The core of our philosophy is to provide support to your news organization so that youʼre able to best utilize all that the web has to offer. We are always here to answer questions and aim to be transparent in everything that we do.
Instead of locking you into a propriety content management system, we will work with you to best utilize open source software. By doing so weʼll provide your newsroom with the foundation it needs to be nimble and prosper by taking advantages of new technologies.
With Managed Hosting weʼll help transition, host, support, and develop your site so that you can take advantage of new web technologies. Once your site launches weʼll still be there to support all of your ambitions on the web. Weʼll help you find the right plugins and tutorials for projects and if you canʼt do it yourself weʼll work with you on larger goals.
Still have questions about Managed Hosting? Check out the FAQ below and if you still have questions get in touch with our Hosting Team.
What is CoPress?
CoPress is an organization that supports the evolution of online journalism at colleges across the United States. CoPress links scores of college newspapers together, providing the staff at each of these papers with access to each other, to mentors, and to a growing library of resources and accrued experiences. The goal of this effort is to help college news organizations discover and demonstrate the extraordinary advantages of online journalism, while also creating a think-tank of budding scholars, all committed to path-breaking and inventive journalism.
What problem is CoPress trying to solve?
College journalism is in trouble. Ad rates and readership are dropping, and few college news organizations know how to successfully make the transition to online-first (or only). CoPress is creating a community of student news organizations who pool knowledge, ideas, and resources and can help each other thrive in the world of Web journalism.
High turnover, particularly in tech staff, is also an issue. CoPress is a safety net. If you can’t find a technically-savvy person to be on your staff, CoPress has the community to help out. If your Web guy needs help, or just needs to bounce ideas of someone, the CoPress team and community are here.
How did CoPress get started?
CoPress got its start out of frustration with the current state of college media CMS solutions in August, 2008. Daniel Bachhuber wrote a post, calling for a better answer. His call to action was answered by a dozen college students, and CoPress was launched.
CoPress began as an initiative to build a CMS for college media, but we realized that the task was already well in hand, and the real need was a community around Web development. Technology already exists to work in this online world, what we’re here to do is teach you how to use it.
How is CoPress different from a content management system (CMS), and if we have our own, why do we need you?
A CMS is a piece of software, and that’s just not us. Our goal is to build a community of talented, capable, and technologically-savvy journalists that share ideas, collaborate . Right now, our Managed Hosting deploys top of their class student news websites with WordPress because its the best software for most of the sector’s needs, but our team has experience with Drupal, Django and Ruby on Rails too. We hope that our community doesn’t coalesce around one specific set of tools, but rather best practices, ideas, and experiments of applying the tools to further journalism.
Will CoPress always be run by college students? If not, then what are its plans for staying connected to the college community?
We’re still pretty new, so we can’t outright promise anything, but we believe that CoPress needs to be run by students. It’s very possible that we’ll hire some full time people down the road, but it’s a good bet that we’ll always have students on the core team. In addition, our bylaws stipulate that the board must be majority controlled by college students.
How are you related to or different from Populous Project, Courant News, Ochs, or other Django projects out there?
CoPress is working to help all of these projects coordinate their efforts and thrive by providing a central support structure. One of the great things about open source software is the continuing development that occurs – it’s how open source continually bests proprietary software we’re here to see that development continues and to provide the help that you might need to take the software and deploy it for your own news organization.
My newsroom is clueless when it comes to Twitter. Can CoPress help?
We’re big believers in social media. We’ve got experience setting up Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, and more. Check out the wiki to get yourself started, and if you’re still looking for help, shoot us a tweet, email, or smoke signal.
Does a student publication have to host its site with CoPress to benefit from its resources?
No. Hosting is just one part of what we do. Right now, this means that we can also provide you tech support on any issue you’d like (we do charge for that). We’ve got a wiki, which is on it’s way to becoming the compendium of knowledge on the technology powering college media. And of course we’re available through our forum and forthcoming Connection Engine to provide and share any resources that we’ve got.
Hosting is just a service we’ve provided because we saw a huge need for an alternative to College Publisher in the college media industry. It is a means to our end–more innovative college media online.
What can student journalists and others do to get involved with CoPress and support its mission?
There are several things you can do, first and foremost is asking questions! That’s how the conversation gets started. At this very moment, we’re looking for more members and want to expand our team. So, if you’re at all interested in an amazing networking opportunity, and have skills in code development, media, business or are just generally a ‘new media’ guru, we’d love to have you.
A huge part of our mission is open source software. If your news organization isn’t on open-source, help them move. We’re there to help with that, and you’ll get involved with us as we get involved with you.
Be sure to add your newsorg to the wiki so we can know from where you hail!
I could establish my publication’s Web presence with a can of Red Bull and 2 hours of free time. Why would I need CoPress?
If you really can establish a thorough Web presence on one energy drink, let us know, because the world needs someone with your skills.
Chances are really good, that moving online and continuing to exist online are going to take a lot more work than 2 hours and one developer. the whole reason why CoPress got started was to pool resources and share the knowledge of mistakes that have been made to make this process less painful for the people that come after us. Besides, what’s going to happen to your newsroom when you leave? One of the things we oﬀer is continuity. Getting your newsroom involved with CoPress will ensure that there’s always a tech community around for your news organization.
If you’re sure that you can do it in record time, then go for it, and let us know. We’re looking for a deity like yourself to expand our wiki, answer other peoples’ questions on the forum, and help empower the community.
What is the hosting and support that you offer?
We function oﬀ pooled servers that we provide at cost. Sharing resources allows us to aﬀord equipment that individual organizations could never aﬀord.
Currently, work with WordPress as a CMS, but we follow other CMS development projects closely, and are prepared to help our customers move if something better becomes available.
Our support is based around teaching you to fish instead of handing you dinner. We make it as easy as possible, and then support your eﬀorts in building what you need. If you do find something that’s out of your league, we’re the safety net. For an hourly rate, we’ll connect you with another student who can help be your tech support, developer, designer, whatever you need.
Why should a student news organization pay for CoPress when they can get something like College Publisher for free?
College Publisher and blog tools like WordPress can oﬀer you free solutions, but they come with their fair share of problems. they have very limited flexibility and terrible support. In the specific case of College Publisher, we’ve found their long-term plans to be less than inspiring, and their software to not oﬀer the necessary power that many news organizations require.
CoPress oﬀers best-in-class open source solutions that we know to work. the only downside is that we’re not a huge corporation that can aﬀord to oﬀer free hosting. But then, we don’t put any ads on your site so we consider it a fair trade.
A huge plus is that the hosting is on a pooled server, which means that you’re getting something that’s extremely powerful. You get what you pay for.
Will you have control of my site’s design or do I get admin access to the back end?
We will design your site for you if you want, but we’d much prefer if you did it yourself. We’re here to oﬀer any help you need, but CoPress is more set on helping news organizations be independent.
You’ll have full access to anything and everything you desire including SSH, FTP, MySQL. Ideally, we’re here to help you get oﬀ the ground, and then as a safety net just in case something goes wrong, or you want to expand into some area where you don’t have the technical expertise.
We’re here to help you innovate as much as possible if your newsroom as the tech talent, and if you loose that skill-set for a semester or two.
How long will the transition take from College Publisher to WordPress?
Well, from our end that depends on the number of new clients we have coming in, but really, we can get a new site running in a couple of weeks if the stars are aligned.
This means that you would have to have a theme already designed (and not have anything too crazy that requires custom coding), a good idea of what you want, and your College Publisher archives.
That last one is the kicker. Under every College Publisher contract we’ve seen, they have to give you your database within 60 days of asking, but it’s usually quite a hassle to get them. In our opinion, that’s usually the slowest part of the whole process.
What kind of data will be lost in a transition from CP to WP?
We’ve almost perfected the database migration process. the only thing that we can’t do right now is handle multiple pictures per article because of the way College Publisher stores the data.
Aside from that, you’ll have all your data, and in a new and improved, non-proprietary format that you can bring anywhere you need to go in the future. Your articles, authors, pictures, embeds, user data, -all of it can be transfered.
Of course, moving to WordPress comes with more advantages than just a new site design. SEO is a huge mention. So is ad revenue, page customization, and continuing support.
How many sites are you capable of hosting/supporting? (And if you take on a lot of sites, will quality of support/hosting diminish?)
We’ve planned to limit ourselves to the number of schools on every server. This is to ensure that the server is operating at optimum levels, and aptly handle traﬃc spikes when your basketball team wins NCAA, or you get linked to by the New York Times.
We get it. Speed and reliability are critical. We’ve all been there when College Publisher was inaccessible and you were on deadline. that’s why we guarantee 99% uptime in our contracts, and so far have achieved 100%.