Use a content management system (CMS)
Any sort of online publishing nowadays should use a content management system(CMS), not least newspapers or magazines. A CMS allows you and your staff topost your stories and make changes without having to rely on a third party. Onthe Internet, time is measured in minutes and hours, not in days.
A content management system also makes it possible and feasible to organize thethousands of news stories that you will have.
2. A corollary is that you can, and should, publish news stories online atanytime. This is both good and bad. Good in that you can publish at your ownpace and schedule. Bad in that you always need to keep up to date. This is abalance that needs to be found.
3. Once you publish a news story, you should leave it online. Forever. It will continueto have readers days or weeks after publication. Over the long term, it willalso appear in search results as well. These are benefits of leaving a storyonline. Since the cost of having another web page is essentially zero, whywould you ‘archive’ it? A very small minority of users think that ‘archives’will allow visitors to find old stories. Unfortunately, that’s a bit of afallacy. Having a good search ability on the website is a much better way forvisitors to find old stories. It will be more efficient and effective too.
4. Theweb is built on openness and linking, and your news stories should be open andaccessible to anyone. This is how you build a trusted brand and acquirereaders.
5. In the early days of publishing your brand new online newspaper of magazine, youshould concentrate on growing readership. Don’t get distracted by ways tomonetise your website.Create something of value to your readers first. If youdon’t have this, nothing else will work.
6. Firstand foremost, this not only documents what types of techniques will be appliedto the design, but also alerts management of the need for SEO help. Everythingshould be written down, including organic SEO, paid marketing, linkdevelopment, and the nitty gritty, such as picture captions, video transcriptsand rules for embedded links.
7. Thismay seem odd but one of the common questions these days is where to put socialsharing icons. Should your project include “Share This” and if so, what pages?Will your target users be comfortable with sharing?An news site that wants usergenerated content may want to flesh out ideas in this section. Blogs and forumscan be put into this section. Don’t limit this area to just Twitter andFacebook. A social media marketing specialist knows how to truly implement thistype of marketing based on your specific needs.
8. Somecompanies may put content writing in with either usability or search enginemarketing. That’s fine. The important points for nailing down guidelines forcontent are consistency, embedded link placement, anchor text rules, videotranscripts, how to structure headings and sub-headings, and more. Be specificif different departments participate with their own content. This is when stylesheets and guidelines are really helpful.
9. Mobiledevices are hard to keep up with but if your web site is the kind where yourtarget users may want to access it while on the go, this section ofrequirements is a must.News and ecommerce sites should pay attention to mobilevariations. Sites designed in all Flash would fail this requirement. Localsites are good candidates for mobile design and of course, any site that offersan added “app”.
10. Be patient
Finally,be patient. Building a great news website, like building anything worthwhile,doesn’t happen overnight. It requires hard work and persistence, buteventually, it will happen.
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