WordPress is the preferred choice of hundreds of newspaper sites all around the world. Even the Sun, the UK’s bestselling tabloid, abandoned other popular platform and migrated to WordPress several years ago and Chicago Sun Times also used it as a preferred choice. They believe it is better for SEO and it is ideally suited and designed to run a newspaper style publication.
The Categories/post-pages/permalinks foundations of WordPress are incredibly powerful, because they enable the full semantic force of your publication to be manifested in congruence with the underlying structure of the online world. Combine all of this structural architecture with some incredibly powerful and effective UX, CSS-based editing tools and you will have a newspaper website to be proud of. But first things first, you must recognize what is taking place beneath the surface, explore as much as possible what the platform has to offer and manifest WordPress in the greatest way.
The pool of free magazine/newspaper theme can give you a head start and then you can invest as you grow. However, try and keep your options flexible so using open source plugins and themes to avoid getting locked into a specific eco-system for a pro theme. Pro plugins and themes licensing will quickly reflect on your low profit margins. Consider any pro versions carefully to make sure the benefit is worth the extra cost, especially in the beginning. The important thing is to think through your business model and being able to deliver value to advertisers and good journalism to build your audience. Everything will get easier from there.
Try to pick a theme that you won’t be over-dependent on over the long run and solely rely on their WordPress technology eco-system. Furthermore, in time, you’re likely to need a proper developer who can customize your site and take it to a different level. Employing a pro developer is terrific if you can afford the money. But if you are starting on a shoestring, don’t let that discourage you. It is possible to start with a modestly skilled tech person. Simply treat this as an investment, not an expense. Better to engage a developer sooner rather than later. You will be grateful to yourself later for doing so.
If you want to build a newspaper online, there is no better build framework available on the market, at any cost, than WordPress.