Why Drupal Is A Great CMS For Newspapers In 2016
With the adoption of computers, smartphones and tablets, the decline of the physical newspaper has been a slow and palatable reality. So much so, that Wikipedia has a whole section titled, “The Decline of Newspapers.”
While some still opt to read the newspaper with their morning coffee, the majority are using their smart devices to get the news literally at their fingertips. Thus, if you're a publication (whether it’s a newspaper or print magazine) that's not already online or if you're unhappy with the current CMS platform, you need to make a business decision soon. And we think that Drupal is the best decision for moving your print idea to the digital space.
To help calm any fears that you might have, our Drupal developers put together their top reasons why Drupal is a great content management system for newspapers in 2015. If you like what you see, we've developed some news sites and would love to show them to you (more on that at the end).
Reason 1: Top Publishers Love Drupal
Many top publishers are running their websites on Drupal. To name a few, The Economist, Forbes Ru, Popular Science, BBC, Fox News, etc. are enjoying the benefits of Drupal CMS (Check out Top Drops and Drupal Showcase for even more examples). These sites have millions of visitors on a daily basis. They fully rely on the scalability and reliability that Drupal is known for.
Reason 2: A Responsive Mobile Ready CMS
Drupal is a powerful and advanced content management system that assists in creating responsive, mobile friendly websites. A news website that is purely content based and non-responsive just doesn’t cut it anymore. A responsive website gives a constant user experience across all devices. For content heavy websites, being responsive is extremely important as the site adjusts itself to fit the screen size and provides optimal reading experience for users.
Also, with the recent Google update, websites that are not responsive don’t get linked by mobile search engines. The number of users accessing the internet through their smart devices is overtaking desktop users. Thus, if your news site is not mobile first, you will definitely miss out on a lot of traffic. That’s breaking news to us!
Reason 3: Importance of Mobile First Website Over Dedicated Apps
Many mobile publishers jump into creating their own mobile apps without analyzing if it’s the right business decision for their publication. Mobile apps (Like Facebook, Instagram, etc.) have lots of loyal followers who use their app daily. However, if you’re a fairly new or a small publication, then a mobile first website is exactly what you need to attract targeted readers. Investment dollars should go towards marketing your stories and getting users back to your site. When users read more interesting stories, they subscribe to your RSS feed, signup for your email list and thereby become loyal followers. Similarly, as your traffic increases and reaches a particular threshold limit, then you can consider building your very own dedicated mobile app. This just in: Mobile Website First, Mobile App Second!
Read Our Publishing Case Study
Reason 4: Drupal Is An Advanced CMS
News sites need very detailed content segmentation and organization. Drupal CMS is really great at this because it’s designed to be organized/logical. Because of this, Drupal makes content curation extremely easy and helps searching for content/organizing it very feasible. Also, there are modules that help in managing the images that go on the website. Having a database of images to reuse goes a long way in saving time and energy. Extra extra, read all about it: Drupal Makes Organization Easy!
Reason 5: You Can Customize Your Whole Website
Having a customized website for your news site is essential. News is generally differentiated by various categories and taxonomy is very important. Also, each category can be given a different theme to set the mood of the news accordingly. You might want the news section to look one way, but the sports section to look another way. Drupal makes it easy to customize your site the way you want it. Newsflash: Drupal Lets You Change The Look Of Your Site Based On The User!
Reason 6: Fantastic Highlights And Advertisement Fields
Drupal lets you showcase your most featured content by highlighting via banner images or carousel sliders. Emphasize the importance of the breaking news or popular trends by creating separate fields and feeds. Similarly, advertisements are usually the main revenue stream for news sites and forming the right layout is essential to maximize ad space. How much space you are willing to shell out results in total revenue generated. Drupal helps in creating the perfect layout by customizing the page design.
Reason 7: Easy Migration Of Content
If you're making the change from another CMS to Drupal, content migration is essential. With Drupal, you can migrate your content published on other CMSs to Drupal with the use of few modules. Whether you have a HTML site or other content management systems, Drupal can easily get the content and organize it to form an optimized news website. We've even made Drupal 8 migration checklist to help!
Reason 8: External Modules For Additional Functionalities
There are various modules that can be associated with the Drupal Core to design your publication as you need. The Views Module is one of the most essential and is popular on several news sites. You can customize each article the way you want it to look. The Panels Module is another module which helps in aligning the front page to display a batch of news the way you want it. Tweakbox and Content Construction Kit (CCK) help in displaying teaser fields, necessary to entice readers to click on a particular article. And the list goes on. News flash #1: Drupal Modules Help Your News Articles Get Seen!
Reason 9: Really Engage Audiences To Build Loyal Readership
The success of any news website depends on how engaged they keep their readers. Drupal has some great plug-ins that let users comment and share your articles. These features help in getting your articles maximum visibility and engagement. Also, the commenting section is essential to let users share their views on the particular piece of news. This kind of audience engagement helps you form a community of loyal readers. News flash #2: Drupal Modules Help Your News Articles Get Shared!
Reason 10: Secure Websites
Drupal is a really secure CMS. In fact, most government websites are built using Drupal core because it's so secure. Every module and community made product is run through a series of thorough testing to establish its integrity. Modules with security threats will not pass their rigorous testing process. Thus, your database of users will be secured and critical information can be saved with minimal worries.
Reason 11: There's An "Out Of The Box" Solution For Publishers
OpenPublish is built specifically for publishers looking to take their content online quickly. If you're financially unable to find a developer to customize your news website, you can opt to use this ready-made option. However, it comes with its own set of limitations, such as limited themes and a standard look/feel. But, it does provide all the benefits that Drupal offers, making it a feasible option for most publishers.
Reason 12: Create Customized Access Control For Each Writer
Successful news sites have hoards of writers who are churning out content every day. With Drupal CMS, each writer can have a separate account to manage their own content. Similarly, privileges can be set for each set of writers enforcing access to only a few areas of the website. This customized access control can be used for readers as well, where paid readers can be given access to more exclusive content. With the implementation of Drupal, the opportunities are endless.
Wow! What a list. And with that, we DrupalPartners think it's a great time to upgrade or start a news website in Drupal. Our team of Drupal developers have some pretty darn great Drupal knowledge in implementing the latest trends in the news websites. We'd love to talk to you about our work and show you some news sites we've developed. Contact us today and we'll show you our work.
Special thanks to @AlexanderKesler, @shmcminn and @ClayBolto for adding some of their thoughts and insights to this article.