Starting a news site can be a great way to reach a new fan base and bring a lot of information to a large group of people. WordPress is the perfect place to host that site. We’ll take you through how to set up your site.
Starting a news site with WordPress begins with installing it on a server capable of handling the high levels of traffic news sites tend to receive. If you’re starting with a small budget, use a shared hosting server from a reliable host such as SiteGround, InMotion Hosting, or A2 Hosting.
If you plan on growing quickly and have a larger budget to spend, use a VPS or cloud server from WP Engine, Pagely, Flywheel, Pagely, LiquidWeb, SiteGround, InMotion Hosting, or A2 Hosting.
News sites are content heavy by nature, meaning traditional blogging and multi-purpose themes are out of the question. Here are a few things to consider when picking out a theme for a news site.
The homepage is where your readers will spend most of their time browsing, deciding what stories interest them most. This means your theme should organize content in one way or another rather than listing posts in the order you published them in.
There should be an area at the top of the homepage for stories you feel are most important. Most themes will also let you organize content by category.
Support for Ads
Media isn’t a traditional business that sells products and services, and many consumers expect to receive the news for free these days. This is why it’s important for you to choose a theme that supports ads so you can earn revenue by displaying ads from ad networks, such as Google AdSense, and sponsors.
Optimized for Mobile & the Web
More and more people are migrating to mobile devices, meaning it’s no longer a question of whether or not your site needs to be optimized for mobile. There are also more screen sizes than ever, which means your theme should also be responsive.
Well-Designed Author Boxes
Author boxes are the little blurbs at the end of articles that display photos of authors, short descriptions about them and links to their social media accounts. Pick a theme that has well-designed author boxes by default, but don’t worry if the one you want has a less than lackluster design. You can always add well-designed author boxes to your site using these plugins; Simple Author Box, WP Author Box Lite.
Best Magazine WordPress Themes For News Sites
You’ll need a theme that makes the most sense for a news site. The content should be king. Some of our favorites are Newspaper, Grand News, Newsmag, and Flex Mag.
9 Plugins To Install
Powering a news site with WordPress goes well beyond web hosts and themes. There are also a number of different plugins to consider, from ones that help you manage your team to ones that help you manage your readers.
Here are nine plugins that will help you, your team and your site perform effectively and efficiently.
WP RSS Aggregator
WP RSS Aggregator is one of the most popular RSS aggregator plugins available for WordPress. This plugin creates a constant flow of content on your site by allowing you to import feeds from a variety of different sources.
A number of different premium add-ons are available for this plugin. The Feed to Post add-on, for example, helps you populate a page on your site with fresh content automatically by letting you import and store feed items in posts and custom post types. You can get an idea of how this tool works by viewing WP News Desk, a demo site created using the Feed to Post extension with WP RSS Aggregator.
Edit Flow helps you manage your editorial calendar and team by letting you create and assign articles to editors and writers inside the WordPress admin area.
User Role Editor
User Role Editor helps you manage what areas of your site different users have access to.
News SEO is a premium extension of the Yoast SEO plugin. It helps you optimize your site for Google News.
Jetpack Related Posts Feature
Jetpack by WordPress.com comes with a Related Posts feature that scans all of the posts, categories and tags on your site to display recommendations for similar posts.
Disqus Conditional Load
Disqus Conditional Load lets you add the Disqus comment system to your site. Disqus makes it easy for you to moderate and build a community on your site through your comment section.
Ditty News Ticker
You may not need this if your theme comes with a news ticker. Ditty News Ticker adds a header to the top of your site where you can display a list of headlines or trending topics.
IssueM lets you turn multiple articles into issues readers can read on your site or download as PDFs.
MemberMouse is a premium membership plugin that includes a feature you can use to charge a subscription fee for access to exclusive content on your site.
a3 Lazy Load
a3 Lazy Load improves page speeds by only loading images when they become visible. You may not need this plugin if a lazy-loading feature is included with your theme.
Setting up hosting, installing WordPress, picking out and installing a theme, and installing plugins is just half the battle of running a news site with WordPress. You also need to make sure your themes, plugins, and WordPress installation are up to date and your site is optimized for SEO, well secured and up to date.
We have a few articles that will teach you how to do these things:
- How to Set Up a News Aggregation Site with WordPress & WP RSS Aggregator
- How to Build a WordPress Autoblogging Website
- A Detailed Guide to WordPress Website Maintenance
- Everything You Need to Know About Security for WordPress
- 7 Best Backup Plugins for WordPress
- Everything You Need to Know About SEO for WordPress
- An In-Depth Guide to Using Yoast SEO
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