Codeable info

ProBlog – The Professional Blogging Theme For WordPress

Posted on by in Blog

ProBlog is a professional looking blogging design from theme developers Magazine3. The theme has a lot of great features and makes great use of the WordPress thumbnail feature, making it a good choice for anyone who is looking for a premium blog or magazine design.

As many of you know, I test all free WordPress themes on WP Mods so that I can look into the pros and cons of using the design. Many premium theme designers also provide test copies or access to a test area so that I can test premium themes in detail though frequently I simply review the pros and cons from checking the demo out and looking at all of the theme features (It’s not perfect however it just isn’t practical for me to purchase themes several times a month if the developer doesn’t provide a copy).

You may have noticed that WP Mods is now using the ProBlog theme. This allows me to give you guys a more in depth review than I would normally provide. You can get a good idea of how good a theme is by checking out the demo and changing settings etc in the theme options area however it’s only when you use a theme for a live site and spend days modifying it that you truly get to appreciate how great, or not so great, a design is.

As such, I have decided to take advantage of my experience with using the ProBlog over the last week and do an expanded review.In the first part of this review I will walk you through the main features of the theme. In the second part I will talk about my experience with using the theme over the last week, the changes I have made and where I believe the theme can be improved. Last but not least I will give a recap of the pros and cons of using the design.

I hope you enjoy the review :)

The ProBlog Blogging Theme

In my opinion ProBlog is one of the best looking blogging designs available for WordPress at the moment. The header places a search bar and large social media buttons at the top of each page. Magazine have obviously given consideration to how bloggers will make money with their site as the header features a 728×90 banner prominently next to the website logo. A small navigation menu can also be inserted above this area. The design does look a little empty if no top banner is used so I think an alternate header for bloggers who don’t have much advertising on their site would be welcomed.

Underneath the logo and top banner is a simple WordPress powered drop down menu. On the home page there is a rotating slider that shows the latest 4 posts. Clicking on a thumbnail here changes the article that is shown on the left hand side of the slider. It works well though I would have liked the option of making these thumbnails link directly to its corresponding post.

There is also a featured post area that displays the latest 5 posts from a specified category (2 large images and 3 smaller underneath). Both the slider and the featured post area can be displayed throughout your website or only on the home page.

ProBlog Blogging Theme

The post area looks great. Whilst post formats aren’t supported, you do have 5 custom post types to choose from.

  • Standard: A regular post with no image thumbnails
  • Excerpt with thumbnail on left: A post excerpt with an image thumbnail on the left.
  • Excerpt with thumbnail on right: A post excerpt with an image thumbnail on the right.
  • Excerpt with full width centred image: An image is displayed first with a short post excerpt underneath.
  • Video: Displays a video on the index and archive pages. The video code has to be entered into a ‘Video Code’ section in the post editor.

All post types look great and by switching up what post types your posts use you can bring your blog to life. For example, every 3 or 4 posts use a large image or a video. The posts also show Twitter, Facebook and Google+ voting counts on the home page and archives.

ProBlog Blogging Theme

ProBlog comes with several great widgets. There is a tabbed widget that shows popular posts, comments and tags; a social stats widget (which is identical to Easy Mashable Social Bar) and cool most popular posts widgets (views or comments). You can also add your Twitter feed, Google+ badge and Facebook fan page box here too.

Underneath posts you will find a related posts area to encourage visitors to stay on your site and read more of your articlest. A social media share box can be floated at the left hand side of the page too.

ProBlog Blogging Theme

The theme also supports the WordPress background option and hasone widget area in the sidebar and three in the footer. The Grunion Contact Form WordPress plugin has also been built into the theme. This allows you to easily insert a contact form into any post or page. New fields can be added and be moved around easily using the drag and drop interface.

Grunion Contact Form

Shortcodes are available too. There are button shortcodes, shortcodes for putting content into columns, video shortcodes, content box shortcodes, quotes shortcodes, social bookmark shortcodes, list shortcodes and shortcodes for displaying Google Maps or Google Charts.

ProBlog Shortcodes

The theme comes with an options page that lets you change common settings from your admin area. On the global settings page you can upload your logo, upload your favicon, enter your Google Analytics code and enter your copyright details. Unfortunately there is no option to simply link to your logo and favicon.

ProBlog Options Area - Global Settings

On the home page settings page you can enable and disable the slider and featured area and choose which category posts are pulled from. There is an option to display the slider only on the home page. Unfortunately, you cannot do the same for the featured area through the options page.

ProBlog Options Area - Home Page

For your post page you can enable and disable author boxes, the floating social media bar, the meta data and related posts.

ProBlog Options Area - Single Page

Via the fonts section you can change the colour, size and font family for H1 to H6 header tags. You can choose from standard fonts like Arial, Helvetica and Verdana or from dozens of pre-installed Google fonts. Unfortunately, this feature doesn’t work as well as it should (more on that later).

ProBlog Options Area - Fonts

The large social media icons at the top of every page are controlled via the social settings area. You simply need to enter your profile URL and make sure the social media site is enabled.

ProBlog Options Area - Social Media

There are 7 advertisement areas integrated into the website design. These include an ad slot above the social media icons at the very top of the page, the 728×90 banner, below the slider and featured area on the home page, above posts, below posts, above the footer and above the main navigation menu on categories, archives and author pages.

ProBlog Options Area - Advertisements

Via the advanced settings page you can enable or disable the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast.

ProBlog Options Area - Advanced

If you are interested in purchasing the ProBlog theme you will need to decide between 5 licenses. I prefer when developers only have one license for everyone or a normal license for users and a developer license that includes additional Photoshop files etc. In other words – developers should keep things simple!

All licenses come with lifetime support, lifetime updates, documentation and tutorials and the Photoshop PSD file of the theme logo. There are three licenses available for those who want to use the theme on one website. The basic license is $49 but requires that you keep the link back to Magazine3. For $59 you can remove the footer link and for $69 you can get the Photoshop PSD file of Layout Elements.

Those of you who want to use the design on more than one website have two options. The basic multiple license is $99 however the footer link has to be kept. For $129 you can remove this credit link and get the Photoshop PSD file of Layout Elements.

Before making a purchase though, please take the time to read the rest of this review as I will be talking extensively about the pros and cons of using the design in practice.

ProBlog: Information & Download | Demo

A More In-Depth Look At The Pro Blogging Theme

As I noticed at the start of this review, there is a big difference between checking out a theme and having a quick look at the options area to actually using a design and spending a lot of time customising it for your own needs.

The old cliche ‘the first bite is with the eye’ certainly rings true when it comes to choosing a WordPress theme. It has to be, as you can’t examine the backend code of a theme before buying it, so how a theme looks plays a huge part on whether you do or do not buy a theme.

With regards to using WordPress themes, users can be divided into 3 categories.

  • Those who don’t know how to code and need a good options page in order to use the theme properly.
  • Those who are comfortable making small changes to their templates like adding banners, changing text and moving things around.
  • Those who understand code and understand where things should be and how things should be coded.

Whilst I don’t have a great eye for design, I am fully competent with HTML and know enough PHP and CSS to do what I want to do. So I would place myself between the 2nd and 3rd group of users. This actually puts me in a frustrating position as WordPress theme developers typically design their themes with WordPress beginners in mind. Due to this, developers can get lazy with their coding and not develop their designs in the best possible way

Over the last few years I have been frequently frustrated by this. I have had several custom designs made for me over the last 3-4 years, some for my own websites and others which I released to the community for free. Whenever the designer sent me the ‘finished’ design I always had to email back a list of dozens of basic (read lazy!) mistakes that should have been fixed. More than once I got a reply along the lines of ‘oh I didn’t realise that you could code’ (not that this should matter to a paying customer!!).

Unfortunately, the ProBlog theme suffers from a lot basic errors. I’m not sure if the theme release was rushed or if they didn’t test it enough but the design feels incomplete. I will detail the problems I have found with the design though please bear in mind that a lot of the mistakes that were made with this theme are made by a lot of theme developers. In that regard, I hope that any theme developers who read this review can take my comments on board and make a positive change to the way that they design themes for the WordPress platform

Also, despite all the issues I have found with the design, I still love it. It’s arguably the best looking blogging theme available for WordPress at the moment and Matt and the rest of the team from Magazine3 have provided great support to me so far. They have already addressed a few bugs that I found before (though these bugs aren’t noted in this review) and released fixes for them. They have been very positive about the points that I have brought up and have promised to work on them.

If you are still reading this review at this point, then I assume that you are interested in purchasing it, so let’s look at some of the problems that the theme has :)

Initial Impressions

After purchasing the theme I downloaded the zip file and uploaded the design to my test area. Like many Magazine3 customers I was a little annoyed about having to enter my license information. Many WordPress themes ask you to enter your license information in order to get support via their forums though Magazine3 designs cannot be used at all until the license information has been entered. The problem was that the license key was not emailed to me until about 30 minutes after I purchased the theme.

ProBlog License

I expressed my annoyance about this to Magazine3. They understood my view on the issue but informed me that due to certain circumstances they didn’t really have a choice. Their Newspaper Times was a huge success but within 15 days of release it was available on warez websites for download. To resolve this issue they introduced the license key feature.

Shortly afterwards their SportsMag was leaked after only 12 hours and was downloaded on the warez website hundreds of times however due to the license key feature those illegal downloaders couldn’t use the theme.

Whilst it is annoying not to be able to use a theme you purchased instantly, I completely understand why Magazine3 have taken these steps as it was costing them a lot of money. They are currently looking into making the license key process automatic so that customers don’t have to suffer any inconvenience with this (many users had to wait a few hours).

Once I activated the theme with my license key I noticed that the options panel didn’t show in Google Chrome. It did show on Internet Explorer though the design was messed up. I later found that this was being caused by the JetPack connect banner link. Once I had connected to Jetpack the page displayed correctly. The panel also clashed with Akismet a little however Magazine3 were able to resolve this very quickly.

With those issues out the way I was able to view the design on my test area (which I had imported posts and pages too for testing). The theme looked great. Even without thumbnails being set on my posts the deign looked fantastic right out of the box. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted though, so I had to change some things around.

Long term, I still plan on having a custom design created for WP Mods though I am pleased with the way I have customised the ProBlog design and will be using it at least for the next 6 months. The site is still growing so in time I will need to develop a custom solution that reflects the growth of the site, the content that is published and any services that are provided :)

Slider And Featured Posts

The slider and featured posts option is one of my favourite features of the ProBlog design. They have been implemented into the design beautifully and it’s easy to switch the slider or featured posts area off via the options area.

I was slightly disappointed that you couldn’t simply choose the posts that you want to make featured, you have to choose a category. This wasn’t a major inconvenience though as I simply created a new featured category and selected posts from each of my existing categories.

Whilst I did love the magazine look of the slider and featured posts area, I thought it was too big for WP Mods. I didn’t want the main content area pushed down the page too far. Therefore I changed things a little. Instead of displaying the large slider and featured area with 5 posts, I simply showed the last two featured posts.

WP Mods Header Home Page

On categories, archives and single posts I showed 3 featured posts. The posts shown on these pages are from the same category so that the posts are more related to what the visitor is already reading (i.e. featured theme posts on theme posts, featured plugin posts on plugin posts etc).

WP Mods Header Categories

Throughout the rest of the site I have shown the latest 3 featured posts into the header. I’ve also integrated the featured posts into the footer. Again, related featured posts are shown on categories, archives and single posts with the latest featured posts from all categories shown elsewhere.

Post Types

I’ve been looking for a good framework or premium design for WP Mods over the last few months. I was hoping to get full support for all WordPress post formats (e.g. links, asides, quotes etc). ProBlog doesn’t support all of these formats however it does have great support for images and video posts. It won’t be too difficult for me to add support for links and quotes etc in the near future too so it’s not something that put me off purchasing the theme.

Posts are defaulted to use the ‘Standard’ post type so you need to go into your writing settings page (eg. and change it so that future posts are defaulted to the post type you use most often.

Pro Blog Post Types

Unfortunately, changing the post type in the settings area doesn’t change past posts. Magazine3 weren’t sure how to change the post type of all posts. I looked into the issue myself and found that there are a few plugins available that change post types for you, however they didn’t work for me. It only took me 10 minutes or so to change the post type of all posts in the WordPress admin area.

Options Area

ProBlog doesn’t have the most advanced options area available but it does let you change common features such as your logo and switch important theme features on and off. There are some useful help icons with some options that give you more details about a particular option.

For example, if you hover over the ? icon for the logo it advises you that the logo should not be bigger than 235×100 pixels. A few help icons had no information, though this isn’t really a problem as all the options are pretty much self-explanatory.

Font Control Panel

Although I didn’t pay much attention to it before I bought the theme, I was pleased with the inclusion of a fonts panel with the theme. Sure, you can change things easily enough through your stylesheet but a fonts panel lets you change the style of fonts within seconds.

Changing the link colour and hover colour of post links works great. You can use a colour picker or enter the hexadecimal code manually.

ProBlog Fonts Menu

I noted earlier that the fonts options doesn’t work as well as it should. Although you can control the size, colour and font family of your H1 to H6 header tags through the settings area; these settings only change header tags used inside the content area i.e. posts and pages.

As most bloggers know, H1 and H2 tags are used in website design titles whereas H3, H4, H5 and H6 tags are used in content. Changing the H1 and H2 tags won’t affect those used in your design, making them pretty pointless. It’s useful for H3 to H6 header tags though it would have been good if the H1 and H2 tags used in the design could be styled through this area too (more surprisingly, no H1 tags are used in the design at all. A major SEO problem!).

Quality Of Coding

Some of the coding in ProBlog could be vastly improved. There are lots of links to classes that don’t exist and common WordPress classes have not been used.

The first thing I noticed was that lots of CSS attributes hadn’t been closed. I was surprised to learn that the last property in a CSS attribute doesn’t need a closing semi-colon.

WordPress theme developers should try and use the same classes as the default themes. This makes it easier for users to modify themes etc. ProBlog uses custom classes for all of these areas. For example, instead of using id=”content” for the post area they have used class=”post-content”. Changing the name makes it a pain however changing it from a CSS identifier to a class means that this section can’t be linked too.

This is a particular problem in some areas. For example, in the comments.php the beginning of the comment area in posts and pages should start with:

<div id="comments">

This identifier allows visitors to go straight to the comment area from the home page e.g. If the identifier name at the start of the comment area is changed then the link to the comment area has to be changed too (once again, it’s better to just keep class and identifier names the same for consistency for all WordPress themes).

In ProBlog, Magazine3 have changed the comments identifier to id=”comments-content” but not changed the corresponding link from the home page and archive templates accordingly. This means that if a visitor clicks on the comments link from the home page they won’t be taken to the comments area.

Although WordPress encourages all users to use archives.php for the archive template, ProBlog uses the name page-archive.php. When I spoke to Matt at Magazine3 about this issue he was unaware of this standard. I don’t believe it’s a major problem though as many WordPress users get confused over the difference of the archive.php and archives.php files so changing the name from archives.php avoids WordPress beginners being confused about this.

The theme doesn’t currently have a 404 error template (Magazine3 are planning on adding this soon after I raised the issue) though there is a full width template available. Another minor complaint is that many templates have CSS code embedded in them rather than adding the style to the stylesheet. Although this doesn’t change the actual output, it does seem a bit lazy to me and the templates would be much easier to customise if all of the styling was placed in the stylesheet.

More worrying is some templates linking to CSS classes and identifiers that don’t exist in the stylesheet. The archives template is the best example of this. Near the top of the archives template you will see this code:

<div class="post-area">
<div id="inside"> 
<div id="content">

The problem is, none of the above CSS identifiers exist in the stylesheet (remember: content was changed to post-content). The archives template doesn’t display content either so it won’t display any text you enter at the top of your archives page (i.e. the WordPress loop isn’t used in the template). Even more concerning is the fact that there is no page title whatsoever in this template.

It’s issues like this that make me believe that no one has bothered to test the theme extensively or look through the code and make sure that the code is clean.

With lots of basic mistakes and no commenting in the templates or the stylesheet, making the changes you want becomes more time consuming than it needs to be. Hopefully Magazine3 addresses this issue and spends some time tidying up the code as it would be a shame if something that is easily fixed stops customers from customising the ProBlog design.

Social Media Integration

As you would expect from a professional blogging theme, ProBlog has good support for social media support. The large icons are placed at the top of each page for profiles you have enabled in the settings area. These icons are displayed using a long list of if statements in the header.php template. I would have preferred if all this code was tucked away in the functions.php template with a simple function call from the header template.

Twitter, Facebook and Google+ sharing buttons are placed directly under posts together with a general sharing button (all powered by Add This).

ProBlog Social Media

You can also float a fixed sharing bar to the left hand side of your posts. Unfortunately you can’t modify any of it’s settings from the settings area so if you want to change the type of button used, the buttons that are displayed or the order of the buttons; you will need to modify the code in the single.php template. This is a pain in the butt for beginners but if you know HTML you will be able to do this with ease.

The small social media links that are shown in the post area in the index and archive pages look great. Unfortunately, they aren’t very practical. They use an internal counting system rather than showing the actualy number of times a post has been shared. So if your article has been shared 10 times on Twitter, this won’t be shown on these social media buttons. Instead, the buttons will show how many times the button has been clicked on your site. Pretty freaking pointless if you ask me :)

ProBlog Social Media

Whilst I welcome the inclusion of social media integration, the lack of configuration options means that beginners will struggle to modify the links. You can’t even change what Twitter account is linked in retweets. As it powered using Add This, the Twitter buttons add a ‘Via @AddThis’ link to all tweets. This should really be replaced with your only Twitter account username. You would have to replace the buttons entirely to do this though.

Some of you may be happy with the inbuilt social media sharing options though I believe most bloggers will tweak the settings directly in the template files. Despite these issues, I still think that social media has been integrated well into the theme.

Search Engine Optimisation

ProBlog SEOProBlog is promoted as having great search engine optimisation. In truth it isn’t optimised for search engines at all. There is not one H1 tag used in the design of the site…NOT ONE! I was really surprised by this. Titles of posts and pages were not SEO Friendly either with H2 tags being used for all site titles.

Magazine3 heavily promote the fact that it is integrated with the popular WordPress SEO plugin. Integrating plugins into a theme is the worst thing any theme developer can do. The whole point of a plugin is that it is separate from the theme code.

As I was already using WordPress SEO, the theme made my site crash. It was quite annoying that I had to remove the reference to the Yoast plugin from the functions.php template. It also raises some questions:

  • What if you are using a different SEO plugin already and you are happy with it. Shouldn’t you be able to decide which SEO plugin is used rather than have it dictated to you?
  • Why didn’t they recommend the plugin rather than building it in?

If you are happy using another SEO plugin you will need to remove the reference to it in the functions.php template and remove the breadcrumbs reference from all the templates.

The biggest problem, and for me the main reason that theme developers should never build plugins into their designs, is that users can’t update the plugin via WordPress. The WordPress plugin system lets you know whenever a new version has been released for a plugin and allows you to update directly from your admin area.

What this effectively means is that unless you manually check the plugin site every week for updates and upgrade the plugin via FTP, your plugin is going to be out of date very quickly. This is even more likely to happen if the theme developer doesn’t update the plugin for for theme, and sadly, that is the case with the ProBlog theme.

The version of WordPress SEO that is included with ProBlog is version 1.0.3. Unfortunately, the current version of WordPress SEO is 1.1.2. The version that is included with the ProBlog theme is over 3 months old.

What does this mean? Effectively, it means that whether you use WordPress SEO or not, you will have to remove the reference to it from the theme functions.php template because:

  • If you are using another SEO solution or prefer to handle things manually, you will have to remove any reference to WordPress SEO.
  • If you do do want to use WordPress SEO, you have to remove the call to WordPress SEO from the functions.php template and activate the plugin via the plugin area so that the plugin is up to date. If not, your version of WordPress SEO is always going to be out of date.

I really do hope Magazine3 decide to remove the plugin from the theme and simply encourage users to download it. As it stands, the inclusion of the plugin is an inconvenience for those who don’t want to use WordPress SEO and for those who do.

It probably won’t surprise you that WordPress SEO is not the only plugin that has been built into the theme. Grunion Contact Form, Photo Galleria and All-In-Shortcodes have also been integrated into the design. Whilst I’m sure many users would welcome the features that these plugins bring, the problems I noted above about not being automatically updated exist with these plugins too.

License Options

I wasn’t happy with the 5 license options available for the theme. I bought the single license with credit removal for $59 rather than the entry license at $49 as that doesn’t allow you to remove the credit.

Here’s the thing: they aren’t actually allowed to do that. It’s in violation of the General Public License in which WordPress is founded. I can’t really single Magazine3 out for this as a large percentage of theme stores have licenses set up this way.

Next week I will be speaking more about this topic as it’s something that I believe theme stores need to address.

Support & Documentation

On the plus side, the theme comes with a good documentation file that explains the main features of the options area and walks you through where all the advertisement positions area.

Support has been really good since I purchased the theme too. A quick look at their support forums suggests other customers are receiving great support too though they are closing this to provide help exclusively via their help desk. I brought up a lot of small bugs after I purchased the theme (such as the featured image titles not displaying correctly in Internet Explorer) and they came back to me with fixes within a few days.

Overview of The ProBlog Blogging Theme

How good a design looks is very subjective however I’m sure that most people would agree with me that ProBlog is one of the best looking blogging designs available for WordPress at the moment.

As I have discussed in great detail, the theme does have a lot of short comings. The code needs to be tided up, the absence of even one H1 header tag is baffling to say the least and integrating a major plugin such as WordPress SEO into the design is major mistake (that sadly some theme developers continue to make).

Despite all of this, I still love the theme. Once all these bugs have been fixed and some features have been tweaked I believe ProBlog will be one of the best blogging themes available. Support has been great though my main criticism against Magazine3 is that the theme seems to have been rushed out without proper testing and without the code being reviewed thoroughly. They do seem to be proactive in addressing bugs and improving the theme so I hope we see an improved version soon (though I’ve personally did so much editing that I won’t be able to just upload over the files).

Those of you are considering purchasing ProBlog will be glad to know that you can get 15% off the cost of any license by using the coupon code WPHub at checkout.

If you already own the theme (or planning on doing so) and unsure about how to edit the theme for your site, please feel free to post your questions regarding the issue in our WordPress Forums. I’ve worked with the design quite a lot over the last week so I should be able to help you with any problem you may have.

I hope you have enjoyed the review. If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to WPHub via RSS, Twitter or Facebook.

Good luck,

ProBlog: Information & Download | Demo

Codeable info

Comments (35)

Comment by Ummi says:

I’ve recently purchased problog premium theme.. pls check the look & let me know how to revise this look to screen shot look.

Comment by JaY Srivastava says:

I thought of buying this theme but i guess it is getting popular , so if at all i buy it i will have to customize it so it doesn’t look like every other problog themes based site.


Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

@guvner I still love the design but the standard of coding has been a lot of hassle. As you rightly pointed out, there are still a lot of errors in the theme. I’ve reported many to Magazine3. Initially they were very responsive and fixed some of the problems but they are now taking replies to give me updates to my tickets and they seem uninterested if I’m honest.

For example, I pointed out that the thumbnails use the image name for the alt text rather than the article title. They eventually got back to me and sent me a link to an article and said ‘try this and let me know if it works’ – akin to saying please do my job for me.

I wasn’t aware initially but they don’t use CSS for the top menu – they used javascript. I prefer CSS menu solutions as problems can arise – and one did. My newsletter pop up plugin didn’t work for over two weeks until I contacted the plugin developer and they send me a revised menu file (Magazine3 did offer to check it out though).

Unfortunately, many of the problems I noted are a problem with many premium designs. As a reviewer, it just isn’t possible for me to thoroughly check the code for every theme that is reviewed here. You usually find these things out when you try and modify them.

I’ve tried out Catalyst but never used it on a site. Two of my friends used it on a lot of websites and still rave about it and tell me to try it out. I also have Genesis and Headway too. Whilst I still like the current design, I am keen on changing it within the next few months. I am planning on having some good themes developed for release so I may use one of the designs that I release.

Best of luck with your redesign. I’m sure you could develop something similar using a framework such as Catalyst.

Comment by guvner says:

Update: Just received a reply from Magazine3 about the validation issues:

“We are aware of these issues, we will release an update soon. You will get the update notification from our blog at

Comment by Samuel says:

Hi Kevin, all fixed now.

Since I cannot work on my local server due to license limitations, all changes had to be done on the live site but I managed to get. I have removed the traces of addthis and using only share this now. I also removed the default css styling. I think it looks better :)

Comment by guvner says:

Hi Kevin – love your work! :) Thanks for a great review, really honest and to the point.

I was on the verge of buying this theme for a new project despite the little niggles you described concerning me a little, but when I add the results of W3C validation (both HTML & CSS) to the “poor coding” standards you reported, I’m starting to think that it may be more trouble than it’s worth.

Their site ( and yours ( both show a very high error count (HTML: 55; CSS: 170) for a theme that costs as much as this one does. Add to that you have to start disabling functions to remove a built-in (seo) plugin that not everybody wants – not a good practice as you rightly commented, and it starts to make me a little nervous.

I wrote to the developers yesterday and pointed out the validation issue and asked them if they had any plans to fix it – I haven’t received a reply as yet.

Despite the above I do agree it’s a good looking theme so it’s a shame that more hasn’t been done to fine-tune it. Right now, since I own a Catalyst Theme developer’s license (no connection btw), I’m tempted to use ProBlog as inspiration and build my own version, at least I know the SEO will be done right and that it will validate.

All the best from down-under,

Mike :)

Comment by Barry says:

Great article. It’s quite concerning the number of errors that are released in a premium WordPress theme.

Comment by Samuel says:

I think I will go with forum thingy. I have been at loggerhead with this since morning. Going through my header.php I found the script for Sharethis, I thought it was powered by addthis.
Too confusing lol
Still love the theme though :D

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

Sorry Sam. Looking back at your comment, you were very clear. That’s what happens when you login first thing in the morning and answer comments haha.

I brought this up with Magazine3 and explained how pointless the share thing is on the home page. Which is a shame, as the button images they used look great.

I simply replaced it with the actual buttons from google, facebook and twitter. I wrote an article on Smashing Magazine recently that walks you through exactly what you need to do.

You don’t need to go through all that as we are both using the same theme :) If you post a thread in the forums I can post the code I am using for wpmods and show you what templates you need to update. Bear in mind though that the facebook like button kind of goes off centre. I need to try and get that aligned better :)


Comment by Samuel says:

Thanks for the reply mate.
The social counters on the homepage under the posts. I found out that it still counts even when the posts have not been shared. It also does not reflect the actual social shares, for example, some post displays 5 tweets on actual post page and on homepage under the posts it displays zero.
Hope I’ve been clear enough :)

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

Hi Samuel,

What count issues are you referring to? I’ll do my best to help you resolve this :)


Comment by Samuel says:

Hi Kevin,
Thanks for the wonderful review of the theme. I have been working my way round theme also getting it to work as intended but I am stuck with the social issue.
I have been cracking my head on how to get round the count issues and it seems the only would be to get a different one in.
The problem however is, I do not know the exact files to remove and replace.

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

Hi Danny,

I’d be happy to help you. I’m not 100$ sure what your prolem is. Do you want to change where the thumbnails are placed?


Comment by Danny says:

I bought the theme for my blog Problogs through the post you made but I have a specific problem is that I can not get me out of thumbnails or as you leave both the Home and in the widgets.

Help me?.

Thank you very much and sorry for my English.

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

Can you post the modified functions.php template in the forums and I’ll check that you edited the code correctly.

Comment by Steve says:

When I remove that Kevin, I get the white screen of death and have to restore my function.php from a backup :(

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

Just remove this line:

<?php if ( get_option_mmtheme(‘seo_on_off’) == ‘true’ ) { ; ?><?php include(“includes/wordpress-seo/wp-seo.php”); ?><?php } ?>

Comment by Steve says:

Kevin Muldoon January 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm – Reply
If you purchase the plugin you should delete the reference to WordPress SEO from the top of the functions.php template, delete the WordPress Seo folder from your includes directory and then install the plugin manually so that you always get updates etc for it via the admin area.

Kevin – exactly what text do we delete to remove the reference.

These are the first 3 lines from my functions.php.

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

If you send me temporary admin login details for your site via the wpmods forums I can login and make this change for you. Just make sure your files have the right permissions so that I can edit the templates directly via the admin area. Otherwise, you would have to send me FTP details instead (i.e. details to login to your host).

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

I simply changed the float from left to right (and right to left) with the search box and social media icons. :)

Comment by Steve says:

I’m a #1 in the WordPress users description..don’t know too much. I guess I can have them do this for me unless its something that I can easily do. In the editor which option would I choose?

Comment by Steve says:

what did you do exacty to switch the social media and the search on the top. I like it better the way you have it with the social media left, serch box on the right.

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

I’m sorry. This is something that you will have to work out with Magazine3. I made a rule not to do this type of thing again after I got stung. It’s nothing personal. I just don’t want to get involved with money transactions as it causes nothing but complications.

Comment by ricky says:

I have sent several mail to them asking for the same but they only responded once saying that they have moneybooker as their alternative payment mode . Please kevin trust me . I wont do anything like that . I will give my entropay account with email id password . You just have it . It has a VCC of $69 . You can have that and buy me a single pro i.e for $59. If you want extra i will give that too. :)

Can we talk about it over mail , chat or preferably on facebook or something . Please kevin help me out . I don’t have any other choice . Please it’s a request :'(

You have my mail you can mail me there . Please

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

Unfortunately I can’t. I had a bad experience with doing this for a reader a few years ago when he later reversed the payment and I was out of pocket.

If magazine3 is based in India – can you not send it using an alternative method?

Comment by ricky says:

Hey kevin hi again , i badly want to buy this theme and need your help. As i am from india i am not able to buy it using paypal . You might know that indian user can’t send payment according to our Reserve bank of india guideline. Though i tried attaching a VCC to my account but it again restricting me saying you can’t send payment to an indian user’s account . The paypal email id of magazine3 is of an indian user then i tried buying a gig on fiverr using the same VCC and i succeeded , so that means i can send money to non indian user account. Basically i need help to buy this theme . Can you help me out in any manner . I tried contacting magazine3( matt) but the alternate payment he provided is moneybookers which is again giving me a problem . the moneybooker is not accepting the VCC i am using , its declining again and again . So can you help me out buying this theme . I will send you the money through paypal . You can have your extra charges. I am ready to pay extra . Please let me know if you can help … Waiting for your reply . Thanks

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

All versions of the script come with the photoshop file for the logo. They also provide the psd file that they used to design the whole site. This is useful if you want to make major changes to the design e.g. colour scheme, layout etc. If you’re not a designer, you won’t need the layouts file (I didn’t need it).

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

If you purchase the plugin you should delete the reference to WordPress SEO from the top of the functions.php template, delete the WordPress Seo folder from your includes directory and then install the plugin manually so that you always get updates etc for it via the admin area.

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

If you purchase the plugin you should delete the reference to WordPress SEO from the top of the functions.php template, delete the WordPress Seo folder from your includes directory and then install the plugin manually so that you always get updates etc for it via the admin area.

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

I don’t professional provide coding for anyone. I simply blog about the WordPress platform :)

Comment by ricky says:

Hey kevin very much thanks for your great review . :)

I want to buy this theme but i am bit confused which i should go for ? can you tell me the difference between the single pro and single pro psd ?

i just need it for one website . What exactly they are offering in psd file (Didn’t get that) . I mean i didn’t get that layout element . What exactly it is ? What does this layout element psd contains ? Please reply asap i need to buy it today :)


Comment by Jai says:

how should I update the “WordPress SEO’ plugin if I purchase this theme..?

Comment by Drewry says:

if you don’t mind me asking, what other CMS content systems do you professionally provide coding for? :-)

Comment by Kevin Muldoon says:

Thanks Ben. I appreciate the kind words. Glad you like the new design. Despite the problems I mentioned, I´m still happy with the outcome. It just required a lot more tweaking than I expected.

You will find that a lot of themes that get promoted as ‘SEO friendly’ are anything but. Unfortunately, sometimes you don’t find this out until after you have purchased the theme.

I can’t really be too critical about the guys from Magazine3 though as they have been very helpful so far and have promised to address any bugs/problems I find. I’m sure that they will take these comments on board and look to improve the design.

Comment by Ben says:

Hey Kevin,

As ever a thoroughly good read! I think as I know you do, we have a duty to inform people about WordPress themes etc, as we run WordPress related blogs.

It’s nice to see I am not the only one out there who goes into so much depth on a theme, educating & helping others is paramount to me as I am more than sure it is to you also.

Interesting to see that it was billed as “awesome SEO” properties, your findings clearly state otherwise!!

P.s. liking the new layout though, lots of info without being too over bearing great stuff!


Codeable info