You might have heard of sites like Upworthy, ViralNova, 9GAG and others. All these sites have turned themselves into content empires thanks to thin, trendy, and emotionally appealing content. Many of these sites are able to rake in 20-50 million views per single video on Facebook. You just can’t help but ask, “What is the secret behind their success and how can one mimic it?”
Traditional blogs used to be rather clunky, with poor designs and hard to navigate menus, but all that has changed. WordPress themes are coming up like carrots on a rainy spring day, and there’s little that WP theme developers haven’t thought of in terms of creating a theme. Viral news and buzz themes is one of the recent most trending areas where people want to copycat an existing website in order to create their own personal viral website. To fight half the battle, you need to first get your hands on a smooth viral news theme that can cover the essential design aspects of a viral website: simplicity, big headlines, minimalism, easy social sharing, and easy content access.
Want more cool WP themes? Check our other lists:
- Responsive Magazine News WordPress Themes
- Clean & Minimal WordPress Themes
- Mobile Friendly WordPress Themes
And with that in mind, we gathered up what we believe to be the most comprehensive list of the best viral news and viral buzz themes that you can get your hands on for the WordPress platform. 80% of the themes you’re about to explore have been created with the purpose of becoming viral news sites. Their designs reflect the current trends that sites like Upworthy are using, and you can expect higher user engagement than average, as long as you have the ability to deliver the readership.
ThemeCountry is no stranger to the WP theme market. Their themes have high appeal from bloggers and journalists who have learned to embrace the simplicity of design without compromising great functionality and search engine performance. ViralBlog (Lite) is one of the more popular free WP themes for viral blogs and news websites that wish to showcase their content for maximum social and organic exposure. The smooth and responsive design takes care of your blog, showing up equally well on all devices, whilst ensuring that graphics remain sharp and pixel-perfect throughout. ViralBlog also integrates the best SEO practices that will undoubtedly help your content rank better in search engines. Forget about using tons of different SEO plugins to get the job done, and rely only on a single solution from now on.
One of the crucial aspects of a successful viral news site is speed and performance. If you can equally balance both, then visitors will enjoy sharing and talking about your content more. ViralBlog excels in this aspect. Using newest HTML and CSS technologies, the theme is lightning fast, even without any caching or performance boosting plugins added to the mix. A win for you! A selection of homepage designs let you create a unique and authentic website experience. Looking through the source code, it seems that making custom changes will also be a breeze. Other features we found appealing were: custom content slideshow, a range of layout styles, ability to control the length of content excerpts, different styles of pagination, and a highly customizable footer for adding custom widgets.
Lipode has been publishing viral and simple WP themes for a long time now, and their flagship product, ViralPro (which can be downloaded for free as ViralFree), is a substantial WP theme that will make your viral news website highly appealing to the masses. Starting with a clean design, ViralFree is customized and built for the purpose of helping bloggers display content in efficient manner, whilst having the tools to bring in huge clickthrough rates for sharing and advertisements which are neatly spread throughout the design. SEO optimization guarantees spectacular results from your first published post; performance optimization ensures that content will load fast and effectively despite your massive traffic numbers.
Responsive and fast design is the perfect combination to serve mobile users, both of which ViralFree covers flawlessly. The clean codebase is friendly enough to modify and edit, even for those with minimal amount of web development experience. A beautiful social sharing widget will put social sharing on the spotlight, which, in many regards, is the essence of viral news websites. Other notable features and customizations include an email subscription widget for growing your email lists, a number of Fonts integrations (including Font Awesome and Google Typography), great widgets for showing your social icons in the sidebar, and ‘Follow Us’ buttons anywhere on the site. Overall, the ViralFree theme covers many of the important aspects for a viral site to succeed, the content browsing scheme is spectacular, and users won’t have a hard time finding the right content for them.
HashThemes is an up and coming WordPress theme development company that already has published 4 (!!) free themes on the WP theme repository. Their motto is clean, simple and elegant designs that are appealing to what the current web standards are for webmasters. Viral provides a responsive layout blog design that works as an editorial theme for viral content blogs and websites. With a highly customizable settings panel, Viral users can modify the content layout in an unlimited number of ways.
Those inexperienced with web design on WordPress can use the built-in drag and drop feature to realign content sections as necessary. But if you’re too lazy even for that, just choose from the dozens of its pre-defined content layouts. Other cool widgets we found was an advertising implementation, which will make it easy to start monetizing off of your content, a news ticker widget to show the latest and most important news, a custom featured content slideshow to display the most trending topics on your blog, a sticky sidebar integration so that the content pages always look full and rich. During our testing, we found that this theme is truly responsive, and doesn’t encounter any problems with the most modern web browsers available today.
MyThemeShop has grown into a humongous resource for aspiring WordPress developers and WordPress users. With nearly a hundred themes and just as many plugins, MyThemeShop is one of the leading platforms for premium and free WordPress resources. Their vision is simple: to provide a solid user experience based on professional design, to help customers understand their choices better by providing a highly versatile support package, and to ensure that all themes and plugins are optimized for performance to meet global standards of web design. SociallyViral is one of its most trending themes, and has seen downloads in incredible numbers. We love that this theme uses the name ‘social’ in its name, because that’s what it is all about, to have a layout that supports easy social sharing anywhere on the web.
This theme includes a well-rounded header that provides easy access to all content pages and an impressive content body that you can further enhance with custom fonts and typography. The full version, also known as SociallyViral Pro, has quite a bit of widgets and extensions to add to the already amazing experience its free counterpart: an advanced customization panel to take your design to the next level, an addition of MyThemeShop’s 12 best plugins that ensure a successful content website’s appeal, a drag & drop module for editing content and layout pages, an extensive provision of social sharing icons that can be made static or floating based on your needs, a customizable sidebar for all layout pages, including the homepage.
ClesarMedia, a theme which used to be a part of the EightPixelDesign team and is now owned by MH Themes, is a magazine-style WordPress theme that will work well as a viral news theme, most notably because of a variety of widgets and customizations that make content display effortless.
Starting with a big rolling slideshow of content at the header of the page, the trend of such display continues to crawl down from top to bottom. The impeccable typography makes this theme pleasant to the eyes, and the ability to display most trending and important content first will not go unnoticed by readers who’re eager for some viral news. Content pages and posts themselves are flexible, but even the default design shows that there’s potential for reader appeal. The widgets in the sidebar and at the footer part of the site are divided into individual boxes, but definitely pack a beautiful design optimization that makes a boxed sidebar layout look great once more. Category pages are designed for readability, using grid layout style that’s easy to notice, and even easier to consume.
SuperNews’ modern design helped to position this theme amongst the leading choices for news magazines and viral news sites alike. It’s a showcase of what WordPress sites are capable of under the management of experience developers. This elegant theme includes a clean codebase, a stylish design standard, and features that set its design apart. The theme itself is lightweight and performance optimized, as viral news sites should be. The image displays are all optimized for retina-displays, so those with large screens can enjoy truly pixel-perfect design.
Google and Font Awesome icon fonts and typography make it a joyful experience to customize the appearance of different sections. We do recommend to learn more about the best typography practices so that you don’t go overboard. Multiple layouts provide an opportunity to create a style that’s unique to your own personal viral news blog. SuperNews puts quite a bit of emphasis on widgets; in order for a viral news website to succeed, it needs widgets that promote trending and other enjoyable content. If you’re planning to make money with your blog, then know that SuperNews is AdSense friendly. It actually positions ads in a way that aren’t necessarily annoying to new readers. In times of heavy ad usage across all known content platforms, it’s pivotal to stick to minimalism, and high clickthrough rates, which this theme will absolutely guarantee.
ThemeIsle has a userbase of more than 470,000 happy customers. Getting to that number of customers requires a little bit of knowledge of how WordPress works. You also need to know how to best optimize the WP blogging experience for everyone. Given that ThemeIsle developers have worked with WP for more than a decade, they have the necessary knowledge to execute a design idea into the real world. IsleMag is a prime example of how concise understanding of content websites can become a magnificent WordPress theme. Luckily, for all WP users, this one is available for free download. Now whether you’re planning to launch a viral news site, or a magazine blog, it doesn’t really matte. IsleMag takes care of all that business for you.
It’s a flat, minimal, yet gorgeous modern WP theme that sets a standard for others to follow by. Built using the latest Bootstrap technology, IsleMag shines from the first time you lay your eyes on it. Needless to say, it includes search engine optimization. It also certainly ranks highly in performance charts due to its flexible yet impeccable design features. The customization options are endless. This provides IsleMag users with a unique framework of a theme that’s going to create a wonderful user experience.
ProfitMag, as the name implies, is a magazine style theme that helps bloggers make a profit from their writing. This clean theme already has thousands of downloads, largely thanks to a number of things. It includes a solid integration of advertising throughout the theme and content pages. What’s more, it has a beautiful content slideshow that makes your blog feel more authentic, and a range of content layouts that resemble the most professional news outlets we see today. The viral parts of the theme come into play through its simplicity, but also the design of content pages. It is easy to read, and in fact, easy to customize for personalization. It leaves no stone unturned in terms of capabilities. New WP bloggers will quickly find this theme as a great starting point for beginning something meaningful.
Everyone has had a taste of Twenty Thirteen. It is of the default themes that WordPress developers have integrated with every WP installation. Twenty Thirteen in itself has more than 200,000 active downloads, whilst WP FlatThirteen acts as a child theme to bring about a flat design concept to your existing WP blog. The two sidebar layout works incredibly well for viral websites because of the flexibility to display content and widgets separately. Whether random or trending posts, FlatThirteen does have the features to accommodate even the most needy WP bloggers. This isn’t the only theme available for free download from Themingstrap; they’ve got a range of themes to choose from, and all are equally well designed, aimed for writers and bloggers who want to amplify the appearance of their highly useful content.
Premium Viral News & Buzz Themes for WordPress
Feeling inspired yet? Viral news sites are growing in immense popularity over the last couple of years. Social media platforms like Facebook have made it awfully easy for viral news platforms to succeed, because once people stumble upon great and viral content, they don’t hesitate to share it with their circles of friends on social media. Some websites have shown to yield as many as 50,000,000 (yes, million) views per month based on viral content alone. It shows that there is an open market for solid, user friendly, and most importantly, engaging viral news sites to open their doors for an audience eager to share and engage.
Coming up are dozens of viral news and buzz site WordPress themes that will require a financial investment, but will in turn give you access to a design, and functionality, that free themes can’t easily match. Consider your options, and certainly consider your ambitions and whether you want to move forward with a viral blog in order to make it succeed, because it’s likely that one of the following themes could easily help you with achieving that goal.
Click Mag already has more than 300 sales, most likely because of the splendid design by MVP Themes developers. After just a few clicks on the demo page, it becomes evident why this theme is going to be the best choice for you. The typography and the use of elements for displaying content and widgets is out of this world, and sharing content is an absolute breeze. A sticky navigation header scrolls down the page to truly make the process of sharing as exposed as possible. The author box provides plenty of ways to promote author’s own website and social media stuff, and comments are hidden beneath a ‘Show Comments’ button. For viral blogs, everything should always be about content and its ease of access.
In our views, Click Mag has done an outstanding job at perfecting that aspect to the last bit. Within posts, the content is aligned in the middle of the page, and on both sides you have two different sidebars (customizable) that show more content to browse from, with one of the sidebars being customizable for any creative or custom plugins that you’re planning on using. The header part of the content is absolutely gorgeous. In fact, it’s one of the nicest headers for any post that we’ve seen in a long time. In some ways, it resembles the kind of styling that well-known publishers like Forbes and WSJ are using, to promote the exposure for authors themselves (using custom social media and email functions), but also to make the first impression as personal as possible.
HTmagazine is a theme mostly for news and publishing websites, but can also support viral and buzz sites. These types of sites mostly focus on given content and social sharing capabilities. We were rather taken away by the fact that HTmagazine provides so many options for showcasing your content, both on the homepage and individually through blog layouts.
Some of the demo layouts include custom designs for magazines, gaming websites, technology sites, traditional bloggers. Even foodies might find this theme to be able to support their needs. Despite being so rich in the features, HTmagazine will happily work together with the latest versions of Visual Composer to provide a truly revolutionary design optimization experience. If you plan to turn your viral news site into a community, know that HTmagazine supports bbPress, BuddyPress and WPML so that you can start to foster a community from day one. All the latest SEO and Schema features are built inside of the foundation of this template, so you don’t have to look outside for help through external plugins that could potentially slow your viral website down. Instead, focus on the importance of producing high-quality trending content.
GDN Magazine Theme
What’s unique about themes like GDN Magazine is that they’ve been populated with demo website layouts that really help to ease the process of making the right decision. GDN has an extensive library of demo websites that show the potential of this template. One of the last published demos is Sleek Mag, a magazine-style layout that maintains that modern feeling that you find amongst fashion and hipster-like designs these days. The site includes sidebars and widgets, all of which yield a significant contribution to the overall design. GDN will cover your essential needs for a viral website, and even go beyond that if necessary. A stunning Instagram slideshow at the bottom can help you connect to your social platform for more exposure.
What else has it to offer? A design that real users have tested before being finalized, meaning that the user experience is aligned with how people see and browse the blog. If you want to create a community around your viral blog, why not enable the ‘Submit Content’ feature? This allows others to submit their content for approval, helping you to create a viral websites that is powered by the same people.
topHot goes all-out with its feature palette aimed at news and magazine websites, but not limited to those. We’ve seen a number of viral blogs using topHot to provide a unique web design experience. One of the key elements for this theme’s success has been the humongous homepage layout design. It starts as a traditional blog layout with a custom content slider at the top. As visitors begin to scroll down past the visible content area, all other categories and content begin to unfold.
While some would say that having too much content on the frontpage might be hurtful for performance, topHot is using the latest possible technology in coding to deliver a fast and refined performance experience. Don’t get frightened by the demo’s either; using a page builder, you can customize any post or page to look the way you prefer it to. You can move the sidebars from left to right, if that’s your thing. Quite a bit of work has gone into building this theme, yet you’ll find that it provides every single aspect necessary for making a successful news website. The header for example, feels almost like it was designed on a $50,000 budget.
TopNews is a high-profile magazine theme aimed for newspapers, magazines, and general content publishing blogs. If you start to inspect the general features, it becomes clear that achieving the goal of a viral design won’t be so difficult at all. It all starts with the choice of more than 10 unique layouts, targeted at all major content categories imaginable, including technology and travel. Using Visual Composer, any blogger can customize the layout to be precisely as they want it to look. Although, majority of the website parts are already heavily customized for that feel of uniqueness. The content archives pages for example have been custom designed to provide a one-of-a-kind experience. Image galleries feature ensures that everyone has a way to express themselves.
A range of header variations enable you to find a unique header for your website, while slider variations can provide a better understanding of how your layout integrates with the content within the slider. Post styles are also in ample proportions, and you could literally make each post have its unique style, while never losing the true essence of this theme. It is simplicity combined with modern features that emphasize content consumption.
BoomBox is perhaps the only theme throughout this list that has considered the different types of viral/buzz websites. The demo designs cover a unique range of website demos and copies, including 9GAG, Upworthy, BuzzFeed, and viral sites that use emotion icons to promote and index content. The theme covers majority of important factors for a successful viral website: a simple header that sticks to the top when browsing, a custom option for members of the site to upload their own content, a neat social sharing buttons widget, an advertising menu for adding advertisements in your content and on the sidebars, a neat display of emotional icons that users can click-on when they’ve finished reading the post, to give you an idea of the content that users like the most. Each of the demos and layouts have been carefully tailored to provide an outstanding viral website experience.
BoomBox is amongst those themes that really matches what we all currently consider as trending design qualities. It’s a solid choice, with a solid developer behind it who has done a lot of work to integrate features and customization options as provided by the people who use this theme on daily basis. This theme is a safe purchase in terms of launching a site that reflects a wide range of features.
First and foremost, NISVANIS is a magazine template. Second, it will work great for viral blogs. And lastly, it’s a buzz theme, mostly for websites that want to use reader support to generate an active community. They’re doing an amazing job at keeping up with the demands of customers, and their design continues to reinforce trust and modernism that’s so essential in modern days of blogging. How was this possible? We’d like to think that some of the success must be attributed to custom post types, specifically targeted at viral posts and viral news in general. Using emotional reactions widget, the site can quickly become a powerhouse for social engagement from all over the world. And that’s only the beginning of it all.
Using a rapid page building interface, the website can be transformed from a traditional blog layout, into something utterly unique and phenomenal at the same time. Guess what? It’s also a review theme! Combined with the viral functionality, emotional reactions, and a smooth design, you could end up getting more than you bargained for. What a sweet deal!
Bunchy is a viral theme crafted with the intention of getting your site visitors to publish content for you. How freaking cool is that? It could completely change the way you interact with your project; you could end up having so many amazing posts published, just by getting your audience to share their thoughts on your platform. The process is so streamlined, you don’t even need to configure much of it at all. Using front-end publishing tools, your site visitors can start their own lists, submit custom stories, create memes, or upload single or multiple images at the same time. It’s even possible to embed content from sites like Twitter, YouTube and others.
The submission process is straightforward: users select their preferred type of content to share, then it takes them to a separate page where they can share that content, and whola! Hit the Submit for review button, and you’re ready to receive the thoughts of your own readers. There’s not that much that could possibly go wrong with this; if you implement a careful captcha solution, you could eliminate all spammers altogether. Needless to say, the design is everything you could ever ask for from a viral website. Colors are light, bright, and typography blends well with the overall layout of each post and page. Let us know if this was the one you went with.. as we do have high hopes for this choice, given that it already has more than 400 sales!
We totally get that Jetblog might not advertise itself as a ‘viral theme’, but we feel we have to give credit to the devs for coming up with such a sleek design that perfectly portrays what other WP developers should try to do more often. Jetblog is one of those select few themes that once you stumble upon it, you start to get a rush of creativity and instantly want to go to your existing site and make all these cool and fancy shmancy modifications. Why? Because you understand that someone with special creative skills has worked on this particular style.
Posts pages are certainly traditional, tailored for easy reading, but also easy social sharing. That is only one of the many aspects why Jetblog could become a viral news platform. If anything, viral news come down to content quality, but also quantity to provide diversity for readers of all backgrounds. Jetblog’s library of layouts include: Classic View (Sidebar Right, Sidebar Left, Full Width), Grid View (Sidebar Right, Sidebar Left, Full Width), List View (Sidebar Right, Sidebar Left, Full Width) — and also unique layouts for posts and pages: Classic View with Sidebar Right, Sidebar Left or Full Width.
Vlog – Video Blog
Majority of Meks’ themes are executed in a fashion that can cater to a worldwide audience effortlessly. It is a strong indicator that everyone needs for a successful viral site. So, what is Vlog? This theme’s aim is mostly at video bloggers, but also magazine WordPress websites. One thing to remember about viral sites is that they don’t always rely on written content alone. If anything, the modernization of video sharing has helped create a tremendous trend in content sharing sphere. Videos shared on Facebook can easily drive 40-50 million views depending on what’s being shared. Vlog lets you share YouTube videos that are automatically rendered and created in a ready-for-production environment.
With Video Thumbnails, another Vlog-supported great plugin, you can easily set your video’s thumbnail as the featured image. No need for additional images! Vlog lets your visitors save videos and easily access them later, as well as watch the videos in a distraction-free cinema mode. Choose from a variety of aspect ratios, or set your own custom size and make your images look their best. The list of features continues to go on. Interested? Why not take this theme for a demo spin and see how it works out for you? In the worst case scenario, simply reach out to the Meks team and ask them how they can help you to customize the theme as per your needs.
Noes is as much as a newspaper theme as it is a viral theme. It is simply a wonderful combination of choices. Limiting users to a single choice can hurt your sales. Providing tools to customize the theme as they would desire can really help to solidify a progressive sales pattern. Noes comes with a range of visual composer elements that will natively integrate with your active VC installation. A wonderful Content Blocks feature enables you to create a unique layout of content for any page. This could allow readers to filter content as per your specification in the Blocks Filters panel. You also won’t have to mess around with populating the site with demo content; within a single click, you could have all the demo content in the world installed and activated.
Why is Jabberjaw so appealing? It’s likely because of its social sharing elements. Users can quickly share content amongst a range of social platforms. This makes it easy for your content to start trending and go viral virtually anywhere. Perhaps part of it is also the thoughtful design. It is a mix of design features, professional and creative, that blend together into one unique experience. Jabberjaw is right to call itself a socially-oriented theme.
ViralNews is a one-click installation theme for WordPress bloggers who would like to start their personal platform of sharing trending, viral, and appealing news through a theme that provides ease of use, ease of browsing, and as always in this list, the ease of passing the content on through social media networks. The in-built quizz algorithm lets you publish interactive posts to understand your audience through quizzes. This could help you refine your content ideas for years to come. The core codebase is based on Bootstrap; anyone with previous experience in working with Bootstrap will be able to personalize the design as they see fit.
Furious focuses more on 9GAG’s style aspects of a viral site. You get to share your content in a range of post types; readers can enjoy upvoting, sharing, and engaging in your content. The design is minimalistic in a box layout. This really keeps the reader’s attention to what you have published last. It also ensures that the blog design transitions smoothly over to mobile devices. Furious also integrates a custom Banner Ads system. This lets you earn some cash from all your content publishing efforts.
How can a theme like ViralWP be so successful over the last year? We think it’s because of minimalism in the design. ViralWP’s focus is solely on the post title, the body content, and the comment section below it all. Sure, a jumbo-sized social shares widget exists, but isn’t that only to encourage readers to pass your content onto their friends? In terms of viral websites, the ability to share stuff on social media is so vital for success. Just try the demo once; you will see what we’re talking about. Sometimes, the most trendy things come in small packages, and certainly with minimal design.
Funnily enough, we left the most purchased premium viral news WordPress theme for last. With 2,000+ sales and counting, Bimber sits comfortably as the leading viral and buzz WP theme on the market. It’s a statement to the designers’ ability to understand how viral themes work. Through that understanding, they have put together a selection of designs that resemble already established viral websites out there.