Tagged: 'WordPress Themes'

We Clicked On: Your Online Newsroom

WordPress

We’re still actively searching for WordPress themes to use for our hosted Web sites (and of course, to recommend to you). That search has turned up this recent post on Running Design listing some top-notch news themes. We also came across a plugin called Pods that allows you to manage a database of information from the WordPress back end. It’s still a bit rough, but offers a lot of potential to news organizations looking to easily manage and present relational databases.

The Journalism World

The New York Times is running a blog-style debate from some of the top minds in journalism entitled Battle Plans for Newspapers. This seems like a constructive contribution to the debate over the future of newspapers, which has been raging anew since the TIME cover story on the topic last week. Jeff Jarvis has a good summary of all of the arguments so far in a post from earlier this week.

Further, Jim Stoval argues that the death of newspapers will lead to better journalism by giving rise the the digital newsroom—allowing journalists new and better ways of telling their stories. Read more →

Liftoff: First paper to partner with CoPress goes live, open-source

The Whit of Rowan University launched its new Web site this week, becoming the first (dare I say inaugural?) publication online in the CoPress beta hosting program.

Led by the tireless efforts of Miles Skorpen, we helped the student paper jump from the College Media Network (College Publisher) to an independent site running WordPress on our server.

“I’m more than satisfied with the end result,” says Whit Web Editor Emily Kostic. The staff was initially hesitant about the switch, but now, according to Kostic, “Everyone is in love with the new site.”

“I like how it was collaborative with Miles, ensuring that we had a say in what the site would look and feel like,” she added.

Here’s a rundown of the what it took.

Archives. Years of articles from The Whit’s archives were imported, using files provided by CMN. Such transfers of legacy data can be an onerous task, and this one took longer we than expected. But along the way, Miles wrote a script to automate the migration as much as possible, smoothing the trail we hope for future moves.

Look. The Whit’s new design is based on a Revolution Two theme, for an un-bloggish layout. Designer Brian Gardner has unfortunately decided to start charging for these “premium” themes again, just two months after announcing he was offering them for free. We at CoPress were thoroughly unimpressed with the Revolution templates after working underneath the hood. With a growing market of paid themes — see WP Remix and WooThemes, among many others — we’d be hesitant to recommend Revolution.

Backend. WordPress, flexible though it may be, and becoming more like a full-fledged CMS in recent versions, is still basically blogging software out of the box. It takes a slate of plugins and a good bit of tweaking to fit the dynamic needs of a collegiate newspaper. Some inelegant workarounds are required. We’re hoping that adaptation can be made much more efficient.

Our work is not yet done. We’ll continue improving and polishing the Whit’s site. And learning how college newsrooms can better utilize open-source tools like WordPress.

Questions and critiques, as always, are welcome.