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Fresh News – The Return of a Classic

Written by Magnus Jepson on January 27, 2011 Product News.

It’s been almost three years since we designed Fresh News, and since then it has been our most sold theme up until recently when Canvas finally passed it on our theme leaderboard. We have continually updated it to fix bugs and make it work with thelatest WordPress versions, as we do with all our themes, but time had come for a complete overhaul to bring it up to today standards.

We received some suggestions from one of our users on what was missing from the theme, which was a pity because the theme still had killer looks, but was let down by the seemingly outdated features. We listened to the suggestions and after almost a week of coding we can now present version 3.0 of Fresh News.

Fresh News 3.0

The theme has been re-coded so it isn’t bound by the strict 960 grid system it used before. It also has a more flexible header now which was restricted in height in the old version, which made it harder to customize. Here is a rundown of the major features, some that you will also see in our other new themes in the future.



The most requested feature in Fresh News has been a slider, since most of our other magazine themes had one. So we have included the basic SlidesJS script which lets you slide or fade your posts.


Subscribe & Connect

This is a new area below your single posts that allows the user to subscribe and connect with you. There is also a widget you can use in one of your sidebars. This will become a standard in all our new themes.


Styling and Typography options

As with all our new themes, you can now change background color or upload an image, both for the body and header. You can also change all the typography in the theme. You’ll notice that we already use Droid Serif which is a Google web font on the titles as default.


Layout and Footer Widgets

You now have some extra functionality to change the layout of your single post or page, where you can choose from full width, left sidebar or right sidebar layout on a per post level. You also have a new optional widgetized area in the Footer where you can add up to 4 widgetized areas.

Looking back at all these lovely new features, it should make Fresh News a solid candidate if you are looking for a new magazine theme. We hope our users appreciate the effort we put in to maintaining our older themes as well as releasing new themes!

View the demo of Fresh News 3.0 to see the new look!

60 Responses

  1. Pete Skenandore
    January 27, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    Absolutely awesome!

  2. Thomas Piccirello
    January 27, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    I’m incapable of verbalizing how truly excited this makes me. I’ve been using Fresh News for over 2 years, and many of these features are ones I’ve been longing for since day 1. It’s amazing that a company would release such a huge update for a 3-year-old theme, especially when it was so unexpected. Keep up the great work, and thank you for reminding me why I buy from WooThemes!

    • Magnus
      January 27, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

      Hope you enjoy the new features and options I added πŸ™‚

  3. Tony
    January 27, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    Have you got any plans to incorporate SlidesJS into any other themes instead of the standard slider?

    • Magnus
      January 27, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

      It is very similar to the previous slider, except it supports fade transition. We’ll most likely use this for new themes only.

      • Tony
        January 31, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

        It’s the fading transition I’m after!

  4. Amy Nievera
    January 27, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

    Yes! Fresh News was my favorite theme except I wished it had a slider and was more customizeable. Now it does and is!

    I love you, WooThemes.

  5. Nikole Gipps
    January 27, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    This is great! Although I might mention that you’re about a day late on this because I **JUST** updated a site of mine from the old Fresh News to Canvas …. *grumble grumble time for a redo* LOL I am SO going back to Fresh News now!!!

  6. Wes Kriesel
    January 27, 2011 at 10:05 pm #

    Though I’m a club member and use many Woothemes for my clients, I’ve never used Fresh News before. I’ve just started working with the re-release and love it. Thank you for revitalizing Fresh News.

  7. Free & Easy Blog
    January 27, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    Wow we are definitely excited about the new improvements and cannot wait to test them out. Great job on it

  8. Aaron Whittaker
    January 28, 2011 at 12:40 am #

    Such a great theme, now even better. Thankyou for this excellent update.

  9. Alex
    January 28, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    Great update!
    Subscribe & Connect function will be included in old themes also or just in new ones? Thanks

    • Magnus
      January 28, 2011 at 11:45 am #

      We might add it to some older popular themes when we update them, but for now just new themes. Canvas will get the update today πŸ™‚

  10. dave
    January 28, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    Love this, but disappointed to see that it still has that delay/loading problem with the tabs. This is where when you first load the page the tabs run vertically down the screen and then “snap” back to their proper horizontal tab position.

    I really like the feature and have tried to use it in several sites, but all of my clients dislike that load delay and the “snap” into place effect it causes.

    Is there anyway to avoid that, fix it, hide it, etc?

    • Magnus
      January 28, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

      Should be able to hide it with CSS first and then when the site and javascript has loaded it can display it. We’ll look into a fix πŸ™‚

    • Magnus
      January 28, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

      It’s actually only one line of CSS needed in style.css πŸ™‚

      #tabs #tab-latest, #tabs #tab-comm, #tabs #tab-tags { display:none; }

      • dave
        February 2, 2011 at 6:02 am #

        Oh goodness, that is great. Thank you. I know it seems small, but this is now worth the purchase for me.

        Now, if only I could figure out how to apply a similar fix to that old headlines theme. It uses #wootabs in the css and doesn’t seem to break the tabs down by latest, comm, or tags.

  11. David Bailey
    January 28, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

    Simply awesome! Thanks for updating a truly workhorse theme…

    Mind if I ask why you removed the Grunge options? I loved how easy these were to update with custom graphic styles. Please bring ’em back! πŸ™‚

    Cheers, David

    • Magnus
      January 29, 2011 at 7:02 am #

      Since the code was redone to make the header more flexible, we didn’t have the original PSD files for the grunge layouts so we couldn’t redo them and also felt that these were a tad out of date.

      • Leslie Nicole
        February 1, 2011 at 10:26 am #

        I can see your point, but the grunge styles worked perfectly for my Texture Photography sites.

        Still, I’m thrilled by your updates. Always impressed with how you listen to feedback.

        I’ll need to take it for a test spin and see how easy it will be to customize the background. I’ve always really liked the White version of the theme as well.

        • Nikole Gipps
          February 1, 2011 at 11:13 am #

          I like your site! I also like the “softer” theme choices – one of my sites originally used papercut with a floral grunge and I thought it was really pretty. The solid colors are business-like, sure … but sometimes I’d like to see something fun and artsy. It’s easy to swap out backgrounds on some themes (like the things I’m doing to crisp on my personal blog … I’m pretty sure those backgrounds were not something the original designer thought about! ha!) but some of these news themes, it is not as easy and some variety in choices would be nice.

        • Magnus
          February 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

          We just didn’t have the original artwork for the grunge styles, so we couldn’t implement them again πŸ™

        • Leslie Nicole
          February 1, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

          I just uploaded this to a new blog that I’m starting. (Actually the French version of my blog.) Just a quick look around the settings and I’m impressed. With the new options to put the header and background that you want, this is fantastic!

          Nice work, Magnus!

          • Magnus
            February 1, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

            Thank you!

  12. David Sharpe
    January 28, 2011 at 10:28 pm #

    I’d love to see some customization options in the Subscribe and Connect feature. It would be nice to add any link we wanted, like Digg or other services/sites. MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc. would be a welcome integration in the e-mail newsletter subscription area too.

    Great update to the theme. It’s good to see there are more ad size option possible as well.

  13. claurentk
    January 29, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    Still very exciting visiting woothemes news releases! Do you plan other magazine theme release or do you plan to refresh the DailyEdition Magazine theme?

    • Magnus
      January 29, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

      We’ve got another new magazine theme coming next month πŸ™‚

      Daily Edition could be a potential update candidate for sure. Maybe Gazette is first though as that is older than Fresh News and still very popular.

      • Chris Langille
        January 30, 2011 at 10:28 pm #

        This looks great Magnus! Busy Bee is 4th all time and is 3 yrs old…anything in the works for it?

        Great work

        • Nikole Gipps
          January 30, 2011 at 10:48 pm #

          Haha! *nudge nudge wink wink*

          • Chris Langille
            January 30, 2011 at 11:40 pm #


        • Magnus
          January 31, 2011 at 1:58 am #

          Might be… What do you think needs updating?

          • Chris Langille
            January 31, 2011 at 2:06 am #

            I think if you made the exact same improvements to Busy Bee as you did FreshNews, it would be a slam dunk. I love the social/subscribe widget and more flexible header of FreshNews so if I had to pick two improvements it would be those two!

          • Chris Langille
            January 31, 2011 at 2:10 am #

            With the social media phenomenon, I think social integration is really important as well. At least it is for me.

      • Leslie Nicole
        February 1, 2011 at 10:31 am #

        I loved Gazette, but it definitely needs some love. Ability to change the font would be good. If possible also the colors. I bet this would work great with an option for an earthier color scheme. Social media needs to be improved as well.

        It’s a smart move, updating some of your popular older themes. They are still really nice themes.

        • Magnus
          February 1, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

          Gazette is on our radar, and thanks for the feedback on Fresh News πŸ™‚

  14. Muzi Mohale
    January 30, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    Super update indeed and I immediately updated 2 of my forgotten blogs which have now been brought back to life. Can the Subscribe/Connect be standard to all themes as it’s so important and also allow other mailing list providers beyond feedburner. I particularly like the options available for the tab sidebar widget…it’s such an annoyance that the other themes carry the static tab which always defaults to ‘popular post’ when ‘comments’ are more ideal as they refresh constantly.

  15. Kristoffer Osmundsen
    February 1, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    Will we see slidejs in Canvas… ? πŸ˜›

    • Magnus
      February 1, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

      Most likely in the future, yes. πŸ™‚

  16. Ronny
    February 2, 2011 at 1:38 pm #


    This is Theme is not serious you or? It is absolutely cheap and dull. In which time was it written? To one day?

    it is anyway a backward step. I hope it soon comes sometimes a demanding News-Theme, because what offers to her at the moment his money is worth by no means.

    These bore Magazine-Themes with a Slider and the contributions underneath are offered meanwhile already as a Free-Themes on other sides. You should urgently contrive what, so that your clientele does not run away to you.

    Yours sincerely
    a disappointed customer

    • Magnus
      February 2, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

      Sorry to disappoint you! Have you purchased the theme by any chance? Is it the design in general that is disappointing?

      Fresh News is one of our most sold themes of all time, so your comment does seem a bit harsh?

      • Leslie Nicole
        February 3, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

        What I like about this theme is the clean, elegant look. For a designer, the typography is lovely. It can easily be customized to be quite striking and unique. Have a look at the showcase for examples of how creatively people have used this theme.

        Also keep in mind that you are not only paying for the design, but the ease of use in the back-end, the experience of the coders, and support for the theme. Try finding all of that in a Free theme. πŸ˜‰

        Finally, I can see English is not your native language. I know how hard it can be to express your opinion with finesse in another language, but it does seem unnecessarily harsh.

        • Ronny
          February 6, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

          @Leslie Nicole
          However, I have to make no desire still long in a bought Theme.
          1. If I do not have for it the knowledge
          2. Should like me theme from beginning what is not the case here.

          As already said for normal Blogger the Theme is fine enough, however, I am more demanding.

          I find my criticism not too hard, it is simply my opinion with Woo-Themes the products become more and more dull, nothing the interesting new passed. Why has one anew put on, otherwise, an old Theme? For me this is quite clearly a clue for uncreativity, above all because it hardly contains visible changes to the old Theme.

          Yes in English is not my mother tongue and I ask for excuse for my bad one in English πŸ˜‰

          • Magnus
            February 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm #


            We are all open to criticism, but I don’t really see any constructive feedback in what is wrong with Fresh News. You say it isn’t advanced enough for your needs, but that doesn’t mean it is a bad theme does it?

            Can you explain what makes a theme dull and what can be done to “un-dull” it? πŸ™‚ do you think it is wise to change the looks of one of our most popular themes just because you think it looks dull? Or are you referring to some other themes?

      • Ronny
        February 6, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

        For the normal use this Theme seems to be complete enough, but for the professional application it is unenough. Only this “Boxed style” is to be looked not quite nicely.
        In am a member in her club and waits since this time for a reasonable “News-Theme” which with single categories works and puts not all articles together.
        Because it is the bestselling Theme, her main customers seem to be quite normal Blogger. However, I need a little bit proferssionelleres Theme. But meanwhile I believe that I will not find such a Theme with them.

  17. Sara
    February 5, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    Love, love, love all the updates to this! Especially the Subscribe and Connect feature – thanks πŸ™‚

  18. Nikole Gipps
    February 6, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    So I have been playing with this new version this weekend, and the only problem with the subscribe & connect is when you have a service other than feedburner. For example, this is the site I’m building right now, and I had to manually edit the functions file to work with aweber on the bottom of posts, and then fudge it with a text widget in the sidebar.
    Maybe in future versions, there could be more options?

    • Magnus
      February 6, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

      Well you could just add your form in the options panel where you put the text πŸ™‚

      • Nikole Gipps
        February 6, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

        I had to make a fake one to get the HTML for adding my own thing, lol. Cheating!

  19. Leslie Nicole
    February 6, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    Magnus, now that Fresh News no longer has the grunge design options, it occurs to me that some people may not immediately see the fantastic potential for this theme and how easy it is now to get those design effects. (I’m thinking of the “boring” comment above.) Some people may not look through the showcase to see what’s possible with changing the background & header. You might find it more compelling to offer a variation or two that shows its potential (the way you show interpretations with canvas). I haven’t looked to see if you have done this, but in the description of the theme, perhaps point out how flexible it is (background / header)

    • Nikole Gipps
      February 6, 2011 at 8:56 pm #

      Maybe we should all just run off and use it and then submit to the showcase. πŸ™‚

  20. Brian Martin
    February 7, 2011 at 8:51 am #

    So just to clarify – the floral grunge background can’t be repeated so that it continues down the page? I’m loving the look of it, but as it runs out after the first screen the blog is left a little naked. Liking the theme, especially the non techy configuration options. Thanks

    • Magnus
      February 7, 2011 at 10:08 am #

      We changed the header dimensions a bit so couldn’t apply the same image as before as it was not repeatable. You can try to modify the images from the old version and upload them in the options panel if you prefer the grunge look πŸ™‚

  21. Libby Collier
    February 7, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    Hi Magnus (& other WooThemers)

    Have to say first off that I love WooThemes and Fresh News in particular πŸ™‚

    I struggled with another popular premium theme literally for weeks then finally discovered Fresh News. 2 hours later and the site was up and running. Love it!

    A couple of quick questions about this great update…

    I use the ‘Grey’ colour scheme however this doesn’t seem to have been carried forward in the new version. So if I want to keep with the ‘Grey’ look for the header will I have to muck around with the image files, stylesheet etc?

    If I do move to the new version can I then switch back easily to the original version or does it overwrite all of the original Fresh News files?

    Also, I’ve used the custom.css to make my own changes to the theme. Am I able to use this same custom.css in the new version?

    Many thanks

    • Magnus
      February 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

      Hi there!

      You can grab any images used in old version from styles/grey/ and upload them in the options panel of new version.

      If you upload the new theme to a different folder name, you can easily swap the themes back and forth.

      custom.css changes might not work in new version as it has been recoded quite a lot.

      • Elizabeth Collier
        February 8, 2011 at 2:13 am #


        Thanks for getting back to me Magnus!

        Think I will upload it as freshnews2 and see how I go.


        PS: Not sure it’s a bad thing if custom.css doesn’t work given the ‘crimes against stylesheets’ I’ve committed with my current one πŸ˜‰

  22. James Panjaitan
    March 20, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    I’m using the old Freshnews themes on one of my blog and have modified some parts of it based on my own preferences. Check it out at and tell me what do you think. If you’re interested to modify your own, you may contact me and i’ll be very happy to share what changes i’ve made to the themes. Who knows, WooThems can get some ideas from it for the next Freshnews themes update..:)


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