Do you think first impressions last? Will Rogers once said – “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”. Drupal 8 offers some fantastic themes to help every business create a lasting impression. Let’s delve into some of the top Drupal themes that are most suited (but not exclusively) for Media and publishing websites.

According to a research, it takes 50 milliseconds for your website to make a good first impression. Which means that you have 50 milliseconds to visually appeal to your website users. And 94% of the impressions are related to the design of a website. Sure, Content is King; but “Queen Design” steals the show. At its core, Drupal is a framework that is excellent at managing content. However, the Drupal community has built and designed large number of themes to fit every business.

Drupal Theme


Drupal Themes consist of HTML markup and CSS files that helps in defining the visual appeal of your website. Drupal 8 core comes packed with several basic but impressionable themes like the Claro theme (administrative theme), Bartik theme, Seven theme, Classy theme and more. Don’t forget to watch out for Drupal 9’s (coming soon) new sleek and intuitive default theme - Olivero, which is still work-in-progress, but the style looks amazing already!

What should media and publishing websites look for in a Drupal Theme

If none of the default Drupal 8 themes fit your media and publishing business, you can choose from a wide variety of third-party themes. Third-party themes can be categorized into Free Drupal themes, Paid Drupal themes and Custom Drupal themes. Custom themes are opted for when none of the other 3rd party Drupal themes fit a business requirement or when certain CSS styles need to be tweaked. What makes a good Drupal theme?

  • Mobile Responsive – We all know how important it is to have a responsive website today. Not only does it make a great impression, considering the increase in the number of mobile users; it also appeals to Google which in-turn can boost the SEO ranking of a website.

  • Improved content readability - with well-marked layouts and clean HTML 5 markup

  • Friendly Editorial experience design – especially important for media and publishing websites

  • Choice of Layouts to fit your needs – 2 column or 3 column layouts to fit content and ads especially for media websites.

  • Customization options – should be easy to customize while offering customization options

  • Lightweight – Helps in faster page loading

Top Drupal 8 Themes for Media and publishing websites (actively maintained)

  1. Bootstrap

    The very popular and widely used Bootstrap framework is a front-end component library that is ideal for any type of website. The Bootstrap Drupal theme is responsive and acts as a link between Drupal and the Bootstrap framework. Many themes have been based on the Bootstrap framework – some of which we are going to talk about next. It offers slick styles and super-fast page load times with the help of jsDeliver CDN.

  2. Barrio

    This Bootstrap 4 based theme offers flexible layouts that are particularly useful for media and publishing websites. The free Barrio Drupal 8 theme offers 1, 2 and 3 column layouts that are easily configurable. It acts as a base theme on which you can add styles. To completely leverage the power of Bootstrap 4, it is recommended to use the Bootstrap 4 Barrio SASS subtheme. It brings along a variety of styles for every type of element including Color management, dropdown menus, predefined Google fonts and more.

  3. Showcase Lite

    The Showcase Lite Drupal 8 theme is free Drupal theme based on Bootstrap 3 offering a mobile-first layout. It comes with 34 configurable block regions and 1, 2 and 3 column layouts to choose from. With a Superfish menu it offers intuitive navigation with mobile-friendly, touch-enabled and keyboard-accessible drop-down menus. They also offer a Premium version of this Drupal 8 theme.

Showcase Lite


  1. Creative Responsive Theme

    This is a minimalistic yet stunning Drupal 8 theme that does not depend on any core theme. It is responsive, lightweight and comes with clean HTML5 markup and CSS code. It offers 1 and 2 column layout options, more than 16 block regions and multi-level dropdown menus. It offers a Nivo slider that helps showcase featured content in the banner, allowing administrator to add slides to the slideshow as and when they please.

Creative Responsive


  1. Newsplus Lite

    The Newsplus Lite Drupal 8 theme is a free Bootstrap 3 based theme and as its name suggests, a very lightweight theme. It is great for styling media websites like News sites and magazine sites. Offering 3 column layouts, it is a responsive theme that is simple yet great looking. It comes with clean HTML5 and CSS3 codebase, a rich footer and plenty of other modern features. They also offer a premium version of this theme.

Newsplus Lite


  1. Magazine Lite

As the name suggests, this Drupal 8 theme is lightweight and best suited for magazine websites. It is based on Bootstrap 3 offering mobile-first layouts. It offers a clean 1, 2 and 3 column layouts and Superfish menu for a sleek and stylish news or magazine website.

Magazine Lite


  1. Photographer theme

    The Photographer theme is a free Drupal 8 one page portfolio theme that is chic and classy at the same time. It offers a fully responsive layout that is best suited to showcase creative and colorful portfolios. Comes with jQuery dropdown menus for modern and easy navigation. It lets you add more than 10 social network profiles and is integrated with Font Awesome.



    8. Pixel Theme


This is a classic, modern and lightweight Drupal 8 theme that is great for media and publishing websites as well as corporate websites. It is fully responsive and offers 3 column layouts to showcase your work. You can configure up to 20 block regions and comes with a responsive Superfish menu.



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