In this technology-driven world, online news portal development is witnessing a massive rise over the years. Not only the traditional newspaper companies are shifting online with news website development, but also the new players are entering the market.
It is because more than 4.95 billion users today have access to the internet, which represents 62.5% of the total population of the world. People like to browse different types of news online using the web browser or with a news mobile app. Therefore, there is an ongoing shift from printed newspapers to e-papers or online news sites.
In every country, online media is establishing itself as a core part of modern society. With time, the number of internet users is only increasing, which means the consumption of digital news/media will only increase.
There are various factors behind the success of news portals. For instance, news websites provide instant and latest news as and when things happen. Whereas, the same news reaches people the next day when the newspaper reaches them.
The online news can be browsed on the basis of categories, city, country, interest, etc., from anywhere and anytime using a mobile device. Moreover, people can find links to the original news sources, browse multiple news sites instead of sticking to a single news company, search for old news, etc.
In this comprehensive write-up, let’s understand what exactly is a news portal, the key features of the news website, the cost of online news app development, and why you should develop a news app/website.
What is Online News Portal?
An online news portal is simply the digital version of a newspaper or magazine that users can browse on the internet or with a mobile application. A news portal can have a wide variety or any kind of news, such as politics, economy, culture, environment, technology, business, sports, finance, and health, just to name a few.
These news websites bring the latest updates and breaking news directly to the audience regardless of their location. Along with news stories, such a portal can also publish articles, press releases, columns, photos, videos, and other forms of content.
A newspaper company that offers news in printed form can choose to establish its online presence with a news portal. Additionally, any new company can enter the market with news app development, even if it doesn’t provide traditional newspapers.
Benefits of Online News Portal
Unlike waiting for the newspaper to reach home the next morning, people can get instant news updates with a news portal.
Mobile Access to News
People can easily browse and read news on their smartphones, as well as desktop devices. Whether they are at home, travelling, or anywhere in the world, they can read any piece of news instantly.
Ability to Browse Any News
When a specific newspaper reaches your home, you can read only news stories and articles provided by that newspaper. However, with online options, you can browse any news website and go through multiple opinions on pieces of news.
If you opt for custom news website development, you can get functionalities created that help in showing users the content on the basis of their interest.
For instance, if someone is more inclined toward sports news, he will get recommendations for the latest sports content he has not read yet. This significantly improves the user experience and boosts audience retention.
Ability to Share Opinions
In case users want to comment on a news story or start a discussion with other users on specific news, they can do so using the comments section.
Better Ad Results
Online media portals are also great assets for advertisers as they can measure the results effectively. For instance, they can view the number of ad impressions, clicks, conversions, etc.
Growth of Online News Portals (Crucial Market Stats)
Undoubtedly, the number of people who prefer to read news online is drastically increasing every year. Especially during and after the COVID-19 outbreak, digital news consumption has witnessed massive growth.
- For instance, if we talk about India alone, over 393 million people preferred online news in 2020, out of 405 million people who were online. Times Internet, Network18, and India Today were the top news publishers in the country.
- Along with textual content on the website, the YouTube videos of these publishers also saw huge traction and played a vital part in the growth.
- As per the research by BARC and Nelison, in the past couple of years, the average time spent on online news portals and applications increased by 41%. Moreover, the average time spent weekly on news portals is 40 minutes, which was only 27 minutes before COVID-19.
- Almost every major news website around the world is experiencing growth in traffic every year. New York Times, Daily Mail, CNN, Yahoo News, Fox News, The Guardian, MSN, Google News, and BBC are the top news portals in the world in 2022.
- Over 70% of the people in the UK were either reading or downloading online news or magazines in 2020. Between 2007 and 2020, the number of online news readers has increased thrice.
These numbers prove that the consumption of news via online news websites and mobile applications has become prevalent and will further increase in the coming years. In such an era, news website development or mobile app development is one of the most profitable business ideas.
News Portal Website Business Model
Before going ahead with online news portal development, you must know how news websites earn money. How do they monetize the content? Let’s discuss the business model in detail here.
Showing third-party advertisements on the platform are the most efficient way of making money from a news website or app. Without this model, most blogs or media portals wouldn’t exist.
What you need to do is drive traffic to the website and get approval from companies that enable paid ads on your site. For example, if you get Google AdSense approval, your users will see different types of ads on your portal. You earn money for the number of impressions and clicks.
The more the number of impressions and clicks on ads, the more you earn. For this, you need to focus on driving massive traffic to your news website or app.
This monetization option works successfully if you have a large audience base, share the latest news at the earliest, trusted content, and some additional benefits with the subscription.
It is because a person might browse the news from any news portal, but will not become a paid subscriber of all those portals. He may opt for the subscription of the portal he finds the most valuable.
To run an online news portal with the subscription model, you need to offer some of the news stories for free and keep some stories at a premium. Moreover, you can offer your premium subscribers an ad-free experience. This way, you prioritize the journalism for the users, instead of keeping advertising at the forefront.
Another profitable way to monetize an online news portal is strategic affiliate marketing. What you need to do is to become affiliates of relevant businesses and promote their products or services to your audience.
You get unique trackable links to those products. Whenever your audience clicks on those affiliate links and makes a purchase, you earn some commission from it. The promotion of affiliate solutions can be done with articles, news, as well as banners.
In addition to the native ads shown on your website by Google AdSense or other platforms, you can also show custom banner ads. For example, if you form a collaboration with a brand or business and make a deal to promote their solutions, you can then showcase their dedicated banners to your audience.
The sponsored ads can also be customized on the basis of categories. Sponsored advertisements are generally available at a high cost and help you earn handsome money from your website.
Guest Columns & Promotional Content
You can also allow other writers, journalists, and brands to share content with you in the form of news, PR, articles, columns, etc. For publishing this content, you can charge some amount.
This works similarly to sponsored ads. The content you publish will be sponsored, but not in the form of banner ads.
Key Features of Online News Portal Development
Featured News Slider
In the features news slider, you can show the popular news that is more likely to drive user attention. This will not only increase the traffic on those posts, but also offer important information to users.
Whether you are looking to target a global audience or a country-specific audience, you need to show the option to the users to select the city or region for which they want to browse the news. This feature makes it effortless for users to read the news of their choice.
This is a crucial feature of the online news portal app that allows users to search for a topic about which they want to read the news. Since your site will have numerous news stories, columns, and articles, the site search feature is great for users to quickly find relevant news.
There can be several types of news stories on your news site or app. Entertainment, politics, sports, business, technology, TV/web series, lifestyle, education, etc., are the common categories of popular news sites.
You must show the categories of your news in the menu bar or sidebar so that it becomes seamless for readers to browse the content of their preference.
Enough White Space
For a better user experience, the pages on your site must have enough white space. The role of white space is to form a balance, harmony, improve content readability, and lead users to act.
A section for comments or discussions should be there below every post. Your readers can share their opinions on a specific topic, engage with each other and discuss things, etc. It improves the overall engagement rate of your pages and websites.
Social Media Integration
Integration of social media platforms should be done for two purposes. First, show social media icons and link them to respective platforms where users can follow your business on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, or other platforms.
Second, integrate a social sharing feature below every news story or article so that your audience can share the post with their followers/friends on social media. Both these things will help you increase followers on social media, and bring more traffic to the website.
You should send a dedicated newsletter to your email subscribers on a daily/weekly/monthly basis to keep them engaged. The newsletter will include a quick summary of the posts published recently with links to entire posts, promotional banners (if any), and some relevant CTA.
Responsive Web Design
Responsive design means your website will be compatible across all screen sizes, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones. This is among the most important features of the news portal app because today majority of users browse using a mobile device. Moreover, it is a ranking factor on Google, which you need to take care of if you want to reach a broader audience.
Your website needs to be easy to navigate so that users can find whatever they want to browse. For instance, they can explore news stories, articles, columns, etc. by categories, navigate to desired sections easily, and subscribe to your newsletter.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization must be on the list of your top priorities while finalizing key features of an online news portal app. It is because if your site doesn’t rank higher on Google for relevant search queries, you will fail to reach a large base of audience. Hence, your website must be SEO-optimized.
Breaking News Section
There should be a Breaking News section on the portal which showcases the hottest news of the day. It will bring more traction and traffic to the website.
Add a rating option for end-users at the end of the post where they can rate their experience with the content, website, etc. It helps you understand how users like your content.
Polls and Quiz
This feature allows you to post polls and quizzes on the website. You can ask relevant questions with multiple options. Users can simply click on the answer and submit it. It’s a handy feature to increase the engagement rate on the platform.
There should be dedicated space for showing sponsored ads. If there are any empty spaces, upload an image showing ‘Ad Space Available’. It will help you get sponsors.
The admin dashboard should also be user-friendly so that the backend doesn’t face any glitches while working on the website. Moreover, content publishers or authors will also be working on it to publish the content.
There should be a feature using which authors and publishers can easily add new content, edit existing content, or delete any posts.
Photos & Videos Sections
You can upload photos and embed videos from YouTube/Vimeo and showcase them on the website.
Secure User Signup and Login
If you are accepting subscriptions, the users will need to register and log in to the website/app to access premium or exclusive content. This process must be easy and secure. For instance, you can allow registration with Google Account for a faster experience.
The overall design and User Interface (UI) of the news website app must be appealing and easy to navigate to entice users.
Allow users to subscribe to your newsletter by entering their name, email address, or any other details. It will help you grow your database and convert newsletter subscribers to premium users.
In the admin panel, the User Roles feature will help you assign specific roles to the people working on the website or app. For example, if someone’s role is to publish new content, the Author role is a good fit. In case someone needs to edit the content, delete or update posts, the Editor role can be provided.
How to Start Online News Portal Development?
Do Market Research & Competitor Analysis
The first thing to do before going for online news app development or website development is to understand your target market properly. Every country has different audience bases with unique interests. You need to figure out which country and news category you want to focus on.
Next, perform a detailed analysis of the top competitors in the market, what are they focusing on, what is their business model, the essential and advanced features they offer, etc. This will help you to curate your strategy accordingly and find things that can help you get a competitive advantage.
You can start a news portal with a website, mobile application, or both. Based on the needs of the users and market demand, finalize the right platforms. In case you choose mobile app development, figure out which operating system will be more profitable (Android or iOS) based on the number of OS users in your target market.
Finalize News Portal App Features
The features and functionalities of your website/app are crucial for the success. You should integrate both essential and advanced features into your app to become competitive. Since you will always have some competitors, it makes sense to brainstorm the features with a strategic mindset.
Find Reliable Web/App Development Company
This is one of the most important steps. You need to find a reliable news portal development company that holds expertise in building news websites and applications. If you make the right choice here, it will not only help you build a robust news portal, but also drive long-term success.
In addition, look out for an app development company that can build both website and mobile applications. It’s because if you decide on both a website and an app, then you won’t need to search for different companies.
Online News Portal Development Cost
Coming to the last important question: how much does it cost to develop an online news portal?
The answer is that the final news portal development cost depends on a wide variety of factors. For instance, the pricing will not be the same for website development and app development. Websites are generally less expensive compared to apps.
Moreover, the features, functionalities, tech stack, news portal complexity, location of the news portal website developers or app developers, etc., also matter.
On average, the news website development cost will be somewhere between $10,000 to $25,000. In contrast, the cost of news app development will range from $20,000 to $45,000.
News websites and mobile apps are becoming prevalent as more and more users choose to read/browse news stories online. The market size is vast because news is something almost everyone wants to read. If you get a robust and intuitive news portal developed, it will surely be a profitable business idea. Monetization opportunities are plenty, which means you don’t need to worry about the ways of making money from a news portal.
If you have any further queries, feel free to connect with our experts, or share your thoughts in the comments below.