The Challenges of Maintaining a News Website

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Maintaining a news website is tough work. According to a study of US data centres, the average cost of an unplanned data centre outage is slightly more than $7,900 per minute. This is a 41% increase from the $5,600 in 2010. This is the reason many news websites hire professionals that maintain their websites, taking care of any external issues that may arise, leaving them free to work on the news part.

If we are talking about large Fortune 500 downtimes, if an organization averages $5,000 in sales per hour, for example, then every minute of downtime is costing the company over $80 a minute. Below are the challenges of maintaining a news website:

UX and UI

User experience (UX) and User interface (UI) are important elements of web design.

UX captures the reactions, perceptions, and feelings your users experience while interacting with your application. It’s the feeling of ease when you interact with a great design as well as the feeling of frustration when you interact with poor design. That’s why it’s crucial you think about the general impression you want to leave on your users before you start making detailed decisions about how to build it. 

UI design includes all the visual elements your users interact with on your web application. Everything users see on their screen and everything they click on to guide them through the experience comes in the UI. A good UI uses only a targeted, purposeful selection of copy and content, clearing the options your users have throughout the experience and ensuring information is readily available at each step.

Google News

Why does the Google XML sitemap crawls, index, and publish third-party website content from CNN, BBC, TechCrunch, The Wall Street Journal, and others in its search results?

Because these sites are true news publishers and stick to strict standard journalism practices. 

To be included in news XML’s your reporting must be original, honest, and well-structured with quality anchor texts, meta tags, and an authoritative voice. To strike a chord with editors, who will in turn syndicate it at Google News, PBS recommends that your present information from the most to the least important content points.

Requirements of CMS

Not all businesses require content management systems (CMS) for managing their sites. If you have a static HTML website that you need to update frequently, or you plan to build an entirely new site, you should consider CMS as an option for your project. Considering we are running a news site, your CMS requirements would look like this:

  • An adaptable workflow.
  • Internal search functionality in addition to the standard site navigation.
  • A password-protected area for customers, suppliers, or staff.
  • Advance functionality like online registration, display or affiliate marketing, product recommendations, user-generated content, and other dynamic marketing content.
  • Web analytics functionality to measure website performance.
  • Integration with cache management tools, other business systems, and applications.
  • The cost of CMS implementation (e.g. time, staffing, training, and support).
  • The choice between open-source or proprietary systems.
  • Migrating your website to a cloud platform, partially or fully.

Static Vs. Dynamic Websites

Static websites usually have a fixed number of pages with a specific layout. When the page runs on a browser, the content is static and doesn’t respond to user actions. A static website is usually created with HTML and CSS in simple text editors like Notepad.

However dynamic websites, compared to static websites, which are purely informational, are more functional. It allows users to interact with the information that is listed on the page. Of course, that means using more than just HTML code.

Static websites use only client-side HTML and CSS code while dynamic websites depend on both client-side and server-side scripting languages such as JavaScript, PHP, or ASP. 

Why Dynamic Websites Use CMS

With the static HTML page approach, developers would have to update each recurring section throughout the site. If your site had 15 pages, 15 updates would need to be made. 

With CMS, any user can go to the menu section and add an item with no programming involved, and this updates all sections of the site at once. Dynamic websites that use CMS technology solve many of the problems that static websites suffer from. 

Maintaining Hosting Websites

Web hosting companies need to ensure a minimum of 99.9% uptime rate, the industry standard.  Anything more than 10 minutes of downtime a week is fatal. If there is planned downtime, for inevitable maintenance, it is best performed at night or off-peak hours when the website visitor count is usually at its lowest.

Security breaches are costly because there is loss of sensitive data, crippling regulatory fines, loss of trust and reputation, and more. A common pitfall is failing to restrict URL access. Without these restrictions, unauthorized users may view pages they should not have access to. Allowing access like that enables attackers to forge URLs to access hidden pages.

There is also the heavy price of slow-loading websites. Users don’t return to a website that takes a long time to load and/or which has slow internal navigation. Three out of every four web users do not return to websites that take more than four seconds to load. poor page load also affects Google rankings negatively, leading to a downward spiral.

Complexities of SEO

SEO has changed a lot in the last decade. What used to work before, doesn’t anymore. This includes keyword stuffing content, site-wide footer text, sponsoring WordPress themes, embedding links in widgets, automated link exchanges, massive article spinning, bait-n-switch 301 redirecting, domain buying for the purpose of redirecting, automated comment spam, mass directory submissions, and most paid link networks.

Old SEO tactics that rely on outsmarting the algorithm are being removed one update at a time. If you are left with template content with the name of a city changed, or thousands of stub pages waiting to be filled with user-generated content that you think will magically appear someday – you may be in for a fall.


The costs of lost business due to broken links or browser incompatibility are harder to estimate. But these aren’t minor things collectively. With half the Internet now using mobile, you’re losing around half your revenue if you aren’t adapting to them, not counting how much Google is punishing you in the rankings.

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