Want to create a latest news website but not sure where to start? By that, I mean a site that automatically brings in the latest news for a specific topic – no manual input required.
WordPress, our favorite CMS here at WP Mayor, is actually a perfect tool for the job…as long as you’ve got the right plugins.
And guess what? You don’t need to be a coding genius to build a latest news website with WordPress. All you need is the proper tool for the job and the ability to click a few buttons.
In this post, I’m going to show you how to build a latest news website even if you don’t have any coding experience. The only thing you’ll need to have is a working install of self-hosted WordPress. As long as you’ve got that, you’re ready to jump into how to create a latest news website!
Tool For the Job: WP RSS Aggregator
To create our latest news website, we’re going to be using a free plugin called WP RSS Aggregator, as well as a couple of its premium add-ons. This plugin allows you to have your WordPress site automatically pull in the latest news from something called an RSS feed.
Pretty much every news organization has an RSS feed of all its latest articles – so the ability to import those feeds into WordPress is essential.
Beyond the free plugin, you’ll also need two premium extensions. I’ll explain why each is important:
- Feed to Post – this allows you to create a unique WordPress post for each individual news story.
- Keyword Filtering – this allows you to filter the news stories by keywords. You can use it to create a latest news site on a specific topic or divide the news up into different categories. If you don’t want to filter the news at all, you don’t technically need it. But it’s a good idea for keeping your news items relevant to your readers.
Now, I’ll take you through the whole process in detail…
Step 1: Install and Configure WP RSS Aggregator
As long as you’ve got a working self-hosted WordPress site, you can jump straight into installing and configuring WP RSS Aggregator and the two premium add-ons. To install the core plugin, just go to Plugins → Add New and search for WP RSS Aggregator. And here’s a guide on how to install the premium add-ons.
Once you’ve got that out of the way, head to RSS Aggregator → Settings to set up the plugin. There’s not much you need to do before you start choosing your latest news feeds, but you should make a few tweaks.
The only setting you need to make right now is to head to the Feed to Post tab and turn on Link back to source?. This ensures that all of the latest news articles you bring in link back to the original news source to give proper credit:
Later on, you might want to go back here and tweak some of these settings depending on your specific needs. But for now, you’re free to go ahead to the next step.
Step 2: Create Categories for Your News Feeds (optional)
If you want to divide the news items you import up by categories, now’s a good time to go and create those categories. You don’t have to do this, but it does make it a bit easier for your readers to find content that’s relevant.
You can add these categories like normal. That is, head to Posts → Categories and enter the details:
You can see in the example above that I created a category specifically for news about Pennsylvania. Later on, I’ll show you how you can use this to create a Pennsylvania-specific news feed alongside a news feed for the USA as a whole.
Step 3: Choose Your News Feeds
Now, you need to actually choose the news feeds you want to pull posts from. If you’re not sure what RSS feeds are, you should read our beginner’s guide to RSS feeds. Basically, each RSS feed is a constantly updating feed of news items.
You can find them for most major news sites, as long as you know where to look for RSS feeds.
Here are a few general news feeds to get you started:
If you want news for a specific industry, you’ll probably need to find an industry-specific news site to pull from, though.
Armed with one of these feed URLs, go to RSS Aggregator → Add New. Give your feed a name and paste in the URL to the RSS feed. I’ll use the AP United States feed for this example:
Then, scroll down to the Feed to Post settings. You can leave most of these as the default. But you’ll want to choose the Post Status:
If you choose Draft, you’ll need to manually publish each news item before it displays on your live site. If you choose Published, though, each news item will automatically go live.
And the other thing you should configure is Feed to Post – Taxonomies. Click the +Add New button and choose a category for this news feed. In the example below, I’ve set the category to United States News to match the feed source:
Now, go ahead and click the Publish Feed button at the top of your page.
And you’ve got a live news feed for all the United States news!
If the news feed you chose doesn’t seem to let you import images, you may want to upgrade to the Advanced Feeds Bundle to be able to force importing images that aren’t provided in the feed.
That’s all good…but what if you want to filter the news items you post? Let’s cover that next.
Step 4: Add Keyword Filtering (if desired)
Ok, so you have your news feed. But it’s just a huge feed of all the latest news from the USA. What if you want to create a filtered latest news feed? To show you that, I’ll go back to my Pennsylvania News example from before.
The first steps are the same – go to RSS Aggregator → Add New and add your feed details and configure the Feed to Post options.
Only now, you’ll want to also configure the Feed Keyword Filtering. All you need to do is enter “Pennsylvania” in the Contains all of these words/phrases box and WP RSS Aggregator will only import posts that include the word Pennsylvania in BOTH the title and content:
Now, you can give this feed the Category for Pennsylvania News:
And now you’ll have a separate category of news items just for Pennsylvania. If you wanted to get creative, you could even go back and exclude the word Pennsylvania from the United States news feed so that you don’t have any duplicate news items.
Wrapping Things Up
That’s really all you need to do to build a latest news website! You can use whichever RSS feeds you’d prefer to create the perfect mix of news articles. Just make sure you pick a solid news aggregator WordPress theme so that readers can easily navigate all the news items.
And if you want your latest news items to appear as separate entries from your blog, you’ll want to look into custom post types. You can use a custom post type plugin to create a News custom post type that houses all of the latest news items. Or, you can always remove your news categories from your regular blog feed and just link to the news category archive pages from specific areas of your site.
To sum up – all you need to get up and running with your latest news website are the following items:
- A working self-hosted WordPress site
- Some RSS feeds to pull news articles from
- The free WP RSS Aggregator plugin
- Premium Feed to Post Add-on
- Premium Keyword Filtering Add-on (only if you want to filter your news items)
Once you get your latest news site going, you can apply some of these tips to take your curated news to the next level.
If you have any further questions about how to create a latest news website with WordPress, leave them in the comments and I’ll try to help out.
any choices out there for “non self hosted’ wordpress?