Inside the Geek Mind. How I build a News site on Wordpress with $50.
Here is another insight into the behind the scenes of an online publishing company. A couple weeks I posted about how to migrate content from Drupal to Wordpress. This is report is about how to build a news site on Wordpress. Besides operating established news sites, we also try to get new sites off the ground.
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Before we did that on Drupal, where we have invested a lot into custom development. Now we switched to Wordpress and so far the experience is great, especially the financial and time investments are really low.
I spent less than $50 and invested a couple hours to get a news site like scienceballa.com up and running. I picked Siteground to host our new Wordpress sites on a GoGeek account for $14.95 per month. This is an ideal plan to host multiple sites and start growing traffic. Once the limit of 100,000 visits per months is cracked, sites can be moved to dedicated hosting. At this point the sites make enough profit to easily afford dedicated hosting. To host a single site the monthly is $3.95.
There is one issue with low-cost shared hosting and this is resource usage. Hosting companies impose maximum levels of CPU and executions. There are several steps that need to be taken to stay under these limits including blocking the bad bots. I will publish another post detailing the steps I took to get my new Wordpress sites to comply with the resource limits.
Siteground gives you full access including SSH and has many plug-and-play solutions for Wordpress integrated into cPanel. SuperCacher and Cloudflare are for instance enabled by just clicking a button. I don't miss anything from the things I can do on a dedicated server on a shared hosting account on Siteground.
Wordpress themes are the key to get a great looking site on low budget and couple of mouse clicks. I picked the NewsOnline theme from MyThemeShop for the new site. Besides the clean look, straight forward features, the key advantage of a theme from myThemeShop is the unlimited license. The NewsOnline theme sells for $47 and it can be used on as many sites you like.
This is a huge advantage as I invested time to understand the theme code and make some minor tweaks and customizations. I know now this theme and I can reuse it how often I like without having to pay again a Dime.
The other key incidence are plugins. To get things started I recommend Jetpack 2.0 that Wordpress is basically force-feeding you with anyway. It offers many features including sitemaps and monitoring. To boost SEO, you can install YOAST, which is very commonly installed plugin offering many features around optimizing site and content for search engines.
You can of course add tons of bells and whistles to a site with the thousands ouf plugins out there. For a new online publication this is though all you need.
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If you have questions about this solution feel free to post in the comments below.