Every single time.
You can visit Buzzfeed thinking you’ll just check out the one article you saw, and then what happens? You end up taking 5 quizzes, posting them on Facebook, and browsing for an hour.
I’m honestly scared to visit right now. I have things to do!
Can you replicate Buzzfeed?
There’s nothing proprietary about Buzzfeed and there aren’t any highly technical aspects to copy.
The key is to write irresistible headlines coupled with eye-catching images. In addition, you’ll want to add interactive content like quizzes and make sure you publish A LOT.
If you want to create a site like Buzzfeed, you mainly need a magazine-style website that also comes with a lot of built-in user interaction features (social sharing, quizzes, polls, etc.). The good news is that a pre-made solution for this isn’t too hard to come by.
I have even better news too.
There’s a solution you can use right now made to create a website exactly like Buzzfeed.
How much does it cost? Creating a site like Buzzfeed using the tools recommended here will cost $124.40 with an annual cost of about $75/year after that.
The site you’ll create
If you follow this guide, you’ll create a site that looks just like this using the Bimber WordPress theme:
There are a lot of layouts available and this is the classic Buzzfeed-style design that Bimber uses by default. It has a ton of cool functionality too, but more on that later!
How to create a site like Buzzfeed
Making your own website just like Buzzfeed isn’t so complicated. The entire process can be broken into six simple steps.
- Register a good domain name
- Signup for hosting
- Install WordPress
- Install the Bimber theme
- Configure Bimber
I’m going to take you through each step up to the launch, so by the end of the guide, you’ll have a complete site online and ready to promote.
Things you need
Believe it or not, you don’t need a ton of products to get your site off the ground. Here’s what you need…
WordPress is a content management system. It can be used to power any type of website and provides you with an interface to write, edit, and publish content. It also gives you access to a huge collaborative ecosystem of users and developers.
WordPress is over a decade old now and is used on more websites than any other CMS or website builder.
There are thousands of plugins and themes to add functionality to your site and change up the style. In addition, there are tons of support resources. No matter what problem you encounter or questions you have, you’ll have no problem finding an answer somewhere online.
Why use WordPress?
WordPress is capable of way more than its competitors. While a site like Buzzfeed doesn’t initially seem too complicated, there is actually a good deal of functionality required to make this site work really well.
You need polls, quizzes, user registration, and user-submitted content to name a few of the most critical features. You won’t be able to find this in another CMS. With WordPress, there are affordable pre-existing solutions you can get started with right now to create a site like Buzzfeed.
How to use WordPress
Luckily, setting up WordPress is pretty easy these days. It’s so popular that hosting companies have made it even easier for you to launch a brand new site from scratch using WP.
I’ve already written a step-by-step guide you can follow along with to create your first WP website.
While it does take some elbow grease to get started, it won’t take you longer than an afternoon to get your site online starting from scratch.
This is the fun part.
WordPress will be the backbone of your site, but you need a theme to change the design so that it looks like Buzzfeed. That’s where Bimber comes in.
Why use Bimber?
The Bimber theme was carefully designed to look and work exactly like Buzzfeed.
The style is beautiful, crisp, and looks modern on both desktop computers and smartphones alike. The visual hierarchy is amazingly well-designed too.
Headlines are given plenty of space and weight so they stand out and are supported by image thumbnails. The menu is clean and easy to navigate. The sidebar gives you a place to include email optin forms, advertisements, and more featured posts.
The features in Bimber are what take it from a good theme to an incredible theme.
Bimber has an integrated point system that awards members points when they react to a post, publish content, or vote on other content. There are even public rankings for users to compete in based on their interaction on the site, badges as they level up, and named “ranks” for each level.
Bimber can also be used with BuddyPress to add a complete social network within the site (direct messaging, friends, followers, etc.). There are quizzes, regular polls, “hot or not” polls, versus polls, and a huge amount of additional content and customization options.
It’s truly incredible how much useful functionality is packed it, so view the theme page to see what else Bimber can do.
How to use Bimber
Obviously, Bimber is loaded with options and settings, so there’s quite a bit to learn. However, the most important part is that you are confident in your choice so you can comfortably dedicate the time it takes it takes to set things up one step at a time.
The good news is that the developers behind Bimber have published plenty of tutorials to help you with your site. For instance, this tutorial in the documentation will help you quickly get the theme installed on your WordPress site.
As you can see from the sidebar, there are articles on each of the different sections of the site.
In addition, there’s also an FAQ that addresses many of the common issues users experience.
Lastly, the support is well-rated by the customers and you can always get in touch with them via their support ticket system.
Alternatives to Bimber
While Bimber is certainly the best option in my opinion, there are two other themes worth considering before you move forward.
BoomBox looks similar to Bimber and comes with a lot of features. That said, the feature set isn’t quite as robust, but if you prefer the design then go for this viral theme.
King is a bit different. It doesn’t have the same magazine-style design but instead focused much more on user-generated content. If you’re more interested in building a community of users than publishing funny and topical content, give this theme a shot.
Launch your own site like Buzzfeed
With the right tools and guidance, making a site like Buzzfeed won’t be an impossible exercise. While it will take time and persistence if you’ve never made a website before, there’s no step ahead you can’t tackle.
You won’t need to write a single line of code to create a beautiful and feature-packed viral website just like Buzzfeed. Plus, there are tons of resources available for using and customizing every aspect of WordPress.
Best of luck with your site, and here’s to your upcoming launch!