Communication and sharing information is a vital part of our lives these days. Social statuses, tweets, news articles, we refer to them all to learn about the current state of the world. And rightly so, as it’s always great to be well-informed. But its’ even more admirable to be the informant.
People inherently love sharing information, whether its news about current affairs or just useful knowledge. And creative types love to try their hand at some unique article writing or blogging. The satisfaction of knowing that you helped out someone and made someone’s day easier is a sense of content matched by few things, believe us, we know.
But it’s not always about writing. No matter how much people write, an unread article is just an empty chamber that you scream into. So why not create a hub? Create a collective point where you can share opinions, news, ideas and more.
Perhaps a genre-wise magazine or a general newspaper or even a newspaper for a niche audience? Anyone is free to create it all and generally speaking, thanks to WordPress and community, the task isn’t even that difficult.
So, considering the need for more accessible ways to build a platform for users to show off your creativity, their imagination, and knowledge, we’ve created this guide on making your own News website or Magazine portal.
The guide heavily features the use of the ColorMag theme as it is easy to use, has a significant amount of customization. Moreover, its free version provides you all the required features so you can test it out easily.
The Essentials for a News Website:
First of all, before we start building our dream News website, let’s consider the most important thing your site should have:
- Easy to use and accessible UI
- Sorted and easy to read content
- SEO optimization and Advertisement friendly
- Placeholders for dynamic content
- Useful widgets related to the website, Search bar, Daily feeds, Social media feeds, etc.
- And most important, good news content.
So now that we’ve set this apart let’s design our website first using these criteria,
First of all, let’s install our WordPress and get a hosting service. For possible options for hosting services refer to here:
Once you are done installing WordPress on your chosen host, go ahead and open up the admin page of your website.
Lets’ start by installing an appropriate theme. For this article, we’ll be using ColorMag. However, if you want to consider other options, do go through this article to see viable options:
Go ahead and install ColorMag if you are not choosing any other alternatives.
If you are unsure of how to do this, please use this tutorial:
Next, you will have to customize your website’s appearances, widgets, and layout. You can do this either by importing a pre-built demo(option A) saving a lot of time or go for a more customized and detailed approach(option B.)
If you want to instantly start working on your News website by using a beautifully made pre-built template you can easily achieve this by importing a demo. This creates an easy to use basic design for your site, and you don’t have to worry about arranging and building your website’s look.
You can use a demo template by following the following process:
A) Importing Demos
To do this, first, open your WordPress admin page. Then hover or click on Appearance on the dashboard and then click on Demo Importer.
Here, the instructions for installing the Demo is provided but to detailly explained this we have made this video so check it out!
Now that you have imported a pre-built demo, you can start working on your website by minor customization and adding your own assets if you want. If you consider this an option, do refer to the rest of the article for the detailed explanation about customization.
However, if you want to design your website from scratch, you are free to do it by customizing the website from the start. This gives you a substantial amount of understanding of how your website works and adds a bit of your own personality to the website.
B) Building the News Website from the start
So, let’s start with a blank canvas. To create a personalized chamber for you to share your information and news, we’ll have to begin from the start. (Do remember that using the live customizer, you can preview the look of your front end easily so use it for suiting your tastes.)
First, let’s define the basic layout of your website, the theme color and the overall direction of your website’s appearance.
Start by setting up your website’s identity, logo, primary color, and background.
Go ahead and open the Appearance tab on the dashboard and click on Customize. Here you can easily setup most of your website’s design and appearance.
Here you define the Title, logo and site icons.
If you have already made your logo, you can use it by selecting by clicking on Select Logo. Then you can upload and select your desired file and use it as your site logo.
In case you do not have a logo prepared or want to create your own logo, consider going through this article:
Then, you can setup a name and a sub-tagline for your website.
Next, select your website’s icon in the same manner as you did for the logo.
Here you set the background color of your website. This option is great if you don’t want to place a background image and/or want to make your text fit better with the website’s design.
Color mag lets you set the background image for your website and even manage its orientation. Set a background image by clicking on Select image and uploading your image file and selecting it.
You can then choose the preset for your background and even customize its appearance and more.
Layout and Design:
By choosing Design options, you can set up the format of your website, home page and more. The customization features provided in the free version are:
- Front Page Settings: Lets you choose whether to hide or show blog posts and static pages on the front page.
- Site Layout: Lets you choose the arrangement of your webpage. You can choose between Boxed or Wide.
- Default Layout: The arrangement of sidebars and headers by default on your website.
- Default Layout for Pages Only/Single Posts only: Lets you set a default layout for pages specifically and single posts respectively. Each option deals with each kind.
- Primary Color: As for the color theme of your website, you can only choose the Primary Color in the free version of ColorMag. You can set up the site’s Primary color using the detailed color slider.
Adding and Customizing Header Section
One of the essential elements in designing the outlook of your website, Header is something you want to modify to fit your purpose. Besides placing a header image, you can also set up the header to play a custom video.
For this, you can either upload a video directly, or you can insert a YouTube video by placing the URL video in the corresponding text box.
This is where you add the extra detail to your headers. Here are the options provided:
- Header Logo: Lets you display the logo and/or the title of your website or hide them both.
- Main Header Area Display Type: Lets you specify the display type for your main header.
- Breaking News: Lets you add a breaking news section in your header.
- Show Date: For hiding/Showing the current data in your header.
- Show Home Icon: For adding an icon to direct to the home page on the header.
- Sticky Menu: Enables/Disables a scroll-on sticky menu feature.
- Search Icon: Lets you add a minimalistic search icon on the right of the sidebar.
- Random Post: Adds a randomly selected post in your header.
You can add content by using pages and posts for your website. For adding new pages, use the Add New selection under the Pages selection on the dashboard.
Here, you can set up an individual page for your website. If you’re building a News website, the general idea is that a Page should not be used for adding content since they’re not chronologically arranged, can’t show up on RSS feeds by default.
So, it’s great to set up pages for posting static information. Here you place stuff like information about your website, disclaimers, landing pages, galleries. This approach is better because you can set up custom templates for individual pages.
While WordPress’s native text and visual editors are enough to let you create great news article and magazine content, you can spice things up by using Elementor which is installed alongside ColorMag.
You can use Elementor to add content by clicking on the Edit with Elementor button.
These are what you should be using to add content to your website as posts can be chronologically arranged and by default show up on the Front page in reverse chronological order. The process of adding a post is identical to that of Pages.
Just hover/click on Posts and click on All posts to view all the posts on your website and Add New to start a new one. For added benefits, you can set up a format for your current post and put it under a specific category for arranging purposes (which we will deal with further below.)
Like pages, you can set this up by using the inbuilt editor or Elementor. For a detailed guide on adding and making posts, refer to here:
Setting up categories and tags for a News website is a crucial thing as it helps for Indexing and searching purposes as well as arranging your articles based on the type of post. You can also set up sections on your website to preview only the selected types of the post by using slugs.
You can create, delete or arrange your categories by clicking on Categories under Posts and for Tags, use the Tags listing under the same section.
ColorMag adds an extra function for arranging your Categories by giving you custom category colors. This makes the distinction detail better and adds that extra flavor to your website.
You can enable this function by going to your Theme’s appearance and clicking on Category Color Options. Then click on Category color settings, and here you can specify the colors for each category.
Setting up Tags is similar to Category; however, their functionality can differ a bit. Tags let you define the type of post rather than categorizing them. Doing this lets you arrange a different type of posts with similar objectives or ideas.
However, unlike categories, tags do not have a hierarchy.
You can build tags in a similar way as well:
Creating and Customizing Footer Section
The end of your webpage is also a great place to customize and design for personal purposes. You can set up useful widgets, add useful information and even edit copyright information using it. Moreover, ColorMag free lets you add Social icons on the footer and display area.
To modify this, Choose the footer option in the Appearance customization menu.
ColorMag comes with many other benefits that you can use to maximize the potential for your News-Magazine website. Some of these features are:
- Menus: Lets you add a customized menu to the header of your website. These menus can be visually modified and can have their appearance and behavior modified as well.
- Widgets: The theme lets you add customized widgets to the headers, sidebars, specific Front-page areas, Footer, etc. The list of widgets that come bundled with the theme has been listed here.
- Homepage settings: Lets you display your latest posts or a static page on your homepage.
- Social Options: Lets you add buttons for Social integration with Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google-Plus, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.
- Additional options: Lets you show related posts on every post based on Category and Tags. Adds option for displaying a lightbox for the featured images on posts.
Using these basic features and information provided, you can easily setup your personalized Magazine-News website in almost no time. Furthermore, if you come up with any difficult issue, you can always refer to the detailed documentation guide for ColorMag here.
However, this is just the basic setup of your online magazine. The process of developing and improving your website is a bit more difficult.
You should be aware of concepts such as SEO, Caching, Security and other ideas are essential for your website. So, we’d suggest that you go through some of these articles to have a better idea about managing your News/Magazine portal.
- SEO Copywriting
- WordPress User Roles
- Adding Ads to WordPress
- In-depth Guide to Content Marketing for Beginners.