How to Make an Online News Website with WordPress

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Ben Sibley

“Follow the plan outlined here and you can create your own website from scratch without writing any code for less than $300.”

A newspaper?

Do you even remember the last time you saw one of those things?

These days, everyone is getting their news online.

In fact, two-thirds of adults report getting their news from social media. Do you know what that means for you?

I’ll spell it out.

Can you really make your own news site?

Not that long ago, you’d have to start your own newspaper or local news organization in order to publish about current events and going-ons. But now you just need a website.

With your own website, you can publish news about any area or topic you want. And since anyone can share posts on social media, there’s nothing stopping you from going viral or becoming a top publisher in your industry.

And it actually gets better.

Starting a website has never been this easy.

In this guide, you’re going to learn how to launch your own news website using WordPress in five easy steps. Keep reading to discover these steps now.

How much does it cost? You can create a professional-quality news site with the best tools the web has to offer for under $100. Just follow the steps below.

Sneak peek at your site

I’m sure you’re eager to find out what you can make with WordPress.

Here’s a quick look at the site you’ll be making by following along with this tutorial:

Mission News

Mission News has a classic news site style that will connect with your visitors. It will add an air of professionalism to your content and help you build a strong brand.

I’ll cover how to use Mission News in a later step. For now, let’s get to the overview of the site creation process.

How to make a news site

There are five steps to creating a news website:

  1. Pick a domain
  2. Get web hosting
  3. Install WordPress
  4. Install a WordPress theme
  5. Launch your site

In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to make your very own online newspaper website.

Let’s start with the domain picking.

Get a domain

A domain name is an address that shows up in your browser’s address bar. For instance, this website’s domain name is

The trouble with selecting a domain name is that finding an available name is really challenging. If you can’t find an available domain, you may have to pay thousands to get the name you want.

I’ve put together a practical step-by-step guide on how to find a great domain name you can follow.

Make sure to try each of the tactics in that post. It might save you thousands!

When you find a domain you like, don’t buy it yet! You can get it for free if you use this next trick.

Signup for hosting

You need a server.

When someone visits your website, the server sends all of your website’s files to the browser so it can be displayed on their device.

But no one buys or manages their own server hardware. It’s expensive and technical.

Instead, everyone rents space on someone else’s server. This is called hosting.

Which host should you use?

We use ServeBolt here at Compete Themes, but they’re expensive for a brand new website with plans starting at $99/month.

Instead, I recommend you use Nexcess to get started.

Nexcess WordPress Hosting

Nexcess is much more affordable and has some excellent tools for new webmasters.

For instance, they backup your site automatically every day, give you a free staging site, and update your plugins on autopilot.

Install WordPress

You’ve probably heard of WordPress.

It’s the world’s most popular CMS and now powers more than 30% of the web!

WordPress takes a little more time to learn than some other services like Weebly and Squarespace, but it’s a superior option for creating a news site.

With WordPress, you’ll be able to better optimize your site for search engines like Google, get your posts listed in Google News, and add social sharing integrations. It’s also good for developing consistent editorial workflows with your team.

And unlike Squarespace, you can make a WP site for free.

Auto-install WP with Nexcess

The other major benefit when you create an account with Nexcess is that they’ll auto-create your WordPress website for you.

You’ll get a staging area where you can work on your site before going live. Then whenever you’re ready, you can launch to the world.

You can also follow along with my guide on how to make a WordPress website if you want help creating your site.

Add a theme

As I mentioned before, you’ll need to install a WordPress theme.

The theme is like a template that changes the style of your whole site. Once you install and activate it, the entire design will change.

For creating a newspaper-style site, I recommend our theme, Mission News.

Why Mission News?

For starters, Mission News is free!

It has a premium plugin available called Mission News Pro that adds more features, but most users find the free version very flexible and customizable.

Here are a few more reasons to pick Mission News when building an online news site.


Mission News fluidly adapts to all screen sizes. You can test it out on the demo site to watch it resize for mobile and tablet devices.

Ad integration

Mission News has 8 widget areas throughout its design where you can include ads. This makes it easy to monetize your website.

Flexible layouts

Mission News has 9 different layouts and you can assign them each globally or for specific posts/pages.

WooCommerce support

If you want to further monetize your news site, you can add an eCommerce store with the WooCommerce plugin. Mission News integrates seamlessly with WooCommerce.

Alternative themes

If you don’t think the aesthetic of Mission News is right for your brand, don’t worry. I have a handful of other recommendations for you.

Visit our collection of newspaper WordPress themes and you’ll find 15+ additional options.

Newspaper WordPress Themes

Launch your site

Once you’ve got a theme setup on your brand new WordPress site at your custom domain, you’re almost ready to launch!

Add a few pages to your site to get started and you’ll be ready to begin promotion. To recap, the five steps to create your own online news site are:

  1. Pick a domain
  2. Signup for hosting (Get Nexcess)
  3. Install WordPress
  4. Pick a WP theme (Mission News)
  5. Go live!

I hope you’re excited to get started now that you know how easy it is to get your own website online.

If you have a question about making a newspaper website, post in the comments section below.

Ben Sibley
Ben Sibley
This article was written by Ben Sibley. He is a WordPress theme designer & developer, and founder of Compete Themes.