How to Build a News Website with WordPress

Anyone can build a blog that showcases their opinions and provides useful information to their audience, but doing so efficiently is a skill that takes some learning.

The creation of a news website is a little more complex, as it requires not only a platform but also the ability to report and engage with the audience on a continuing basis.

Create A Plan

The first step to taking control of a news website is to create a plan. Thinking things through logically and being organized are vital in such a case, particularly as you will most likely be working with a limited budget.

The next step is to secure the rights to use the name of your chosen publication, as this is what your website will represent. You also need to register the domain name for your news website (this is the website address that will be used to access your content, typically located within a web browser) and secure the email address that you will use to correspond with visitors.

Decide On The Purpose Of Your Site

Just like with any new endeavor, you will soon discover that there are a variety of reasons why individuals might want to create a news website. Some might want to express an opinion, provide information, or even just sell something.

The decision on the ‘why’ is essential as it will help you determine how to approach and engage with your audience. Thinking through the process of motivating your readers to take action and become engaged with your content will guide your decisions on what content to include and how to present it. This will help you to create an impact and engage with your readership. You are not building a website to satisfy an audience, you are providing a tool that they can use to achieve certain goals.

Determine The Type Of Content

This step is vital as you do not want to end up with a site that simply republishes other published articles, as this will likely only attract bored and/or unengaged readers.

The type of content that you will need to include on your site depends on your chosen purpose for the site. In the case of a news website, you probably want to include articles related to current events, national news, or topics that you are well-versed in. In the event that you have a clear opinion on a certain topic, you could produce a guide to help others learn more about your viewpoints. Think of well-written, engaging content along with a combination of the above to create a winning formula for your news site.

Choose A Platform

There are numerous platforms that you could use to build a news website, such as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal. Each has their advantages and disadvantages, so you need to carefully consider what you are looking for in a tool set and what you are able to afford.

WordPress is the most popular blogging platform, and it is also quite adaptable, allowing you to add a wealth of functionalities to your site. It is incredibly easy to use and secure, making it a popular choice among beginners who want to get up and running quickly. Despite its popularity, WordPress is only a publishing platform and does not come with any built-in functionalities that could help you develop a site into a platform for effective communication.

Drupal is another option, as it provides a rich ecosystem of functionalities, allowing you to build a fully-fledged news website from the ground up. If you are looking for a tool set that is free, along with the open source community that supports it, then Drupal could be a good choice as it is both free and open source. However, if you are looking for something more professional that can handle heavier loads, then WordPress is the clear choice. In the end, it depends on your desired outcome.

Establish Your Target Audience

Once you have decided on the type of content that you will include on your site, it’s time to establish your target audience. You want to choose keywords and key phrases that prospective readers might use to find your content, as well as what device they are likely to use to access it (mobile phones or computers).

There are a variety of tactics that you could use to attract readers to your site. You could choose to write excellent articles that draw in potential customers, or you could develop and offer an online learning platform that teaches your chosen topic. You should also consider whether you want to focus on a national audience or an international one.

The decision on who your target audience is going to be depends on many factors. Once you have a small number of readers who have engaged with your content, it’s time to take into consideration the demographics and psychographics of your target audience. This will help you choose the right content to include and how you communicate with your audience. You can also use tools such as Google Analytics to discover the demographics and psychographics of your readership.

Create Some Content

The next step is to create some content. You can write an introduction that sets the stage for the content that follows. You can also choose to write a series of articles, which is what I did when I first started my news site. I wrote and published one article each week, detailing the creation of each recipe and its nutritional information. This article series was incredibly successful as it provided regular content, while at the same time allowing me to hone my writing skills.

You can take this example and spin it to suit your needs. Perhaps you have an opinion piece that you want to write. Or perhaps you are looking to write a guide to walking your dog or how to cook a certain meal. Whatever it may be, you need to find a way to communicate with your audience and gain their trust. The best way to do so is through content.

Get Some Feedback

Once you have some content, it’s time to get some feedback. Through alpha testing, you can discover whether or not your audience is engaging with your content and whether or not they are discovering and/or recalling relevant information. This will assist you in adapting and improving your content.

Alpha testing is a form of A/B testing, involving the controlled, repeated publication of different variations of content (i.e., ‘A’ and ‘B’) to see which one performs better. The results of A/B tests can be very informative, helping you to discover the optimal version of your content (i.e., ‘A’), as well as allowing you to compare this with your current content (i.e., ‘B’), to see how it performs.

Plan Your Website’s Layout

The plan for your website’s layout is going to be extremely important, particularly as you are going to be designing this space to accommodate some of the biggest names in news publishing. You need to take into consideration the size of the screen that your target audience is going to be using and create a layout that is easy to read and functional on all devices.

There are numerous benefits to having a responsive website. First, if someone visits your site on a computer, tablet, or mobile phone, the layout will adapt itself to fit the screen size. This means that there is no need to manually adjust the text and images to fit the screen, as the content will automatically scale itself to fit the device.

Another advantage of a responsive website is that it uses less data, as it can compress the images and save them locally, instead of having to load them from a server. Third, a responsive website is search engine optimized (SEO), as the search engines can “see” all the content easily. Finally, a responsive website is accessible from any device, as it adapts itself to fit the display size.

Choose The Right Type Of Stories

Now that you have a plan in place and you have some content, it’s time to choose the right type of stories for your website. The goal is to develop a news website that consistently publishes engaging content, offering both national and international audiences with a wealth of engaging stories.

There are a variety of tactics that you can use to choose the right type of content for your news website. For example, are you looking to write about emerging trends, international news, or are you wanting to focus on local stories and events?

The decision on what type of content to include on your site is going to be based on your target audience, as you do not want to end up with a site that simply republishes other blogs and websites, as this will likely only attract bored and/or unengaged readers.