Building a news website in WordPress can end up being a long and tedious process if you’re winging it; this article is the perfect map to help you navigate the entire process and end up with a beautiful news website.
The fact that you can publish news on your own platform without having to lease a massive building and a printing press would’ve been incredible a little over a couple of decades ago. Around the same time, if you wanted a website, you had to hire an expert to do it for you for an arm and a leg. Of course, this is still an option to this day, but it’s not the only one.
Now, you can create your own website with the help of some select tools that come with the content management system WordPress. Today, your budget and technical knowledge level should be easy. There are other content management systems, so you’re allowed to ask: why WordPress and not another CMS?
Why You Should Use WordPress for Your News Website
WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS), as it drives 43% of all websites on the planet. It creates all types of websites, from blogs to corporate websites. Massive companies like Microsoft News and Sony Music have excellent WordPress websites.
Free To Use
WordPress is open-source software that has come in leaps and bounds since its inception in 2003. Its open-source status lets you download, personalize, and use it however you want for free! This availability at no cost is one of its top-selling points, no pun intended.
Using the multitude of plugins that WordPress offers, you can develop a website with excellent features and functions. If you use the right resources, you can utilize the scalability of WordPress and serve millions of page views every month.
WordPress offers many themes and plugins that give you massive control over your website. Themes are essentially comprehensive designs of your website layouts, colors, fonts, and styling. On the other hand, plugins are site addons that you install to add specific features and functions to your website. For most of the functions a website can have, there are most likely corresponding plugins.
WordPress is a darling of search engines because it comes with stellar code and semantic markup. What’s more, you get a multitude of SEO plugins that enhance the code and markup so that Google and all other search engines find it easy to crawl and rank your website well. WordPress websites are highly responsive and mobile friendly; you can work on their speed too. All these factors contribute to the great SEO of WordPress.
Creating a website with WordPress is easy, especially with its themes and plugins. You can access and play around with the software for free or at very low costs. If you get stuck doing anything, you can rely on WordPress’s online and offline learning material. All you have to do is search online for eBooks, tutorial videos, forums, blog posts, and webinars. You can also take an online course if you want to learn a lot.
Follow The 7 Steps to Create a WordPress News Website
All you need to create your news website in WordPress is a tiny investment, and this article. I’m about to give you all the firepower you need to get your website up and running in a few hours. Here is a step-by-step guide on how you go about creating a top-quality news website.
Step 1: Get a Domain Name
Choosing a domain name is the first thing you do when creating a website. This is the name that describes your brand perfectly so that your site’s name and links speak what it’s all about. It should also be easy to remember so that people can revisit your website by keying in its name from memory. Think about a name like World Sports Times for an online sports magazine whose domain name is worldsportstimes or wstimes; that’s something you wouldn’t forget.
Before you’re done with your domain name, you have to choose the extension with which you want your website’s identity to end. The most popular extension is .com, but you can go with .org. If you want your website to only attract users from your country, you can go with a country-specific extension; Americans go with .us, Australians .au, and so on. Your website could then be worldsportstimes.com or wstimes.us.
When choosing your domain name, you have to confirm that the domain name isn’t taken by another. You should also take care not to take a domain name that is too similar to someone else’s because visitors may go to theirs when planning on going to yours. You should also remember that a taken domain name can be available if you take a different extension. If someone has wstimes.com, you can take wstimes.org; however, this is ill-advised for the same reasons as going for a name similar to someone else’s.
When you’ve chosen a domain name with its extension, the next move is registering it. You can register your domain name with domain registrars such as NameCheap, GoDaddy, or Domain, among others. However, there are different domain registrars, like HostGator, who also double as web hosts (I’ll explain about hosts in Step 2). If you register your domain name with your hosting provider, it may be a much smoother experience.
Step 2: Choose a Hosting Provider and Hosting Plan
Hosting is essentially the storage of your website and all its files. You should take this step seriously because the wrong choice could mean the loss of your website and important records when you can least afford it.
Choosing an excellent host means that you have to consider different aspects of what they offer. Most of the good ones will provide free backups, SSL, and assistance with installations; however, here are features that you should look for to set the best apart from the rest:
- Reliable support: The methodology for deciding a host’s quality of support is twofold. First, support should be available 24/7/365. Second, it should be available via at least two methods: live chat, premade tutorials, tickets, and phone.
- Uptime: Uptime implies the percentage of time during which your website will be online and operating smoothly per unit of time. The best hosting provider can only promise 99.9%. You should be skeptical of any provider that dares promise 100% uptime because such never-failing consistency is impossible to guarantee. However, anything that goes below 99.4% is too mediocre.
- Loading Speed: Your hosting should always give you excellent loading speed. If your news website grows to have many visitors at a time, you will need to give them a smooth experience, and part of that will depend on the loading speed.
- Data Centers: If you want your news website to attract users from different countries, you will need a hosting provider with data centers spread out around the world. On the other hand, if your traffic is primarily from one country, you will need a host with data centers within its borders.
When choosing one of the best hosting for news websites, you have alternatives, such as HostGator, SiteGround, Kinsta, Bluehost, and Hostinger. All these providers have different hosting plans you can sign up for, depending on your needs and budget. The article in the link above should help you choose a host and hosting plan.
Step 3: Choose a Content Management System (WordPress)
Some hosting providers offer plans that have preinstalled WordPress versions. If you don’t go with one of these, you will have to choose your preferred CMS in this step. WordPress is really popular around the globe, with almost half of all websites in the world using it, and for a good reason. Once you select it and follow the next few steps, you can complete your website in 5 minutes.
Step 4: Choose a WordPress Theme
The devising of WordPress themes is the hack of the century. The ease of creating a website using a WordPress theme is incredible, considering the difficulty you’d experience building it from scratch. To get the best out of WordPress, you should get yourself a magazine or news theme. Such a theme offers features, functions, and pages that are suited to your intended purposes.
The only issue is that there are very many themes in the niche, and not all of them are of stellar quality. Since choosing a good theme goes a long way in helping you achieve the best possible results, we’ve taken the liberty of recommending Neeon theme, a top WordPress news, and magazine theme. We’ll be using it in the examples we give in here.
Unlike free themes that you can add directly from the WordPress directory via your admin dashboard, premium ones like Neeon require that you upload their files and then activate them. You can do it using the theme uploader or FTP Clients.
Neeon Feature Overview
You could take the time to search for an alternative theme, but we can assure you that you won’t get the deal Neeon offers elsewhere, considering its wealth of features. It has ready elements for different niches, including pets, music, news blogs, food, photography, personal blog, business, fitness, medical, sports, travel, newspaper, magazine, gaming, illustrations, and technology.
It boasts reliable support, ease of use, regular updates, WooCommerce readiness, and incredible accessibility features. I can’t possibly go into deep detail about each of its outstanding features, so here are a few.
Layouts and Customization
Neeon comes with lots of elegant and fully customizable layout variations for many elements. It gets you started with a whopping 16 comprehensive website demos, complete with multiple pages, headers, sidebars, and other elements and sections. You may have several categories of news, and Neeon lets you choose the category page you’ll display them on from 5 awesome variations. It then offers 3 layout variations for your news post details.
With Neeon, you get to work with 10 flexible header styles that can vary in 30+ different ways. The 5 footer variations it offers are also fully customizable.
Not only does Neeon come with the Elementor page builder, but it’s also Gutenberg-ready. You can use the drag & drop builder that you prefer between the two. However, the Elementor plugin comes along with 19 custom Elementor addons and 60+ layouts to boot.
Since Neeon has the One-Click Demo Import, you can import any of the 16 demos and get started quickly. Furthermore, you get to work with the Child Theme, which gives you more flexibility in customizing your demos. You can create different versions of the original demos, rename, and save them for future use while retaining all custom and original versions.
Fonts and Readability
You won’t have to worry about the readability of your content with Neeon because it has robust readability features. It has a dark mode, which enables users to read for prolonged periods without straining their eyes. Neeon has an image blend mood option that lets you change the shades of images to match the ambiance you want your news articles to evoke. As you edit your news pieces, you can post them on post overlays for added elegance.
The infinity scroll feature that Neeon offers is ideal for getting users to read as many of your news pieces as possible. You also receive an auto-load next post feature for the same purpose. Your users will also appreciate the reading progress bar so they can come back and keep reading from where they last left.
Neeon allows you to choose the most readable fonts from its collection of Google Web Fonts. You can use the 350 Font Awesome icons this theme offers anywhere in place of actual images and keep your site light and fast. Neeon is highly translatable, which will come in handy if you want to grant access to your content to users of different languages. It even supports right-to-left languages like Arabic and Hebrew.
With Neeon, you get full AMP support for your post detail pages; that’s where your visitors will spend most time, and their mobile device experience will be outstanding. Combining this with its readability features will get your readers coming back. Neeon has a sticky sidebar that gives your readers access to widgets and other sidebar elements as they read your content.
Not only is Neeon SEO ready, but it also comes with the Review and Structure Data Schema. This review and rating and structured data schema WordPress plugin boosts your SEO and schema markup significantly. Moreover, it saves you $29 and enables you to earn from selling affiliate products.
Step 5: Install the WordPress Plugins Your Site Needs
Now that your website is almost complete, you will begin to realize that it lacks some functions. WordPress plugins are like applications for your website for adding different elements and capabilities.
Installing plugins is one of the easiest things you’ll ever do; just go on your WordPress admin dashboard, click on plugins, and you’ll be spoilt for choice. The WordPress directory has close to 60,000 free plugins. You can also avoid the directory and look for paid plugins created and sold by third-party developers.
Despite there being this many plugins, you can’t install all or just any of them. And if you’re already wondering which plugin you should install, we have you covered with a list of the essential plugins that your site should have right off the bat.
- WP Super Cache – This free caching plugin will boost the speed and performance of your website.
- All In One SEO – Your site will rank better on Google, and you’ll get more traffic.
- PushEngage – You will get to boost your site’s traffic by getting in touch with your visitors when they’ve already left your website using push notifications.
- Elementor – This drag & drop page builder helps you create unlimited refreshing layouts without touching a single line of code.
- MonsterInsights – The plugin will help connect your site to Google Analytics so that you will know how your site is performing and what you must do to improve it.
- Contact Form 7 or WPForms Lite – These plugins will help you create contact forms on your website. When you have contact forms, your visitors will use them to submit their contact information to you. You can then subscribe the visitors to newsletters or remarketing campaigns.
- Sucuri – This security plugin helps with auditing your website’s security and scanning your site’s files and pages for malware
- Updraft Plus – Backing up your website keeps it secure so that you can restore it in case it crashes or loses some data.
- WooCommerce – If you want to sell some stuff off your website, you can utilize WooCommerce (the default WordPress eCommerce platform) to create a shop on your site.
- Uncanny Automator – This plugin saves time by automating different workflows to streamline the processes of small businesses.
- Smash Balloon – This plugin allows you to easily add social media widgets from YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
- OPtinMonster – With this plugin, you can optimize your site’s conversion rate using modals, flexible popups, and other smart personalization. You also get to generate more email subscribers.
- HubSpot – This plugin enables you to create live chats on your website for email marketing and customer support. You can combine its features with those of OptinMonster for excellent results.
- MemberPress – This plugin is perfect if you want to sell digital memberships or online courses.
- Envira Gallery Lite – This is an excellent plugin for adding beautiful image galleries to your pages.
Step 6: Monetize Your Website
You may want your site to give something back to you, which is why site monetization is vital for all websites. Here are a few ways to monetize your news WordPress website.
Showcasing advertisements on your pages is the simplest way of monetizing your WordPress website. If you don’t display them on your pages, you can present ads as popups, static displays, and native ads. Neeon has excellent predesigned ad locations on which you can showcase banner ads.
Pay-per-click and pay-per-impression are the two most common models for ad payment. You can get paid for each click or impression, depending on your payment model. Google AdSense is the most popular ad network that you can use for free while targeting a massive pool of targeted ads. Remember to show only a few ads because they’ll slow down your site and discourage repeat visitors.
Become an Affiliate Marketer
Since affiliate programs are responsible for 15% of all digital marketing revenue, this is one earning channel you must pay attention to. You can place affiliate links in your blogs or news posts.
Publish Sponsored Posts
If you can secure deals with brands to pay you so you can mention or review their products in your posts, you can earn a decent income. You are responsible for reaching out to potential sponsors if companies aren’t already getting in touch with you with offers.
Offer Premium Content
Once you gain some positive notoriety for providing interesting news, you can start selling some posts. You can sell exclusive posts, eBooks, courses, or printable blog posts. You can also get your earnings to the next level by getting into podcasting, live streaming, and holding webinars. However, to make money by selling content is an alternative that requires you to prove your value over time with free content first.
Utilize Your WooCommerce Shop
Since Neeon is WooCommerce ready, you can use it to sell merchandise off your site. What’s more, the theme’s author has a few premium plugins that enhance your shop’s effectiveness and user experience. Once your site becomes popular, it is really easy to earn through merch sales.
Like with selling premium content, memberships will only sell if you only you have made a name for yourself with free content first. Memberships can grant access to specific members-only content, community forums, or message boards for user interactions. Memberships can only sell if you have a steady supply of resources to sell.
Step 7: Create Content and Launch Your Site
Now you have a website that can do everything for you. The next step is creating your news and blog pieces. We would advise you not to create news pieces only because adding blogs to the mix positions you better for SEO and visibility purposes. Neeon comes with designated pages for all purposes, including category, post, and post detail pages.
At this point, there’s nothing to do but launch your site and keep providing high-quality content.
Final Thoughts: Creating a WordPress News Website
There you have it, a complete guide for creating a news website in WordPress. Having WordPress on your side gives you many advantages, especially if you have never created a website before. You will have some work to do, but with this guide, you should have no trouble at all.
As I mentioned earlier, you will still need to maintain a flow of content so that your website’s performance stays high. You also need to track that performance and find ways to boost it. You are welcome to venture into all the monetization avenues that we’ve listed so that you earn as you provide people with excellent content.
I’d wish you luck with your website, but with this piece, you won’t need much of it.