What is a good starting point?

ReaRea's picture

So I have been tasked with a new project. This is going to be an independent news site using Drupal 7. What are a couple of the best themes or templates that could help us get it up and running very quickly? I have been looking around at some themes that offer a news site look and feel. I'm whiling to pay for a good template in order to have a rapid turn around on getting it up and running. Of course over time I will be doing some modifications and updating.

My goal is to get the site up and running, brand it and have it easily updated by columnist and editors. Any guidance would be helpful.

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News Website Drupal 7

Pica's picture

Hello ReaRea,
We develop news (paper) websites using D7 and have a lot of client satisfaction. We have over 200 clients and have customized and modeled the websites for each paper from several themes. See if you like any of these:
Examples: www.BeeHerald.com www.RangerReview.com www.TriCornerNews.com,

There's more. I find that there are themes for newspapers, radio, TV, and web only sites like www.TexasTribune.com and www.AlaskaDispatch.com.
- Be sure your site is mobile ready.
- Be sure your site will make money.
If you want a price (as benchmark for bids) just contact me,
-Rob Anfinson @ Yahoo

Nice sites. The issue I have

Tran's picture

Nice sites. The issue I have is mobile. Sidebar ads have good visibility on computers and tablets. But more and more people read on their phones, and the sidebars get dumped below, greatly reducing their impact.

Also - the web manager should update the theme so that the favicon isn't the Drupal favicon.

Newspaper websites, phone ads from sidebar

Pica's picture

Hi Tran,
We have a fix for the ads from the right side showing only at the bottom on a smartphone (and the favicon) and I've mentioned to our clients, they need to OK the changes and they just haven't got around to it.

I'd like to emphasize that the sites I've shown are making money. So often I see nice looking news templates without any space left for advertersing or it's all on the bottom of the template as a design afterthought. Advertising space should be part of a balanced design, because if the site doesn't make money, it fails.

True, approximately 35% of my

thomasj1's picture

True, approximately 35% of my visitors are from mobile.

Thanks, but

ReaRea's picture

I'm pretty good at working in Drupal. I'm gathering a small team to develop the project. I just needed a good starter template just to move quickly. I found the Quatro3 that I have decided to move forward with and it seems to hit most of the necessary items to get us up and running quickly. I'm sure that over time we will begin to develop a more custom template for our site.

Drupal News Site: Let me know how Quatro3 goes

Pica's picture

Hi Reagan, let me know what you think of the Qualtro 3 template. I'm always looking for a new news site for my newspaper clients. -Rob Anfinson

One of the drawbacks, I

Tran's picture

One of the drawbacks, I think, is that their photogalleries are limited.
In my experience, the more photos you have, the more UVs you get. So you need the ability to upload many at once (plupload is helpful).
One thing I like about the Symphony Themes news templates is the use of Omega...which allows you to stick ads in all kinds of places, using the SimpleAds module.

Looks nice and clean

thomasj1's picture

Looks nice and clean

No substitute ...

yelvington's picture

There's no substitute for thorough planning on a foundation of solid understanding of how to use Drupal's basic tools: fields, Views, Panels.

Using a distribution might seem like a good jump start, but sooner or later you'll wish you had simply studied it instead of becoming dependent on it.

As for presentation, we are currently basing our custom themes on Bootstrap, as it's very well thought out, clean, and a good basis for accommodating mobile users with responsive techniques.

We're currently running right at 50% mobile in terms of user sessions (not so high in pageviews, as desktop users often click more and venture deeper). Doubleclick now has documented, working support for dynamically choosing ad inventory based on screen size, so you can swap out leaderboards for more appropriate positions.

Newspapers on Drupal

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