How To Start A News Website Online Newspaper ( Top 10 Guidelines)

How to start an online newspaper portal with WordPress (2022): This tutorial is a practical proven guideline on how to create a news website like CNN, Washington Post, Reuters, Aljazeera, eNCA, etc.

1. How to Make A News Website

Kindly know that the approximate starting cost is about USD150-430 (90% of this cost is for the first year). It reduces sharply in subsequent years).

how to start a news website

But First.


Please understand that a news website is different from a news blog, if you need a blog, check out this tutorial on how to start a news blog.

2. Get A Business Plan

Most local news website publishers failed because they did not have a business plan right from the beginning. When you are about to create a news website or starting an online newspaper portal, you need a business plan. The following are the 10-points business plan for an online news website.

Invest Heavily On Social Media

Let me tell you about my first mistake when I was about to start a news website i.e., a local news website in Cape Town, South Africa. I thought that having original, quality content was all I needed; I was pretty wrong. I employed two writers writing original news articles, but there was no traffic, so I was not making money.

Then I had to talk to a friend based in the USA but has a news website in Nigeria, and he was making money. He told me he had to invest a lot on Twitter and Facebook. So, I stopped writing and focused on building followers on Twitter and Facebook.

The truth is that I made sure I had nothing less than 40k followers on Twitter and about 300k likes/followers on Facebook. After this, I resumed writing. To my major surprise, Twitter and Facebook were my only traffic sources (about 20,000 a day). Gradually, Google and other search engines started giving me traffic.

you need a business plan to start a news website

My friend, when you are about to start a news website and not ready to invest heavily (spend money) on these social media platforms from the beginning, you will be frustrated.

So, this is my first and number 1 business plan you MUST have and achieve.

What Is Your Purpose?

Having a clear purpose is the second business plan. You should know that you should not try to go into this kind of business just because your friend is doing that and successful. You must have a genuine passion for it. Your passion fuels your resilience, persistence, perseverance, commitment, and ability to stay focused.

Some fundamental truths are painful to know but vital for you to understand.

Start a local news website.

Starting a local news website is a personal suggestion from my own experience. Established news websites like the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, CNN are significant corporations. To run an online newspaper website like them, you will need to invest a lot of money.

For example, hiring writers, getting an expensive server (stand-alone server), maintaining it, etc. The best suggestion is to start from the local perspective, and as you grow, you scale up your growth and expansion.

From my personal experience on how to start a local news website, the total cost should be approximately USD180-450 per year (excluding fees for writers and, to some extent Facebook Ads).

Please note that I am considering the price of a domain name, website hosting, premium templates (WordPress themes), and the cost of your internet connections (data).

Be the First to Break a story.

No matter how popular or unpopular a story might be, always try to be the first person to publish such on your online newspaper site. When you decide to make a news website, leverage on this truth!!

People subscribe to their news updates because they feel safe knowing that they publish well-researched news and stories.

To be a success factor, try to always lead the way!!

Have Long And Short Term Plan

To have a plan means you should have a solid business plan for the immediate short term and long term. Some of the things to consider when you start a news website are:

  • how to get funds to start (especially if you are bootstrapping everything all by yourself),
  • how to maintain the funding for almost a year (before consistent and reasonable profits start rolling in, this is needed if you are considering boosting your posts on Facebook, running Facebook Ads and probably paying your writers),
  • Maintenance and daily running of the website (are you going to run it by yourself 24 hours a day or get help from your girlfriend/wife and probably outsource these tasks to a third party).

Think about all of these!!

Build a Team as you create a news website

No man is an Island!!

To be honest with you, doing everything all by yourself will cause fatigue, burnout, and slow growth to you and the site.

The best option is to start with your spouse, girlfriend, or friend that believes in your dream project.

Forget About making money in the first six months.

The myth of making quick money as you start a news website business is one of the bitter truths you may not want to hear. I am not saying your news website newspaper portal will not give you money in the first six months, but you should not even think of it.

Your focus, in the beginning, should be on building and growing the news site on a daily and consistent basis. However, if you implement the first business plan, I guarantee you will be making money within this short time.

Still, it also takes time (approximately 3-4 months to have decent followers and likes, as mentioned in the first plan).

And to be honest with you, you may realize that only trickles of earnings will be dropping to your account for the first six months. It is usual for any business, and this online news website business is not an exception. Do not give up; maintain and pump up the momentum as you are about to run a news website.

Be a thorough Professional

By being a thorough professional means, you should run the business concerning people’s privacy, publish only true stories, do not use the medium to harass people, curse, or try to use the medium to support a particular political party.

The essence of journalism and news is to be transparent and report up-to-date, accurate news/stories; stick to this, and you will be recognized as an authority very soon.

Be Consistent ( It’s the Key)

Please note that punctuality and consistency are the lifeblood required for the survival and success of the site.

It would be best if you had a plan on how you are going to handle this aspect. For a beginner, you must post at least five (5 -10) stories/news in a day. You need to get your audience on social media busy and engaged with your consistent postings.

You are alone

you are alone

When you are about to create a news website and launch out, please note that you are alone in this project, except if you are a team from the beginning. You will need to invest a considerable amount of time writing your articles, news stories/specials all by yourself before editors and columnists start contributing.

Pick A News Niche Portal

To create a news website, you need to be focused and pick a niche, you cannot be jack of all trades. There are typically two types of news, and that is: bad or good news. Generally, there are three forms of news niche, and they are:

  • Online Newspaper Portal

Print media houses typically run online newspaper portals. In essence, the leading newspaper company has a print paper version (which is their primary business model). They publish/post the print version contents on their websites.

  • Local News Website

I always recommend that starters or Journalists intending to launch in this niche should start locally. Opening a local news website is quite different from having a newspaper parent company. Anybody with little financial capital can start. Running a local news website will give you higher leverage and an easy way of launching out.

  • International News Site

CNN, Aljazeera are examples of international news sites. One thing about them is that they are not running a physical newspaper print version. They only concentrate on the website and their media outlet (basically TV).

Chose Mobile Responsive Design

I was asked how to make a news website in WordPress; the good news is that it is the most straightforward task to do and accomplish, and I will show you the steps to take.

In this 21st century, designing your news website is no longer an impossible task if you do not know about website designing or programming. The answer is in the use of the WordPress platform.

WordPress software now powers more than 30% of all websites out there ( according to W3Techs), and I will show you how to create a news website in WordPress. 

You need to approach WordPress designing companies and buy their professionally looking templates (WordPress themes) for as low as USD 35-USD120. The fee is usually a one-time fee. You will use the template forever (though some companies require you to pay maintenance fees annually – usually around USD5-50).

To start a news website, I recommend the following ready-made online news templates.


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BUY THIS TEMPLATE NOWcreate a newspaper website


When you visit these companies, search for your preferred designs (you can type newspaper in their search box). But the template and download the ZIP files on your computer. Once done, just relax; continue reading the tutorial on how to start a news website (we will come back on how you will install it in the course of this tutorial).

You will get all these templates from the company below ( highly recommended);

I will be using the first template (template 1) as an example of the installation and configuration).

Domain Name / Webhosting

As you are about to make a news website, please note that the best Webhosting company for such a niche is Bluehost. Before going to hosting, you need to think of the name you will call your news website. The name you give it is also going to be the technical name the web understands.

Use my link below for your hosting and get started for just $2.95/month (63% off your hosting plan) from Bluehost and get a free domain name registration.


For example,,,,,, are all called New York Times, WashingtonPost, Huffington Post, Reuters, TimesLive, and Facebook, respectively.

In essence, the name of your website is called the domain name.

The first task is to:

  • Sit down and think of a good, reasonable, short, memorable, sweet, and brandable name that can be used for your domain name and also your name.
  • Write down different names that come to your mind on your notepad or your diary.
  • Then, you will need to search if the name is available to be used (and whether other people are not currently using it)
  • At the same time, you will also need to check if you can use that same name for your Facebook page and Twitter account (this is important because of the branding advantage I earlier talked about).

After that, go to and (page) and register using that name. What I am trying to explain is shown in the scenario below:

  • Name of website:
  • Twitter account:
  • Facebook page account profile:
  • Instagram account:

This task is important as you are about to start a news website, take time and do a thorough search to get the perfect domain name, and then register it immediately!!

Web Hosting of the Domain Name

The domain name is the identity as you are about to make an online newspaper website. Without the domain name, there is no Webhosting and it means you cannot create a news website because no one will see it, and the domain name will not be accessible on the internet.

The act and process of website hosting of the domain name is just a way of buying a space on the internet to store your domain name and the contents. This step is crucial when you want to make an online newspaper website or start a news website.

With the company mentioned above, Bluehost gives you a seamless / hassle-free experience of getting the domain name and hosting the domain name. I recommend you buy the hosting because:

  • I am personally using Bluehost for my news website (based in CapeTown, South Africa).
  • They are reliable, economically friendly, dependable, and highly secure.
  • Once you buy the hosting, they waive the fee for the domain name (approximately USD17) for an entire year, meaning you will not pay for a year.
  • For as low as USD3.5, you can get started with a brand-new website; other website hosting companies start from USD25 per month.

Use my link below for your hosting and get started for just $2.95/month (63% off your hosting plan) from Bluehost and get a free domain name registration.


Installation / Set Up

For the installation and set up, I recommend you watch this video below:

Can you make money with a news website?

Yes, you can.


When you start a news website, you must do the right thing once the money starts coming. You will need to submit taxes, report revenue, and probably register it as a company/business entity. This government guideline will help you.

To promote your news website, I recommend you submit to the following PR websites;


In conclusion, if you want to start a news website, this guideline is a handy and practical tutorial to help you get started. I am open to helpful suggestions and help.