Starting an online magazine

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by Smileyguy, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. Smileyguy macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2004
    Hi everyone,

    I'm planning to start an online magazine, and am investigating different options for building/designing the website. I'd love to pay a professional web developer, but it's simply not going to happen. The magazine is going to be written and produced by a group of young/student writers and journalists, all of whom will be contributing for free. Essentially, we have no money.

    I'm considering a variety of different options, but my knowledge of user-friendly web building tools is quite limited. The website will have a lot of content (hopefully), but structurally I want it to be simple. I see the it being divided into the following three main parts: a blogging section that will include 2-3 blogs, a 'features' section with more substantial investigative articles, longer features and op-ed, and an art/graphics section that will features photography and digital art.

    While this is how the content will be divided, I see the latest articles appearing at the top of the site in a simple blog fashion, while clicking into particular sections will show only content relevant to that section. While it can be structurally simple, I want to avoid using a common template, and would like to incorporate an original logo into the design.

    Here are some of the options I've been considering:

    Using a basic blogging platform like Blogger or Wordpress, if it is appropriately customisable. I must say that I don't know how customisable either platform or is, or if either can be adopted to cater for the depth the site will need.

    Using iWeb. Have no idea if this is appropriate.

    Suing a program like Mr Site, which has been recommended to me, but again I don't know if it's suitable.

    Using Dreamweaver. Not ideal really.

    That's about the extent of my knowledge of the options out there. Because this site will be publishing content on a daily basis, I'll need a fairly simple CMS for contributors to use. And while I'm not expecting to be able to build a uniquely designed site from scratch, I would like to something that is quite customisable and that will allow me to include an original logo or two.

    Any suggestions?


  2. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    Don't give iWeb another thought for something like this. WordPress is going to be one of your better bets. It has a reasonably good interface and is customizable to a good extent including using your own personal logo. DreamWeaver also won't be a good fit as you need the CMS aspect. DreamWeaver is just too general. It could do it, but you'd be developing everything.

    You'll probably have to find someone to help do customization of a WordPress theme, unless you find one you really like as is. If you learn some CSS you can do the customizing yourself.
  3. Mitou macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2008
    As a big iWeb supporter and defender I have to agree with AngelWatt that iweb is the wrong tool for that kind of project.
    Wordpress would seem a pretty good bet.
    Good luck
  4. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000


    Dec 7, 2007
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    When I saw that post my first thought was "E-Zine" which is the industry term for electronic magazine, i.e. Internet based digest, newsletter or magazine distributed via RSS. Of course you can use any of the software titles previously suggested but there are proprietary E-Zine software choices out there as well, i.e. intended for this specific purpose:

    A Professional E-Zine Solution
    Many freeware/open source E-Zine Solutions (including titles stated here)

    Check 'em all out, and also use Google to search for "ezine software" to find more. BTW, the second link I included above also has software that is NOT suggested with comments as to why to save you unnecessary effort.

  5. Smileyguy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2004
    Thanks very much folks, I really appreciate that.

    Is it possible to customise wordpress to the extent that I can have a very simple menu structure at the top of the page, ie dividing the site into 'Blogs', 'Features' and 'Grahphics', and with each of these perhaps having a few sub-parts too (ie specific blogs, regular columnists etc...)?
  6. Smileyguy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 29, 2004
    What about something like RapidWeaver?

    I really want to minimise the time I have to spend learning any webby (HTML, CSS etc) stuff to start out so I can focus on getting the thing started, though I don't mind devoting time to that in the long term...
  7. jstanier macrumors regular


    Sep 6, 2008
    Brighton, England.
    If you're interested in going down the WordPress route, then Dreamhost are fairly cheap hosting and they have an easy set-up process for WP, as far as I can remember.
  8. emogazine macrumors newbie

    Oct 15, 2008

    Here is the answer for your big question

    Online Magazine = Wordpress(or any other blog tools) + Emogazine ;)
  9. jansan macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2008
    Hi have tried twice signing up in your guestbook to be part of the beta, sadly i never got a reply, would love to try your project. :)
  10. thewright1 macrumors regular


    Apr 3, 2008
    I second this.
  11. tominated macrumors 68000


    Jul 7, 2006
    Queensland, Australia
    wordpress or expression engine. expression engine is probably better for much bigger sites and has a much easier theming engine
  12. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Too bad expression engine is only partly free :(

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