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Newspaper site (29 posts)

  1. jalenack
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Hey,

    For my latest project I created a news site for my high school journalism class. The whole thing is manageable by the ~60 kids in the two journalism classes, and they get to decide what lands on the home page, they upload all the pictures, and all that great stuff.

    It took one helluva custom theme. It's amazing how flexible WP is. I'd love some feedback, and if you want a tutorial on how I did this, post a comment!

    Link: Albany High Cougar

    Thanks!
    -Andrew

  2. rossbrewer
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Brilliant Andrew!

    I'd love a tutorial on the details of how you did this.

    Many Thanks,

    Ross

  3. ronco
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Great site Andrew. I'd love a run through of how you did that. I'm at AHS myself but it's Auchterarder High School in Scotland. This sort of project is exactly what I've been looking for. Our current site uses WordPress but I would use this as a separate project.

  4. deko
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Overall, it looks great. Very nice, professional looking.

    Constructive criticism:

    1) The color (light blue) of the links in the Recent Headlines section (and other places) is too weak for the page which otherwise has a strong look and feel.

    2) The page fails validation:
    This page is not Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict!

    3) IE7 is putting both x any y scrollbars on your <div class="half"> sections, which looks really bad. Firefox seems to scale the divs okay, however.

    4) The page size is getting big at 410kb, though still within reason. You might consider doing some image processing to reduce the size of your JPEGs.

    Again, the design is outstanding, but could use some attention to the above issues, IMHO.

  5. jalenack
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Hey everyone, thanks for the great feedback.

    Deko, excellent stuff. I'll get on that stuff right away.

    The problem of image size is kinda tough. For the class I created a standard of 500px width for all images, save for web > jpg, quality 60. The front page articles can't use the default thumbnail size for WP. I'm still working on that though.

    Mm, gotta get my hands on some IE7. Parallels isn't working like it should...

    Getting on those links and validation now.

  6. ronco
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Hey Andrew, if you were serious about a tutorial, please drop me a line here: lonestarpress(at)hotmail(dot)com
    Thanks

  7. TheNateGBent
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Nice work on the site, much more professional than anything my school could put together. I really like the layout, and it seems to work easily that normal students can post what they wrote.
    Just out of curiosity, your school has a journalism class of ~60, how big is your school? Ours' is about 20, and we have 2000 total.

  8. jalenack
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Hey, thanks everyone! Deko, I tied up some of the problems you mentioned. I've going to keep <input type="search"> so it looks nice in safari but won't validate. I fixed some other errors though.

    I was thinking about the tutorial. I could do a tutorial, I could sell a generic template based on it, or I could just release it. After the 40k downloads of Wordspew and Democracy, I'm a little worn out by the prospect of support. We'll see.

    Nate, we have two periods for the class. Not sure if it's a full 60, maybe closer to 50. Our school is about 1200 students.

  9. gighen
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    really cool!

  10. marko
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Why destroy such a good layout/design with Google ads? Why does anyone putting up a website destroy it with Google ads? I don't get it - I think this is one of the most inspiring "newspaper"-style sites I've seen for a while, yet the intrusive, pervasive, obnoxious element is still there - the "Google ad". Are you really gonna make money out of Google, or is Google gonna make money out of you? I think you have a very good, clean "newspaper" design - it falls down because of the Google ad element - it's so "cheesy" - and ultimatly, cheap. Otherwise, very cool - well done.

  11. ronco
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    I disagree marko. Advertising has always been part of newspaper publishing and I think Andrew has really just tried to incorporate that "feel" into this one. Google ads is probably the most immediate way to achieve this but I suppose, later on, the school might perhaps consider offering advertising space to local businesses and community groups.

  12. jalenack
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    About the advertising - It's something we're still exploring. We haven't made enough money to justify the "ugliness" added by Google ads. But that may change. We're also exploring the idea of asking for direct donations (parents!) and local communities. We'll see how that works out. One thing I wanted to avoid in the google ads was the integrated blending of ads. You know, when a google ad bar appears randomly in the middle of a post. I hate that.

    Keep the feedback coming, this is excellent!

  13. vkaryl
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Wow. That's.... wow. You need to do a detailed tutorial on your theme, maybe in a wiki somewhere? I dunno if the petaybes at codex would want that sort of thing, but boy is that something! It needs a home....

    So okay, if you can't find a home for it, let me know, and I'll figure out how to give it one.

    That's literally the best school site I've ever seen. Many congratulations!

  14. jalenack
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Hey, I could write articles on the website about how to make the website ;)

    Thanks for the kind words.

  15. vkaryl
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Yup, you could, and that would actually make sense! Good idea....

  16. Chris_K
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    @jalenack - if you write those articles, post back here with links.

    That's a very nicely done site.

  17. ronco
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    I'm looking at your site on a 20" Apple cinema display and while I like the way the images automatically re-size depending on the screen resolution (I haven't had time to work out how that's done), on the 20" screen, the larger images in particular are beginning to pixelate.

  18. Melodiefabrieknl
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    very cool design. and so fast, even at Dreamhost! I am on Dreamhost too, but my sites are very slow at the moment :(

  19. marko
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    qoute ronco: "Advertising has always been part of newspaper publishing"

    Um, so when newspapers were first published back in late 18th century France as a precursor to the French Revolution, they included advertising? I don't think so - advertising is a 'modern' construct - advertising has very little to do with the dissemination of information - rather, advertising has a lot to do with the sale of products - it is a capitalist adjunct. Advertising is perverse.

    A school or Community site could justify advertising as sponsorship - that isn't too bad - providing the 'sponsorship' is relative - plonking Google ads on anything simply because it's what blog-sites do is pathetic - it undermines the political freedom which the Internet and blogging provides.

  20. walkerblackwell
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Nice site. Like it.

  21. ronco
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Marko - My comment was intended to be constructive. You might find the following information useful.

    The earliest known printed newspaper was in Beijing in 748.

    Germany's Avisa Relation oder Zeitung, in 1609, was the first regularly published newspaper in Europe.

    The first daily newspaper was The Daily Courant in London, published in 1702 (early 18th century).

    The first newspaper advertisement in America was an announcement seeking a buyer for an Oyster Bay, Long Island, estate, published in the Boston News-Letter in 1704 (early 18th century).

    Below, you will find a link to the Oxford English dictionary definition of "advertise":
    http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/advertise?view=uk
    I hope you find this helpful too.

    The following link is an interesting potted summary of advertising, starting from 3000 BC and moving on to Roman times and beyond:
    http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761564279_5/Advertising.html#s21

    If you are interested in finding out more about the modern newspaper industry and how it works, I can recommend the following text to begin with:
    Modern Newspaper Practice: A Primer on the Press by F W Hodgson.

  22. marko
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    ronco - my comment in response to your comment was obviously constructive - so now you've started doing a "bit" of research on media publishing - well done (but sorry, I've been there already) - however, my comment in response to your comment was also political - you obviously feel advertising is a valid component in popular media - I, on the other hand, disagree - fair enough - there will always be some who think ads are cool, while others feel ads are merely promoting "rugs" and profits above content - your choice. Personally, I'd rather see more content and less ads - but then, that's just me.

  23. ronco
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Marko. Yes, I have done a wee bit of research on media publishing. I have taught Media Studies in Scotland for 10 years, 'though my main area of interest is film education. The book I recommended to you really is very good and I can suggest others if you are interested. The Media Student's Book by Gill Branston and Roy Stafford is also an excellent starting point if you want to find out more about advertising and representations in the media.

    Jalenack. My apologies. I seem to have dragged this thread off topic.

  24. mpgeorge
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Attempting to beat someone over the head with an encylopaedic knowledge of a given subject is normally a fairly pointless thing to do. To do it on an internet forum about blog software goes beyond the realms of common sense.

    And Marko, that you admittely state that advertisements in the media are a "modern construct" should give you a fairly decent idea of how flawed your argument is. To quote 300-year old newspapers is of little help to anyone, and to suggest that a line of Google ads across the top of the site is pervasive and obnoxious is equally absurd. I would also like to know how, in the absence of advertising, you expect a given website/TV station/newspaper/whatever, make money? Someone's not living in the real world.

  25. ronco
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Yes, sorry, I got carried away. I have noticed a sudden flurry of newspaper themes though.

  26. jammed
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    I want a tutorial, too. This is a brilliant theme. I think I could make my music site like this.

    Tutorial, please.

  27. bryan868
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Andrew, your site looks great. I'm trying to do the same thing for my newspaper site, I'd love to see a tutorial just to know how you approached this.

    Thank you!

  28. b16madman
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Like everyone else a bit of a tutorial would be nice to see how you took the challenge and made it work.

  29. zwight
    Member
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Very nice work... Actually, I would like to know how you did it to show posts the way you do: inside blocks, in diferent places.
    Thanks in advance
    Julio

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