How to Create a Drudge Report Clone Using WP-Drudge

Here at WP Mayor we have expressed the importance of content aggregation and curation for establishing your website as a go-to resource for breaking news in your niche. In fact, we have even shared with you some of the best aggregator themes for WordPress so you can set your website up to become one of the best news sites around. However today we are going to get into specifics. Today we are going to show you how to set up a Drudge Report clone on your WordPress website using the premium WP-Drudge WordPress theme.
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Some may call it ugly. Others think it’s washed up and just plain poor web design. And yet, many people still maintain that the Drudge Report is a timeless classic that has withstood the test of time.

And in a sense, they are all true.

Debuting in 1997, the Drudge Report has seen very little change in terms of design. It is written in unscripted HTML, holds a monochromatic color scheme, and never spices up its boldfaced, moonfaced font that appears on a plain white background. In addition, it would seem that the images and links are all mixed up with no sort or organized order. That is, besides the one major headline that jumps out at you upon clicking on the site.

drudgereportdotcom
The original Drudge Report.

Here at WP Mayor we have expressed the importance of content aggregation and curation for establishing your website as a go-to resource for breaking news in your niche. In fact, we have even shared with you some of the best aggregator themes for WordPress so you can set your website up to become one of the best news sites around.

However today we are going to get into specifics. Today we are going to show you how to set up a Drudge Report clone on your WordPress website using the premium WP-Drudge WordPress theme.

What is WP-Drudge?

wp-drudge-curation-theme

WP-Drudge is a WordPress news aggregation and content curation theme designed to mimic the popular Drudge Report website. In short, WP-Drudge is a user-friendly theme that allows you to create, maintain, and even promote a news curation website.

Just look at some of the best features WP-Drudge has to offer:

  • 100% mobile friendly with the ability to create a mobile experience
  • 8 different color settings
  • Built-in SEO optimization
  • Unlimited RSS or Atom feeds including a Google News link
  • Add videos, links, and images
  • Core WordPress drag & drop builder
  • Allow subscribers, users, and readers to post comments on any link or post

In the end, this WordPress theme has all the required functionality to create a Drudge Report clone.

Using WP-Drudge to Create a Drudge Report Clone

Step 1: Installation and Activation

In order to get started with WP-Drudge, you first need to install and activate your purchased theme via your WordPress dashboard. Navigate to Appearance > Themes and click on Add New. Then select Upload Theme and choose the WP-Drudge zip file. From there, download the theme package by clicking on Install Now and then select Activate.

Before you can start customizing your WP-Drudge theme, you must then navigate to Settings > WP-Drudge License and enter your API key and email address.

Step 2: Add Link Categories

Without content, it is difficult to get your news site up, running, and looking right. That is why you need to take baby steps and divide your links and posts into 2 categories first:

  • Posted Links. These are posts that are “time sensitive” links on your website. They appear newest to oldest and display vertically. They will fall off your homepage after a specified time and remain in your archives.
  • Static Links. These are your links that stay on the site pages as long as you want them to. They link to major headline news and appear however you want – alphabetically, by rating, or random.

These categories will organize your content and determine how your site will look overall. Here is a great example that the team at WP-Drudge provides:

wp-drudge-category-components

When comparing to DrudgeReport.com, Posted Links are the news links at the top of the homepage and Static Links are the outgoing “blogrolls” at the bottom of the site.

To add Posted Links on your website, follow these steps:

  • Navigate to Posts > Categories
  • Under the “Add New Category” enter the category name in the “Name” field and click Add New Category
  • Complete these steps until finished

To Create Static Links on your website, follow these steps:

  • Click on Links and then Link Categories
  • Under the “Add New Link Category” enter the category name in the “Name” field and click Add New Link Category
  • Complete these steps until finished

wp-drudge-add-link-categories

Step 3: Add Posted and Static Link Widgets to Your Site

Your WP-Drudge homepage is broken into multiple columns. Each column contains small blocks of dynamic content that are organized using “widgets”. These “widgets” are for displaying content easily on your website.  This is where all of your links will appear on your homepage.

Here are the steps for adding Posted Link widgets to your website:

  • Navigate to Appearance > Widgets
  • Delete all pre-existing widgets in the left column
  • Scroll down to the WP-Drudge widgets and select “WP-Drudge Posted Links”
  • Add that widget to the column of your choice
  • Configure the widget choosing things such as widget title, category to display, and number of posts to show

wp-drudge-posted-link-w

Here are the steps for adding Static Link widgets to your website:

  • Navigate to Appearance > Widgets
  • Scroll down to the WP-Drudge widgets and select “WP-Drudge Static Links”
  • Add that widget to the column of your choice
  • Configure the widget choosing things such as widget title, whether to display title and description, category to display, and how you would like the post ordered

wp-drudge-static-link-widgets

In addition to Posted and Static Link widgets, WP-Drudge has the following widgets for displaying content on your website:

  • RSS Feed
  • Google News Feed
  • Subscribe
  • Contact
  • Ads

That being said, any of the default widgets you initially deleted when adding your Posted and Static Link widgets can also be used on your website by simply re-adding them.

Step 4: Customize Your Website

While many people feel a Drudge Report website is unsightly, there is no denying its specific look and feel. To begin customizing the overall look of your website, navigate to Appearance > WP-Drudge Options.

wp-drudge-customizations

Here you can changes things such as:

  • Header settings
  • Borders and colors
  • Typography
  • Images
  • Mobile
  • Text

In addition, you can alter things such as your content width and layout, overall spacing, number of columns, link behavior, redirects, and footer text via the Other tab. More so, you can access additional customization options in the Advanced tab where CSS changes can be made.

Step 5: Add Links, Headline Text, and Images

One of the best features WP-Drudge has that makes it so similar to the Drudge Report style is the editorialized headlines that link to similar external website sources. It is in this way you create a consistent and unified opinion across the board that your readers come to know and love.

To begin creating links that point to external sources, follow these steps:

  • Navigate to Posts > Add New
  • Title your headline keeping in mind this is the text that will contain the hyperlink ability
  • Scroll past the content editor to the “Outbound link” section
  • Add the URL of the source you are linking to externally
  • Add an image by following these additional instructions
  • Choose a column to place this source in from the section labeled “Categories”
  • Click on “Publish” and your new linked source will be added to your homepage

wp-drudge-links-and-headline-text

Notice too that you can make breaking news the headline by checking the “Featured Link” box. In addition, you can add important links to the left above the headline story by checking the “Top Links” category.

wp-drudge-top-links

Step 5: Add Advertising

Using the simple advertising manager pre-packaged with WP-Drudge, add linked image ads by completing these next steps:

  • Navigate to WPN Ads > Add a new ad
  • Choose between code snippets or linked image ads (more detailed instructions found here)
  • Decide whether to display the ad at the top of your site, in the left column, or the right column in the “Location” section
  • Next, navigate to Appearance > Widgets and select the WP-Drudge Ads widget
  • Click on it, select the appropriate column, and select Add Widget
  • Click on “Choose the widget ad group” drop down menu, click on Save, and drag it to the space between the Posted and Static Links widget in that column

wp-drudge-ads

Creating a Drudge Report Clone Using WP-Drudge

It is important to keep in mind that the above steps will only help you create a basic Drudge Report style website. There is a lot more that you can do with WP-Drudge that requires some experimenting of your own, or a look at WP-Drudge’s extensive documentation. For instance, you can complete some of the following popular theme configurations:

  • Add a Google Webfont
  • Include RSS Feeds and RSS aggregation add-ons
  • Post to WP-Drudge from another website
  • Add content to the middle of a link column
  • Add an auto-refresh
  • Track link clicks
  • Redirect Posted Link single pages

In the future, the developers of WP-Drudge hope to implement a feature such as an analytics tie-in with Google Analytics and include child themes for customizing the category pages.

Final Thoughts

Altogether, the WP-Drudge theme provides the perfect canvas for creating a Drudge Report clone website. In fact, you can set up an almost identical looking website if you wish and begin curating news just as the original news curation website has been doing for almost two decades.

I must admit that the learning curve is a bit steep for a theme of this capability. Being so unorthodox when compared to other themes, navigating through the steps can become a bit confusing if you do not commit to following the documentation step-by-step. However, the documentation is thorough, so as long as you follow each step accordingly you will be able to have your Drudge Report clone website up and running in no time.

Have you ever used the WordPress theme WP-Drudge to create a Drudge Report clone? I would love to hear all about it in the comments below!

Get WP-Drudge Here

Lindsay Liedke
Lindsay Liedke
Lindsay is a freelance writer who loves all things WordPress. When she is not writing she can be found spending family time with her son and two silly nephews.

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7 Responses

  1. Hi Mansy,

    Thanks for stopping by WP Mayor! I am glad you enjoyed the post about creating a drudge report clone. Be sure to check back for more great WordPress information.

    ~ Lindsay 🙂

    1. You both are so welcome! I am so happy to have provided you guys with help. I know it can be kind of confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a whole lot easier!

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