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News websites are very popular among users of the global network. This is explained by the desire of people to have access to up-to-date information on specific issues regularly. Recently, the following trend has been observed – weekly periodicals are becoming less and less in demand. Therefore, the creation of news websites is now gaining more and more popularity.
How to Start a News Website: Overview
Our new blog post is about building a news website from scratch. In the article, we will consider the following questions:
- Why does your company need to start a news website?
- What are the main problems before starting a news website?
- What features should you add to a news website?
- What essential stages should you go through to start a news website?
- How much does it cost to start a news website?
- How to start a news website with the Northell team?
Why Does Your Company Need to Start a News Website?
Let’s first understand why companies need to create news websites. We have identified several compelling reasons for building a news website:
Firstly, by creating a news website, you will get the opportunity to reach more people who monitor the news daily. You will have a great opportunity to broadcast news to a wider audience. Nowadays, most of the population prefers to read the news using their gadgets. Therefore, by creating a news site, you make the right decision.
New sources of traffic
Secondly, if you gain access to a larger audience when creating a news website, you automatically get a new source of traffic. Therefore, if you need to do any advertising, for example, you will get a better result.
Thirdly, by creating a news site, you get the opportunity to tell thousands of people about your brand. You can use the site as an advertising platform for your brand. Do not miss this fact and take it into account when creating a news website.
New content formats
Another benefit of news websites for companies is the ability to publish content in a variety of formats. For example, the site can publish not only textual information but also videos, podcasts, online broadcasts and others.
Work with a new audience
Starting a news website allows you to reach a new audience. That is, you will immediately have access to people from different countries, industries and companies. You will be able to start, for example, partnerships with companies that you did not have access to before.
Creating alternatives to your company
A news website can be a good alternative for your existing business. That is, you will create an additional source of income for yourself or an alternative for the future in case of various circumstances that may happen to your main business.
New ways of monetization
A news website will be an excellent monetization platform. As we said earlier, a news website can be used for advertising. The site can also be used to publish content from other sources and accept content from different companies and organizations.
The Main Problems Before Starting a News Website?
Now let’s look at the main challenges you may face before starting a news website. Of course, creating any product is a challenging process, so you need maximum preparation.
Building an up-to-date content plan
For users to visit your website often, you need to think over a content plan with relevant news. Therefore, it is essential that your team, which will be involved in preparing and publishing content on the site, constantly monitor and publish the hottest and latest news. People will prefer your site to a hundred others if you always have the most up-to-date information on your site.
Consider promoting your website. You will need to attract good marketers and SEO specialists to work to do this. For people to see your website, it should be in the first position in search engines. You can also use advertising in the early stages of promotion.
Protection against hacker attacks
You should think in advance about how to secure your site from hacker attacks. News sites are increasingly being attacked by detractors. Hackers can change the information published on your site, spread fakes, and so on. Therefore, set up your website’s security system in advance.
Ease to use of the news website
It is essential to make a news website user-friendly and easy to use. To do this, we recommend making a convenient structure on the site. It is also important that the news be divided into thematic groups. Break different types of content into groups as well. People should not get lost when looking for any news on the site.
Building a news site that is easy to scale
It is necessary to keep in mind the future scaling of the news site. If you are thinking of upgrading or making significant changes in the future, your site should be ready for this. We recommend that you discuss this point with your development team.
Technical optimization of a news website
If you want users to use your website actively, it is crucial to think about technical optimization. This includes SEO optimization to raise the site in search engine positions. This also includes the speed of loading the site and its certain pages, the fast operation of the site’s search engine, the correct operation of certain site features, etc.
Email newsletter system
For a news website, it is essential to set up a newsletter system. The people reading your site should be up to date with the latest news, for example, by receiving daily, weekly or monthly newsletters with the latest news. You can also send newsletters with current or hot news in summary with the ability to go to your site and read the full version of the news.
In order for people to visit your site at any time and in any place, you need to think about adaptability. Your site should work perfectly both on laptops and personal computers, as well as on mobile phones and tablets. All website pages should be adapted to any gadget.
New Website Core Features in 2022
Now let’s discuss the main features you should add to your news website:
Customization of graphic elements
One of the main important features of a news site is the customization of graphic elements. That is, all pictures should be adapted so that the user can enlarge or reduce them. This is especially true, for example, for such pictures as infographics, where there is a lot of statistical data.
This feature will help readers of your news website always be aware of the most relevant and hot news. In newsletters, you can attach links to news on your website. Companies often use newsletters to show they care about their customers, users, or readers. You can also send out mailings on holidays and other important events for people. For newsletters, you can connect mailing tools such as Mailchimp, Reply.io and others to the site.
Add the ability for site readers to receive notifications. Thus, the person who visits the site will receive notifications about the latest changes, the latest publications, etc.
It is essential to add a personal account for users to the site. People will be able to save the information they need there, as well as publish their news if you have such an opportunity on your site. Also, using the account, people will be able to manage their subscription, for example, or view comments and reactions to publications.
Add the ability for users of your site to leave comments under publications and news. People will be able to discuss the latest news and thus be active on the website.
Integration with other resources
To make your news website more advanced, you should add the opportunity to integrate various services into it. This may be, for example, integration with banking cards or automatic posting systems. There may be many options.
Podcasts are audio programs that you can listen to at any time. This is a very popular and in-demand content type these days, so consider adding this feature to your website.
Add the ability for users to pay for subscriptions so that they can, for example, get more exclusive content or functionality on the website. This way, you will also be able to monetize your website.
You can also add a free trial feature. This way, users can try more advanced features of your website and decide to buy a subscription.
Integration with payment resources
For website users to pay for their subscriptions, the website should have integration with payment systems and cards. Today, this feature is one of the main ones not only for news sites but for almost all web products.
The authoring feature will allow users to publish their content on the website under their own name. This feature will make your resource more authoritative and expert.
How to Start a News Website: a Step-by-Step Guide
And now, let’s look at step by step what you need to do to start a news website:
1. Describe the vision and goals of the future news website
First, describe the vision and goals of your future news website. The product vision is your and your team’s key vision of what the product is, who it’s for, what key features it has, and what it does.
Before you should have a clear idea about the goals of your future website, this will help you plan for building the product and help your team understand what needs to be developed. The more detailed you describe how you see your future product, the better.
2. Write design and development requirements
Next, you need to prepare a document in which you describe all the design and development requirements. Design and development requirements are crucial in the product development process, and it has been discovered to play a number of roles, including:
- Designer and developer guidance.
- Identify the intercommunication requirements.
- Checklist, e.g., at meetings or workshops.
- An agreement within the design & development team and as a contract with the customer, e.g., a supplier agreement, to perform the design & development task.
- Trace the probability of propagation of change.
- Product overview.
Usually, the design & development requirements (specifications) document includes the following things:
- Full project overview.
- Main needs and goals.
- Target audience.
- Functional requirements and desired set of features.
- Aesthetic aspects.
- Non-functional details.
- Recommendations and prohibitions.
More about how to write design and development requirements you can read in our expert article.
3. Choose reliable contractors
Next, you need to choose a reliable contractor, namely a design and development team that can handle your project. We have compiled a list of the main places where you can find and evaluate potential teams:
- LinkedIn. On this social network, you can find many companies that provide development teams and their representatives. You will find information about the team’s experience, their work areas, company websites, etc.
- Clutch.co. Here, companies present the projects they have worked on, describing what challenges they faced, how they solved them, and their results. You will also find clients’ reviews with whom the team worked.
- Behance. This site is created more for designers, but most of them work in a team where other specialists are working on a specific project. Here you can evaluate the design of the projects that the team has worked on.
- Partners and colleagues. Ask your surroundings. Perhaps some of your partners or friends have had a good experience with a reliable contractor and can connect you with it. Maybe they also know some tips for building a software development team and can share them with you.
- Google. Probably the easiest and fastest way to find a development team is to use the Google search engine. It will give you a large number of sites where you can view and rate teams.
If you want to know more about how to hire a great team for your project, check our article: How to Hire a Dedicated Software Development Team?
4. Product Discovery
Many modern product development methods and most product discovery processes are essential tasks. But the benefits of investing in product development are still relevant for most companies that want to build a great product.
Product discovery gives insight into whether a new product or feature will be used and for product designers and developers to see how their product benefits many people. Developing a more profound understanding helps teams build the products that people want. This process moves from lightweight features to building products that solve a problem and become a real need for users.
The product discovery process ensures that product managers and teams are on the right track in prioritizing and creating a product that will be successful.
Product discovery isn’t just a process that you need to validate your idea. As a result of product discovery, you will have the following data that will support your news website development:
- A well-defined problem statement
- User-journey maps
- User-needs statements
- A service blueprint
- User personas
- Business value propositions
- High-level wireframes
5. UX Design
After product discovery, you can start UX design. How to start a news website that will be user-friendly and easy to use? Build a great UX design.
Designing for the user’s perspective is the goal of user experience (UX) design. Not only should a product’s aesthetic appeal and use be taken into consideration, but so should the product’s price, portability, and overall value. They’re more challenging to conceptualize and bring to fruition.
UX design encompasses all aspects of the user’s experience, from the design of individual interactions to the overall look and feel of the product. Designing user interfaces is the responsibility of UX designers. They outline the application’s interface structure and functionality, as well as how the various components are linked together. Designing the interface is a big part of their job.
The user will have a positive impression of the interface if it functions well. However, if the navigation is complicated or unintuitive, the user is likely to get disgusted when using the interface. Avoiding the second scenario is the primary goal of a UX designer.
6. UI Design
How to start a news website that will be visually attractive for users? Build a great UI design. UI focuses on all the product elements that make it compelling: colors, button styles, graphics, animations, typography, infographics, widgets, behavior, button responses, etc.
The UI designer is responsible for how the user perceives the product from a visual point of view. It takes a UX designer’s scientific findings and conclusions and turns them into a specific art form.
The successful combination of iconography, typography, color, space and texture will help the user easily navigate the finished application.
7. Front-end Development
Front-end development is creating a public part of a web application with which the user directly contacts, and functionality that is usually performed on the client side.
That is, the front-end developer works to ensure that each button, icon, text and window on the site not only stands in its place, does not overlap each other and looks holistic (this is a web layout), but also that they fulfill their intended purpose – performed some action (for example, so that the “leave a comment” button opens a window where you can write a comment, and “play” starts playing a video or podcast).
8. Back-end Development
The back-end is the software and hardware part of the project, while the front-end is the client side of the user interface to the software and hardware part of the project, that is, to the back-end. In other words, the back-end is everything that happens on the server side and that remains invisible to the user (the server itself is also part of the back-end, only the hardware one).
For example, you pay for your subscription on the site: enter your card details, click “pay,” and see the inscription “your payment has been processed” – this was the front-end. The back-end is how your money moves within the network and how your subscription is processed.
Next comes the testing phase. Your QA specialists should check every section of your website, every button and every icon. At this stage, you need to make sure that everything works and looks in accordance with your requirements. It is better to spend time now testing the functionality, logic, and navigation of the product than spending more time and money after the release to fix bugs while users have already started using your product.
Now it’s time to present your news website to the market. You need to be well prepared for this process and think through every step. Here are our recommendations on what you need to do at this stage:
- Target audience identifying.
- Unique product packaging creation.
- Slogan and timeline creation.
- Competitors analysis.
- Customer onboarding creation.
- Website creation.
How to Start a News Website with Northell? [Our Experience]
At Northell, our experts know how to start a news website successfully. Our team is very experienced in building the right product design and development cycle for news websites.
One of our partners, Pushback, is a website that convinces us to use alternative websites and apps instead of popular ones. They touch on banning freedom of speech and private data harvesting on those platforms. There is also a feed with various articles on the military, female collegiate, immigration subjects.
Our partner only had an idea for a product. He did not know how to build the structure and navigation of the site, how and where to place information, etc. Our team thought through the news sections and created stylizations for the pages.
Together with a partner, we decided in what form the information on the site would be presented. As a result, the Northell team has created a user-friendly news website that is already gaining a large number of active readers.
How Much Does It Сost to Start a News Website?
How to start a news website and not lose lots of money and time? The cost of news website development can vary greatly depending on the business size and the required functionality, so it is impossible to give an exact development figure.
However, we have compiled a table of approximate prices for different stages of development, depending on the country in which the design and development team is located.
How to Start a News Website: Bottom Line
Building a news website is a challenging process. However, with the right approach, planning, and tactics, you can definitely create a really worthwhile product. You should remember that the following things are essential in creating a news site:
- Description of your product idea
- Description of the requirements for your product (both technical and visual)
- Choosing a reliable contractor and partner
- Adding features necessary for a news site
- Definition of the main stages of product creation
If you have any questions or have an idea for a news website, get in touch with us. Our Northell team will do everything to help turn your ideas and desires into reality!
Which technology stack to choose?
What team do you need to develop a news website?
PM (Project Manager)
BA (Business Analyst)