Creating a news website may seem to be hard work, considering the size and reach of companies such as The New York Times or The Washington Post. However, anyone can start an online news portal today, in just a few easy steps. 

Before you start creating your website, select your target market, determine relevant topics within your region and industry, and plan a marketing strategy, just like any other business. However, note, that in the news business, your main product is information.

Let’s review how to start a news website and what tools are needed to make it successful.

If you’re planning to establish a media company, check out our article on how to launch a media startup.


Technically, you can start a news website in just four steps:

  1. Choose a domain name and a web host.
  2. Install WordPress with a preffered theme.
  3. Set up WordPress plugins to expand your website functionality.
  4. Create website categories, their structure, and start publishing.

Web host and domain name

A domain name is a website’s unique address. When creating one, try to compose something special, accurate, and memorable. However, you will need to pay a fee to register a domain name. And the registration fee depends on the domain zone and its popularity, for example domains in .com zone are the most expensive. Typically, you can register a domain name through your web hosting service. 

Here are some web hosting services to choose from.

  • Bluehost (pricing starts from $2,95 per month)
  • GoDaddy (pricing starts from $5,99 per month)
  • Hostinger (pricing starts from $1,99 per month)
  • GreenGeeks (pricing starts from $2,95 per month)
  • DreamHost (pricing starts from $2,95 per month)

WordPress template for a news website

Then you need to decide which content management system (CMS) you will use. We recommend WordPress as the most popular CMS that can be used for any website industry. WordPress provides a wide range of templates for news portals.

You will be able to customize the selected theme using your own logo and fonts. However, make sure that the theme’s rating is under 4 stars. Plus, check the date it was last updated, and the number of installations it has. Select a mobile-friendly WordPress theme so that your audience can easily view your web pages on either a desktop or a mobile device.

You can look through the themes below which are WordPress templates for blogs and newspaper websites.

  • Twenty Twenty-Two with over 1 million installations with 18 5-star reviews
  • Astra with more than 1 million installations and roughly 4K 5-star reviews
  • Hestia theme has more than 100K installations and 460 5-star reviews
  • GeneratePress with 500K+ installations and 1328 5-star reviews
  • NewsPaperly has 1K+ installations and 1 5-star review

Usually, web hosts offer an option to automatically set up WordPress for your website for an additional fee, so you can save your time and use this option.

WordPress plugins for news websites

After setting up the CMS with your favorite template, add WordPress plugins that are essential specifically for your website type and industry.

Here is a list of ten essential WordPress plugins for news websites and blogs that we recommend.

Before adding any plugin, pay attention to its size (in Mb). Try to reduce the load on your server. In doing so, you will increase the load speed of your website.

Furthermore, read user reviews about plugins, check the frequency of their updates, ratings, and learn about potential issues and support features.

Occasionally, you may want to search for new plugins, with better features, to get new capabilities for your website.  

Content generation

Before publishing posts, create a clear structure for your website based on your industry specifics. Define categories, devise a plan for your content. For example, if you’re running a travel website, you may structure your posts by country or by target groups like “For travellers” and “For agencies”. The target market for your website may be based on your interest, or on the potential for income. However, it is usually best to mix both factors. 

Here is the list of our recommendations for creating high-quality content.

  1. Create unique content. Keep on track of the last news from all over the world. However, try to not use topics from other websites, but even if you do so, find your unique and creative way to sound fresh.
  2. Include media content such as images, audio, and/or video. Media content is king now, so consider supplementing your website with a YouTube channel.
  3. Use captivating titles to stand out and to match your readers interest. The catchy headline will definitely increase clicks on your posts in Google Search, Google News, newsletters, and push notifications that you send.
  4. Add links to related articles on your website and to reputable sources. Your articles should include proven information, so make sure that you’re aware of what is really going on in your industry, and add links to the sources of information that you use. 
  5. Keep compliant with SEO requirements. Learn more on how to meet this requirements in the Google guide.


A news website has specific promotion tools compared with e-commerce platforms such as content curation tools like Flipboard, Pocket, and Feedly, and news aggregators like Google News and Apple News. Plus, you can look for new readers by participating in online communities like Facebook groups, Quora and Reddit feeds. You can find even more promotion strategies in our articles “How to promote a blog post” and “Unorthodox ways to attract visitors to your website.

Besides attracting new visitors, news website owners have to focus on getting subscribers to return to their content. In this way, you will build your loyal audience and ensure returning visitors for your website.

Tools for job:

  • Email marketing platforms. Set up a contact form on your website to collect subscriber email addresses with platforms such as HubSpot and Brevo. Email marketing is a powerful tool to inform a loyal audience about the most important events, updates, services. If you’re a novice to email marketing take a minute to read how to send emails to multiple recipients.
  • Web push notifications. This technology allows to inform subscribers about breaking news, the latest updates, and new articles. After you have installed a push notification plugin, your subscriber base will be building automatically. Learn how to send push notifications.
  • Social media. Let your readers join your social media profiles by adding Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter buttons. In addition, add social media buttons for sharing posts. This will help you distribute your content even further and build your social media influence. Plus, social signals improve SEO indicators.
  • Call to Action. CTA buttons will not generate return visitors but can increase the time a person spends on your website if you’re liniking to your another article. On top of that, CTA is your chance to lure visitors to paid services like online courses and paid subscription.

Making a profit

You can make a profit from your news website by using advertising banners/sponsorship and by building a membership website with paid subscription. In the later case, you will need to choose a paywall solution.

You can start looking for investors/advertisers even before launching your website. If they are excited by your idea and business plan, you will get resources for business development. After you have already published your content, reach advertisers from your target market or related industries. While you are establishing your website authority, set Google AdSense on your web pages. This may not initially generate significant income, but you will start monetizing. After your website’s influence and traffic start growing, its popularity will attract more advertisers. 

Besides looking for advertisers, you can also provide paid content for your readers. You have to analyze what topics are in demand, what exclusive information can be valuable for your audience. Additionally,  you can create paid products like online courses and downloads or provide researches on your industry for a fee.


  1. To create a news website, register a domain name, select a web hosting service, set up WordPress with a relevant theme, and install the most important plugins.
  2. Decide on your target market and website categories, and build its structure.
  3. Focus on content quality, uniquness, and its value for your readers.
  4. Follow the SEO guidelines while creating content for a website.
  5. Start publishing news, stories, and reviews relevant to your industry.
  6. Set up forms to collect contact info from your readers, so that you can send promotional and/or informational emails to them.
  7. Use Call-To-Action buttons and Recent/Related post blocks to increase time spent on your website.
  8. Install push notifications to communicate with your audience instantly and prompt them to return to your website.
  9. Create profiles on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). Add social media buttons to web pages to share content. 
  10. Promote your website through content curation platforms, social media, and online communities.
  11. Monetize your website with Google AdSense and attract sponsors/investors from your industry. 
  12. Create paid content to make a profit – offer online courses, downloads, and researches.

If you have any questions on how to use push notifications, please, contact the support team.

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