamenu can be customized from Appearance > Menus.
Each parent menu entry has an option called “15Zine Megamenu Type” where you can select the type of megamenu.
Categories have three options available: Normal Dropdown, 15Zine Category/Posts megamenu and 15Zine Text Columns Megamenu.
Every other type of menu entry such as pages have two options available: Normal Dropdown and 15Zine Text Columns Megamenu.
Here is what you get.
Featured Image System
15zine WordPress magazine theme comes with a unique featured image system. You can use the standard option, full-width, slideshow or a parallax featured image style.
The featured image system gives the 15zine theme a unique and stunning look when deployed on your website.
Live Ajax Search
15zine comes with a live ajax search function which makes sense since it is a magazine/newspaper WordPress theme. A live search function allows website users to sort through or find what they are searching for much faster, even Google uses live search, so this little function makes a great difference.
Other 15zine Features
15zine WordPress theme is fully responsive and retina ready, it has a stunning and yet simple design, it comes with a trending megamenu option and post view count which uses accurate stats from Jetpack’s stats module.
It is RTL & WPML ready, it comes with a sticky sidebar option, Top menu, Header area, Navigation menu, Sticky menu and Footer and can be either be Boxed Or Full-Width.
15zine also spots an Ajax Login function, Schema Rich Snippet Microdata support, built-in pagination, and indented threaded comments.
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After installing, configuring and testing the 15zine theme, here is my review of the WordPress newspaper theme.
The documentation of the the theme is really helpful, I found the megamenu option a bit confusing at first but thanks to the well spelled out process on the publicly available documentation page, I was able to set it up in less than a minute.
Cubell Themes, the developer of this theme have a 4.82 rating out of 5, having sold over 8,000 themes on ThemeForest. The developers have been around for a while, they have handled the support of a highly successful theme, one would expect quality support which is what many customers have enjoyed so far.
Support includes getting answers to questions or problems regarding the theme, fixing bugs and reported issues and free improvement and compatibility updates with new WordPress versions.
As a rule of thumb, the basic setup of a WordPress theme should not exceed five minutes. The 15zine theme was set up in less than 5 minutes. Setting up the megamenu, widgets, trending menu, featured image options would of course take a longer period to complete.
Feature-packed themes are most times filled with bloated code and bugs. This means your site would take longer to load and it would be heavier.
15zine, when installed on this blog, loads in just 1.10 seconds, it easily gets an A in pagespeed and B in ySlow score.
This score is pretty impressive, it should be pointed out that this blog is wp-rocket optimized, so the speed of the theme will certainly depend on a lot of other factors within your control.
15zine employs acceptable SEO practices, Schema.org Microdata is integrated, there is only one H1 per page and wrapped around the post title, images pull the alt text data, relevant Meta schema data.
The 15zine regular license costs $53, this is a bit cheaper than what themes go for on ThemeForest. $58 seems to be a more popular pricing option on ThemeForest.
The real question must be answered, is it worth $53?
Using the 15Zine theme was really a smooth ride with a few bumps along the road, the version tested was version 1.20, just under a month since the theme was released. All advertised features are actually usable, the theme is very user-friendly and it is one of the most beautiful WordPress themes we have ever reviewed.
15Zine is an excellent WordPress newspaper theme by Cubell and it is well worth the $53 price tag.