Newspaper Website Design: Trends And Examples

Advertisement

News websites can be intriguing to examine from a design perspective. Regardless of what type of news they cover, they all face the challenge of displaying a huge amount of content on the home page, which creates plenty of layout, usability and navigational challenges for the designer. The lessons that can be learned from examining how news websites address these challenges can be valuable for designers who work with other types of websites, including ones with blog theme designs.

Monetization is also a major factor for news websites, and it’s interesting to see how they integrate advertisements in the design. In some cases, the ads are somewhat intrusive or excessive, but most news websites are able to use ads without turning readers away, in part because of the content that’s available.

For the purposes of this article, the term “newspaper website” refers to any news-related website that has the editorial focus of an online periodical. Many of the websites mentioned here are the online versions of major newspapers, but others are standard news websites and some blur the line between news website and blog.

You may want to take a look at the following related posts:

  • Award-Winning Newspaper Designs621
    This post is supposed to provide you with some examples of outstanding newspaper designs which have been rewarded with prestigious awards (see references at the bottom of this post), and demonstrate unusual approaches of newspaper design.

Common Trends of Newspaper Websites

1. Color Schemes

Most news websites use dark text on a white background. Obviously, these websites contain a huge volume of content, and readability is important. A few of the websites mentioned later in this article use darker colors for headers or for the body of the page outside the content.

A large percentage of news websites also use blue and red in addition to a dark gray or black for text. Blue is extremely common for headlines, article titles and links. Red is often used sparingly as an accent color. Some news websites also mix in more colors in other places, such as in the navigation.

The L.A. Times2 website demonstrates a common color scheme:

LA Times3

2. Header and Sidebar Banners

Of course, all of these websites need to produce revenue, and banner ads in headers are a key source of income. Some websites use banner ads on all pages, and others exclude banners on the home page but display them above the header on other pages.

While blogs commonly use 125 by 125 pixel banners in sidebars, news websites commonly use 300 by 250 banners or tall skyscrapers. Many of the websites mix in some AdSense or other text link ads.

The Telegraph4 uses a 730 by 90 pixel banner over its header.

Telegraph5

3. Top Navigation

Although there are a few notable exceptions to this trend, most news websites put their primary navigation menu just below the header and above the content. The New York Times126 and MSNBC7 are two of the exceptions, as they both use the left sidebar for the main navigation.

The Times Online8 uses a two-level navigation menu.

Times Online9

4. Tabbed Content Areas

Many news websites use tabbed content areas that allow visitors to see popular articles, recent articles, most commented articles, etc. This is sometimes used in the sidebar, and other times in the main content area, such as on Wired5610. This allows for more control by users over what content and links they see, and it can save space in the design by making more content accessible in a specific area.

Wired11

5. Grid-Based Layouts

Newspaper websites are commonly built with grid-based designs. The grid is a popular choice not only because of the sharp look it creates but because it’s one of the most effective ways to manage and organize a large amount of content. The New York Times126 has one of the more well-known grid-based layouts.

NY Times13

Notable Differences Between News Websites and Blogs

The line between a news website and a blog is a fine one, and the two types are difficult to distinguish sometimes. For the purpose of this article, “blog” refers more to a traditional blog than to a commercialized news blog by a team of writers. While there are certainly similarities between blogs and news websites, there are also some key differences.

Social Media Integration

Seeing widgets or voting buttons on blogs is extremely common; in fact, most blogs use them in one form or another. Most news websites, however, use them more subtly, if at all. It’s common to see a “Share” section on articles, such as the one shown below from ABC News14, but voting buttons are not used in quite the same way as on blogs, where a standard “Digg This” button may appear at the top of every post. A growing number of news websites recognize the impact of social media, but they are still using such tools subtly in their designs.

A few websites shown in more detail below do make more use of social media than others. The Huffington Post15 has a section specifically to display stories that are new on Digg, and the website certainly makes plenty of front page appearances.

Huffington Post16

RSS Feeds

Subscriptions and RSS feeds are a huge part of blogging, and most blogs use large icons or FeedBurner counts to make it easy for visitors to subscribe. Most news websites, however, don’t push RSS feeds on readers like a blog would. Most news websites do offer feeds, often according to category of content, but they’re not a major part of the design or layout. In fact, most visitors probably don’t even notice the small icons or links to feeds. As RSS feeds become a part of the daily lives of average readers, this will probably change.

The Guardian17 promotes a link to its feed in the website’s header, but with much less attention drawn to it than most blog themes.

Guardian18

Comments

Reader comments and discussion are a critical element for most blogs, but they’re not as important to news websites. Many news websites allow readers to leave comments, but they’re usually an afterthought in the design and are rarely promoted the same way as they would be on a blog. For example, many blogs show excerpts of posts on the front page, and almost all will also show a comment count with the excerpt that links to the comment section. This is used on a few news websites, but it’s rare.

ABC News4819 is one of the rare news websites that shows a comment count by the post excerpt on the home page.

20

A Look at 20 Leading Newspaper Websites

The Onion21
Satirical news website The Onion features a grid-based design (it’s been called the funniest grid you ever saw22) that makes excellent use of the screen space that’s available. There is a lot going on on the website, which can be both good and bad. The main navigation separates the content into video, radio, sports, election, etc.

The Onion23

The header includes an ad on each side, and the sidebar has some advertising as well, but nothing too intrusive. Some parts of the home page are used essentially as advertisements for features that are part of The Onion, such as The Onion Personals and The Onion Store.

New York Times24
The website of the New York Times is another well-known grid. The majority of the website’s navigation is down the left side of the page, which is not as common as top navigation. The website does use a tabbed navigation bar at the top with links to such features as “Today’s paper,” “Video,” and “Most popular,” but all of the content category links, such as World, U.S., Politics, Business, etc., are down the side.

NY Times25

The website’s design includes a nice use of blue and black headers and links, with a touch of red added in a few places, such as the time of an article’s publication. Overall, the New York Times presents one of the better newspaper websites.

Chicago Tribune26
Unlike many of the other websites featured here, the Chicago Tribune uses only one small banner in the header of its home page, although individual article pages use a 730 by 90 banner. Aside from the header, the rest of the home page is fairly ad-heavy, including text link ads.

Tribune27

The content on the Chicago Tribune website is spaced out a bit more than, for example, the New York Times’. Again, blue is used for headers and links, with a touch of red.

Washington Post28
The Washington Post also uses the common colors of blue, black (or dark gray) and red on a white background. The header includes a small 290 by 45 banner, and the top of the sidebar includes a 300 by 250 banner. The rest of the home page contains only a few other small banner ads.

Washington Post29

The layout of content on the home page is focused on providing categorized links to specific content. An image is included for the lead story, but other headlines above the fold do not have thumbnails. At the top right, there is a section for the most-viewed articles.

Los Angeles Times30
The L.A. Times website takes a different approach with its header than some other news websites. There is relatively little going on there, with plenty of unused space that could be filled with ads, something that most other news sites are doing. The rest of the home page uses only two 300 by 250 banners and a few text link ads. Individual article pages use a 730 by 90 banner above the header.

LA Times31

The content of the L.A. Times home page is contained in a grid-based layout, with primary navigation on the left. Again, blue, black and red are the colors of choice for text, links and headlines.

Tennessean32
The Tennessean isn’t one of the largest newspapers in the U.S., but its website is worth noting. The Tennessean breaks some of the norms of the other websites that have been examined so far, primarily in terms of color. A dark orange is used for headlines and links, instead of a more common choice, such as blue. Additionally, a green background color is used on the sidebar.

Tennessean33

There is a 300 by 250 banner in the sidebar and a skyscraper in the left sidebar, with more ads at the very bottom of the page. Individual article pages include a 730 by 90 banner above the header.

Houston Chronicle34
The Houston Chronicle packs a large number of headlines onto the home page, including in the top center of the layout. This means there are more links to content above the fold, but each of them stands out less than it would on a news website that uses more thumbnails.

Chronicle35

The website has no ads in the header of the home page, but has a few banners in the right sidebar and some text link ads at the bottom of the page. Article pages have a 730 by 90 banner above the header.

USA Today36
The USA Today uses more color than many other news websites, particularly in the navigation menu and with links throughout the website. Category links for feature articles, such as sports, markets, education and people, all use different colors, which help them stand out.

USA Today37

Unlike most news websites, the USA Today shows the number of comments on articles right by the headlines on the home page. Only a few smaller banners are located on the home page, aside from a 730 by 90 banner at the very bottom of the page. Individual article pages are much more ad-filled, and at times while navigating through the website you may encounter a full-page ad that you have to skip to get to the content.

Mail Online38
British news website Mail Online uses a more colorful design than many other news websites. The headlines and links are a lighter blue than those on the New York Times or Chicago Tribune websites, and they turn red on hover. The right sidebar includes tons of thumbnails from recent posts and colorful headers and roll-overs.

Mail Online39

The website includes AdSense ads in the header and various ads throughout the rest of the layout, including some in the middle column. The grid layout keeps the content organized and makes use of virtually the whole page, which is incredibly long.

Telegraph40
Another leading UK news website, the Telegraph, uses a nice, clean grid-based layout. Above the header is a 730 by 90 banner, and the only other advertising on the home page is a 300 by 250 banner and a skyscraper, both in the right sidebar.

Telegraph41

The home page design makes extensive use of thumbnails to go along with article headlines and brief descriptions. Blue and red are used for headlines and links. The main navigation is located at the top of the page.

Guardian42
The Guardian uses a clean but colorful design. The main navigation at the top of the page consists of various colored links to different sections of news. The home page uses little advertising, but individual article pages include a 730 by 90 banner above the header of the page, and 300 by 250 ad at the top of the sidebar.

Guardian43

Headers on the Guardian website are a common blue, but colorful borders are used to add some visual appeal. Thumbnails are used in several spots on the home page, but most stories have only a headline and brief description or just a headline.

Times Online44
The Times Online is one of the few news websites to use a bright color in its logo/branding area, but it does accomplish the goal of distinguishing the website. Above the header is a 730 by 90 banner.

The home page uses a two-level navigation menu above the content and a fairly typical blue color for headlines. Several article excerpts on the home page include thumbnails, but there are no large images for featured articles as there are on many news websites.

Times Online45

MSNBC46
MSNBC stands out among other news websites due to its dark yet colorful header, a look that’s been imitated by many Photoshop users. The header includes no advertisements, and in fact there is only one ad visible above the fold. Text link ads are used in a few places throughout the home page. Individual article pages do include a 730 by 90 banner above the header at the very top of the page.

MSNBC47

Overall MSNBC is a very well-designed website, with an attractive color scheme and a layout that’s well-structured but not overly cluttered. Like the New York Times, MSNBC uses the left sidebar for its primary navigation.

ABC News4819
ABC News features a dark header that helps distinguish the website from other news leaders. There is relatively little advertising on the home page. The right sidebar contains a 300 by 250 banner and the only other ads are at the very bottom of the page.

ABC News49

At the top right of the page there are three current videos, plus a link to more video content. While other news websites include video, most don’t place videos as high on the page as ABC News does.

Ars Technica50
Tech news website Ars Technica has a vastly different design than mainstream general news websites, which should be expected. Unlike the image-heavy general news websites, Ars Technica does not use thumbnails on its home page. Additionally, the article pages have very few images in comparison to general news websites.

Ars Technica51

The website uses tabbed navigation at the top of the page to take visitors to different categories of news, such as Business, IT, Apple, Hardware, etc. The header includes a 730 by 90 banner, and the top of the right sidebar includes a 300 by 250 banner ad. Further down the sidebar is a skyscraper banner.

CNET News52
Tech news website CNET News uses a fairly basic design with a dark header, a featured content area, and a long list of headlines with brief excerpts. Blue and red are used for headlines and links.

CNET News53

The header includes a small text link ad on the right side of the screen and a few 300 by 250 ads in the sidebar. No additional ads are used on individual articles.

TechRadar54
UK technology news website TechRadar includes a few items that currently aren’t very common on other news websites. Just above the content of the page, there is a “TechRadar Update” section that scrolls through links to the most recent content. Additionally, there is a featured content area that rotates through the six leading stories. Below the featured content area is a grid of the latest news headlines with brief excerpts.

Tech Radar55

The website header includes a 730 x 90 banner, and the sidebar contains some other banners and text link ads. The navigation on TechRadar is a bit different as it uses tabs for news, reviews, blogs, and forums.

Wired5610
The design for Wired is rather unique. Most notably, thumbnails, headlines and excerpts of featured content reside above the main navigation menu. Thumbnails are used below for the most recent article in each of seven different categories.

Wired57

The header includes no banners, just an internal advertisement for WiredBiz. The sidebar contains a few ads as well as additional monetization through a job board widget that links to recent job postings on the website’s job board.

The Huffington Post58
The layout and design of individual pages on The Huffington Post is quite different than that of the home page. On individual pages you see a small logo/branding area at the top left, with a very long banner on the right that takes up most of the width of the page. Advertisements throughout the rest of the page are fairly minimal.

Huffington Post59

On the home page, most of the area above the fold is used for a headline and image from a featured article. The rest of the home page includes a lot of images and headlines, as well as post excerpts from a variety of writers in the left sidebar.

Sporting News60
The Sporting News has one of the most outdated designs. The header is used primarily for displaying scores, but with less space efficiency than other major sports websites. Above the header is a 730 by 90 banner.

Sporting News61

Much of the real estate of the sidebar is used for directing visitors to other sections of the website, such as Sporting News Radio, the Blog Network and community blogs.

Related posts

You may want to take a look at the following related posts:

  • Award-Winning Newspaper Designs621
    This post is supposed to provide you with some examples of outstanding newspaper designs which have been rewarded with prestigious awards (see references at the bottom of this post), and demonstrate unusual approaches of newspaper design.

(al)

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/02/11/award-winning-newspaper-designs/
  2. 2 http://latimes.com
  3. 3 http://www.latimes.com/
  4. 4 http://telegraph.co.uk
  5. 5 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
  6. 6 http://nytimes.com
  7. 7 http://msnbc.msn.com
  8. 8 http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/
  9. 9 http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/
  10. 10 http://www.wired.com/
  11. 11 http://wired.com
  12. 12 http://nytimes.com
  13. 13 http://www.nytimes.com
  14. 14 http://abcnews.go.com
  15. 15 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
  16. 16 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
  17. 17 http://www.guardian.co.uk/
  18. 18 http://www.guardian.co.uk/
  19. 19 http://abcnews.go.com/
  20. 20 http://abcnews.go.com
  21. 21 http://www.theonion.com/
  22. 22 http://www.subtraction.com/2005/09/01/the-funniest
  23. 23 http://www.theonion.com/
  24. 24 http://nytimes.com/
  25. 25 http://nytimes.com/
  26. 26 http://www.chicagotribune.com/
  27. 27 http://www.chicagotribune.com/
  28. 28 http://www.washingtonpost.com/
  29. 29 http://www.washingtonpost.com/
  30. 30 http://www.latimes.com/
  31. 31 http://www.latimes.com/
  32. 32 http://www.tennessean.com/
  33. 33 http://www.tennessean.com/
  34. 34 http://www.chron.com/
  35. 35 http://www.chron.com/
  36. 36 http://www.usatoday.com/
  37. 37 http://www.usatoday.com/
  38. 38 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/index.html
  39. 39 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/index.html
  40. 40 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
  41. 41 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
  42. 42 http://www.guardian.co.uk/
  43. 43 http://www.guardian.co.uk/
  44. 44 http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/
  45. 45 http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/
  46. 46 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/
  47. 47 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/
  48. 48 http://abcnews.go.com/
  49. 49 http://abcnews.go.com/
  50. 50 http://arstechnica.com/
  51. 51 http://arstechnica.com/
  52. 52 http://news.cnet.com/
  53. 53 http://news.cnet.com/
  54. 54 http://www.techradar.com/
  55. 55 http://www.techradar.com/
  56. 56 http://www.wired.com/
  57. 57 http://www.wired.com/
  58. 58 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
  59. 59 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
  60. 60 http://www.sportingnews.com/
  61. 61 http://www.sportingnews.com/
  62. 62 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/02/11/award-winning-newspaper-designs/

↑ Back to topShare on Twitter

Steven Snell is a Web designer and blogger. In addition to maintaining his own blog and writing for a number of other top design blogs, he also manages an online shop that offers premium graphic design resources.

Advertising

Note: Our rating-system has caused errors, so it's disabled at the moment. It will be back the moment the problem has been resolved. We're very sorry. Happy Holidays!

  1. 1

    Would be nice to know if they have a plataform (cms) in common, because there are some similar layouts, don’t you think?

  2. 2

    Wow.. another great round up..! :)

  3. 3

    As usual nice collection and tons of great tricks and functionality to copy… ;)

  4. 4

    Very nice collection, great post. But, I expected to people read more about the golden ratio with newspaper design on this post. Ciao everybody.

  5. 5

    What a great write-up. The sheer volume of sites and screenshots here is fantastic. One of the many obvious themes is that although print may be dying out as a medium, its design principles continue to be carried out to the web. Awesome job as always!

  6. 6

    A nice roundup, glad to see Ars made the list (I’ve always liked their layout). Surprised that we didn’t see Slashdot, seeing as it is an interesting mix of blog and news-style layouts (well, even the redesign is a bit old, but it’s a gooder).

    One interesting thing to note is the progression of smaller community newspapers (the buzzword “Hyperlocal” comes to mind) in the online world. I work for one of said newspapers as a graphic artist/web dev/whatever else they need, and our parent company actually requires us to use provided templates for our websites. We get to choose a template, a predefined color scheme, and create a header. All of their papers’ use these for their main web front, integrated into a commercial CMS (Zope). We also receive recommendations to utilize the open-source CMS Drupal for any secondary web products.

    Another interesting part I’d be interested in seeing covered is the online classifieds system; not just Craigslist et al, but also the local and metropolitan newspapers, once again.

  7. 7

    nczas.com < IMHO the best design of the newspaper’s websites.

  8. 8

    Great list, but one glaring omission is CNN.com. Easily the best in the biz..

  9. 9

    nice research, would be great to talk about it in the forums!

    i´m already registered in forums, but i cant find the forums of smashing magazineee, are they closed?

  10. 10

    PD: its very interesting how the blogs had affected the layouts as we know today.

  11. 11

    Pretty good list, but what about the Wall Street Journal? They have a very nice, good-looking website.

  12. 12

    Very nice collection. But, it seems like most of these news sites follow the same kind of format. I’d love to see more clarity and less content visible on the homepages. Just seems like the sites give us too much information at one time.

  13. 13

    WFL,
    Thanks for the insight into your experience. That’s pretty interesting.

  14. 14

    Times online was great! THanks!

    Jhay

  15. 15

    Lots of interesting news sites, still positionning on blog design or classic press-like layout. It is still very hard today for a news site to make its choice between this two trends.

    I also would include CNN because it has been radically thinking the news design in other ways — the famous ‘quiet structure’ layout.

    and look deeper into the Ney York Times layouts, which has been influenced by Khoi Vinh, a great designer IMHO.

    Lots of French news sites are analysed in terms of grid and navigational system, I also would expect you to discuss about the so-called ‘scandinavian design’ which looks quite terrible for me.

  16. 16

    No CNN.com? No Wall Street Journal? Those are two of the top 5 news(paper) design sites out there, and CNN is the best by far.

  17. 17

    I find it funny that DrudgeReport, one of the top news sites (even above NYTimes), isn’t listed.

  18. 18
  19. 19

    Colonthree! I agree with the posters that the “big” ones out there like CNN, BBC and WSJ should have been included.

  20. 20

    While you may not understand the content, Norwegian newspapers have shown that they know how to keep their users from leaving their site. Take a look at http://www.db.no and http://www.aftenposten.no. These designs are totally different to the sites you list, with long scrolling front pages, large images, that keeps the user longer than usual. Compared to the sites above, after a casual reader has read the main headlines, he will leave, but on these sites, he will read until he reaches the bottom. Keep in mind users usually read a story, click the back button to see if there is more to read. With scrolling content, there’s always more to read below, compared to most of these 1 to 1/2 page long sites.

  21. 21

    Tom Ross - PSDFAN

    November 11, 2008 7:12 pm

    Some great observations in this post. Thanks for posting.

  22. 22

    I’m a bit surprised by the omission of CNN, WSJ and the BBC (particularly given they had a redesign this year). Another interesting comparison would be Newsvine – who are in the social/traditional crossover group.

  23. 23

    Great article but I’m stumped as to the reasons why you would have not included CNN and the new design at BBC. IMO the two best, most functional news sites to date.

    Jambla.com

  24. 24

    I find it funny that DrudgeReport, one of the top news sites (even above NYTimes), isn’t listed.

    Have you seen Drudge’s website before? It’s not exactly pretty.

    In other news, great list, although I do think CNN should have been mentioned. And I heartily agree that TheOnion is the best designed newsish site out there, which really is kind of sad.

  25. 25

    Do you know what criteria they were using to choose the top 20 sites? Was it more distribution or design elements?

  26. 26

    Interesting selection of the online magazines. To be honest I did not hear for some of them before so this is vey informative for me.

    Cheers

  27. 27

    Alison Fay Binney (New Science Journalism)

    November 11, 2008 11:59 pm

    I truly value the article(s) written here at Smashing Magazine. It keeps me informed and covers a lot of ground. I generally use your magazine as a top reference when researching web developments and in particular I found this one very useful. It has been of particular benefit in research I am conducting for the soon to be launched New Science Journalism magazine. Thank you.

  28. 28

    Along with other readers I’m surprised the BBC weren’t in the list. Interestingly after reading the article I immediately noticed the black, blue and red theme common to most of the examples above.

  29. 29

    The national gazette by Cameron Moll is one of my personal favorites

  30. 30

    Oh, as an addition to my previous comment:

    The paper is awfully empty at the moment. Here s screenshot of the original design: http://www.cameronmoll.com/projects/ng/home1b.html

  31. 31

    Hello its nice post but is the different using the design parts between USA , European and Russia newspaper on the web.
    – USA newspaper show more as print newspaper
    nytimes.com, (this is great newspaper webdesign style usnews.com)
    – European show as web portal newspaper
    Pravda.sk, guardian.co.uk
    – Russia show as web portal with 100% width and worse graphics
    pravda.ru, gazeta.ru/english
    I have talk about this problematics on webexpo in Prague (middle europe) and here is my presentation in PDF 1.5 MB (Slovak language), if you will this presentation in EN write on my email.

    Martin Majling newspaper webdesigner

  32. 32

    The Financial Times web site has undergone a redesign the same day that this summary was published.

    * Grid based
    * Adverts in the header and sidebar
    * Pink background in-line with it’s printed paper

  33. 33

    Great list, but please please do not use the term ‘rather unique’ (or any variant) – something is either unique or it isn’t!! :) (Sorry, just a pet hate;))

    Some great examples of design here, though.

  34. 34

    Great post good examples

  35. 35

    Martin. 27

    Your links are inactive.

  36. 36
  37. 37

    zydrius 31. yes , but my updat commnet is stopped
    “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

  38. 38

    TechRadar is built upon its own bespoke CMS platform, which we use for most of our other big websites. As design lead on TechRadar and an avid reader of Smashing Magazine it is great to see my work featured. Although the design isn’t anything revolutionary it fits the bill for the context of the site, ultimately to get the latest information and features across as easily as possible. However I am currently improving the user experience, which at present is pretty non existent other than the ability to post comments and talk in the forums.

    It would be worth mentioning 2 of our other sites as well, recently released Total Film and BikeRadar which were designed by my colleague Ben and possibly show a better use of editorially weighted content. I won’t provide link due to not wanting to advertise.

  39. 39

    An excellent selection of sites but I’m surprised there’s no mention of BBC News, which you can customize.

  40. 40

    This is an interesting article. Compared to regular newspapers online equivalents often pale into comparison; using formulaic grid-based layouts on their front page to overwhelm the reader with every current headline available. Articles are then generally watered down with little real substance. It would be refreshing to see online newspaper sites break out of this tired mould. The likes of Jakob Nielsen have, in my opion, misguided developers and web producers by supporting the notion that users only digest tiny amounts of information by scanning pages. This ‘bitesizing’ has set the current trend for a lot of web design, and it has inadvertantly led to more confusing sites.

  41. 41

    Nice observation. But I must say, I’m perplexed on why you left out CNN and BBC..these are news sites that managed to reduce the clutter. News portal always involve in information overload, but those 2 sites managed them very well..

  42. 42

    Very interesting! Thank you.

  43. 43

    I like the “Ars Technica” most.. nice collection

  44. 44

    Great roundup — but one of the biggest trends in successful (i.e., revenue-positive) newspaper site design is the move away from the monolithic, portal-like web site. Increasingly, newspapers are focusing on “jobs that need to be done” in the community and building sites around those defensible, niche plays. These may exist alongside the main news portal but, increasingly, they are completely disconnected and don’t even share a domain name.

    Those interested in the topic should check out the American Press Institute’s “Newspaper Next” project (http://www.americanpressinstitute.org/) — they’ve got great case studies, methodologies, etc.

  45. 45

    not have = Time and CNN
    msnbc it’s cool.

  46. 46

    Am I the one person who sees that the world is running out of blue? There was a time when blue indicated a link in the internet and there was a time when blue was the color of television news (deep blue, not fade-out blue). I’d never read an article in the Guardian. I’m simply not interested in a website that fades out just before my eye. A nightmare of possible ways to go, everything is blue. There is no highlighting. If I can’t decide I’ll choose none. At Huffpost there is no deciding. Who ever visits this homepage he/she will click on the huge ugly headline. That’s good layout.

  47. 47

    I can not believe they missed commercialappeal.com

  48. 48

    Nice info. Thanks!

  49. 49

    Great article, but this site takes forever to load even on a T3 connection!

    From YSlow:
    This page has 29 external JavaScript files.
    This page has 8 external StyleSheets.
    This page has 17 CSS background images.

    Damn!

  50. 50

    As a designer/developer for a newspaper, its very interesting to read this article and the associated comments.

    A lot of newspaper websites do use a common CMS, usually dictated by the parent corporation. I can’t speak for all, but our paper uses a corporate dictated CMS, with a specific hosting company, this doesn’t restrict us in the layout we use in any way. The CMS we use is more of a true CMS than many out there in that it helps us manage the content while staying out of the way, for the most part, of the design and layout.

    While comments on stories may or may not be important for the national and international news sites, they are extremely important for many local papers, as our niche is the community. To this end many local papers have even begun integrating social networking into their own sites, allowing readers to contribute stories, pictures, events, blogs, etc.

  51. 51

    Great round up of news site trends. It’s amazing how much newspaper websites tend to follow the norm and are very conservative in the way they display their content.

    I’d like to see more newspapers get creative with their approach to displaying information. In addition to offering a traditional blog style website, why don’t they embrace new technology and get creative like Daily Courier Pages which offers an interactive page flip style reader that has a more realistic style and feel to their online version.

    New technology is becoming more and more available and affordable with software solutions such as 3D issue 3D issue for example, who allow newspapers the look and feel of a real newspaper but the convenience of an online platform.

    Why are newspapers so afraid of breaking out of the norm and doing something fresh and exciting?

  52. 52

    Its really very interesting and great observations in this post. Thanks

  53. 53

    @R.G Here at U.S.News we use a custom built CMS which relies on the Zope web application framework. We have no parent company dictating how we should layout our pages. We did seek an outside company to handle our re-design though.

  54. 54

    Bjorn,
    Thanks for the links to the Norwegian sites, that’s not something I would normally come across.

    Rafferty,
    There wasn’t any particular criteria for choosing these 20 and they weren’t intended to be the top 20. Just meant to be some examples to see what’s out there. Obviously many commenters have pointed out other sites that would have been nice to have included.

  55. 55

    If you don’t just browse the home page of the New York Times you will see that they rely on a top horizontal navigation on the rest of the site. Seems like you didn’t spent that much time examining what you talk about.

  56. 56

    helo SM, is there any way you can make your links open up to a new window? instead of itself? .. it’s so inconvenient going back gain n again …just checking your samples.m doing a benchmark on online newspaper site..coz i got one project here ;).and this one is good post exactly what i’m looking for. Thanks! keep it up!

  57. 57

    I think you should also take a look at some russian news sites. for ex: lenta.ru

  58. 58

    bz00: Tabbed browsing would do you good ;) Use firefox or a newer iteration of IE, and ctrl+click/command+click/middle-click on the links

  59. 59

    Hmm… I think this summary generalizes a little too much. You said twice that the NYTimes site is unusual for having a left-side navigation, but that’s not true. The *homepage*, one page out of the site, has a left-side navigation, but the rest of the site is across the top. Did you not click into any other page?

    When you say that news sites don’t “push RSS feeds” on users and that this may change in the future, you’re editorializing. No site “pushes” RSS feeds onto users. They’re just as subtle on blogs as they are on news sites. One or two small links. Some blogs don’t even include the link because the non-feed-reader-using blogger thinks they’re not important.

    And the fact that news sites provide share buttons that let you share with more than just Digg to me seems like they’re using social media tools *less* subtly than a blog that just focuses on Digg. Letting a giant Digg box take over the top of your post doesn’t mean that you take social media more seriously (but maybe it does mean that you take design less seriously…).

  60. 60

    Haven’t even read this post, but Steven my man keep up the good work!
    Can you produce any more output then STeven I mean really you are a publishing machine!!

  61. 61

    yeah cnn is about 2 years ahead of all of those examples. pretty sad no mention considering all of these sites are playing catch up desperately

  62. 62

    What cms would anyone recommend to manage a national newspaper site – I’m building one starting in Jan have come up with either ExpressinEngine or Drupal.

    Any suggestions?

    Best wishes
    Lee

  63. 63

    The reason Scandinavian websites use a highly scrolling vertical design is that they want their sites to be mobile-friendly. This was shared with me by the chief of aftenposten…

    I think you should also look at some Indian sites – Sakaal Times or Livemint.com – these new websites feature very contemporary look with nice color schemes.

  64. 64

    There’s a flaw here: newspapers all feel the need to place as much content on the home page as possible, because they don’t trust readers to click through to stories. This huge amount of content not only makes scanning difficult, it makes emphasising certain stories a problem. Constructing a clever grid doesn’t solve it, removing content and rethinking site structure would.

    The Guardian’s header is a design disaster: it has not one but two navbars, random use of colour and drop down boxes that lead to over 70 links (!) I’ve written about this.

    The other problem is that they try and look like their print versions, which results in this multi-column, hard to scan on a screen design.

  65. 65

    its great to see so many layout in one place. I have changed mines several times now. I spotted a few that may work better for me than what I currently have. :)

  66. 66

    great article. from the sites presented, I think that if you want to providean elegant look, cnet news does the best work. lots of tips – thanks!

    my comments at http://www.commentino.com/orim

  67. 67

    Nice…check our newspaper online pls…
    We keep it very very simple and basic
    http://www.punto.com.ph

  68. 68

    I agree with Bjorn, that it would truly be interesting to see a comparison of different news-design-philosophies. Even across the Atlantic.

    Most Scandinavian news sites are very long, look confusing, but are extremely successful, both in terms of number of users and revenue. Take a look at Vg.no and Expressen.se.

    These sites compete in a market with a very high level of Internet access that is fairly comparable to the US. Still – the sites are on some counts very different.

  69. 69

    That’s a really great collection of designs.

    Designing layouts like that for WordPress would make an awesome collection of themes. Maybe I should spend the holidays doing that ;-)

  70. 70

    Thank you for the comprehensive compilation.

    News and content-type portals in a way have a slight advantage of using the offline reading media format just simply because everyone’s so used to it. So even if they face a huge challenge of massive content they can also get by using the good ‘ol newspaper layout format. Of course this is easier said, than done. :-) Cheers.

  71. 71

    ABC.net.au and smh.com.au hae pleasant/workable designs that appeal.

  72. 72

    christmas wallpaper cell phone

    December 16, 2008 5:52 pm

    knick-knacks,gadget

  73. 73

    Hi, I give another example of a good newspaper design for an italian magazine: http://www.tafter.it/ which was built with wordpress

  74. 74

    james minshall

    May 8, 2009 12:54 am

    heyy people,
    i think that this is a really good round up. It hepled me very much, thank you so much guys, love you lots x

  75. 75

    Courtney Churchill

    May 8, 2009 12:56 am

    heyy people,
    i love this magazine :)x x x

  76. 76

    why are you wasteing your time you sad sad people go and get a life you really are verry sad ainbt ya this website is a load of rubbish we are ,made to do this you want to so verry sad lol get a life you freaks yes it ias a verry nice round i agree adios llove shamim…………….

  77. 77

    the message above was me btw sozz

  78. 78

    fuckin marvellous. thank you!

  79. 79

    Awesome post!

    I’m looking for this one news website, its got a short funny domain name and i think its a .jp or .it domain.

    It’s a really nice flash-based news website that displays recent news items on a grid, with each news story having its own color-coded block, the more popular the story, the bigger the block.

    I forgot the website, please let me know what it is!

    Thanks.

  80. 80

    Just wanted to point out that the 730×90 banner doesn’t exist…I think you meant to say 728×90 (leaderboard) and the 300×250 isn’t a banner, it’s a posterboard.

  81. 81

    Why does your layout change on every single computer????!!!!

  82. 82

    i agree with leigh, and why do i only have steven snell on my stupid screen

  83. 83

    I agree with Leigh and Marie. Nobody can read the comments and the layout is incinsistant!

  84. 84

    i can’t believe that you spelt inconsistant wrong,
    The site is RUINED

  85. 85

    You’ve runied it by pointing that out, MARIE!!!! Please be more considerate! But seriously, the layout needs to be sorted. I HATE YOU, MARIE! HATE YOU!!!

  86. 86

    What?? Stop pointing out stupid flaws, poor Steven Snell has worked very hard to make this site and you are slagging it off!!! For shame!!!

  87. 87

    Martha that is email abuse.
    I am OUTRAGED
    Your hate is not justified
    You are wrong

  88. 88

    -.- you’re the one that pointing this out Leigh.
    And, Marie, I can’t be wrong. That’s my opinion. Stop belittling me. THAT is site abuse

  89. 89

    F**k off bitch

  90. 90

    GRAMMAR CHECK!!!!!
    Stop misspelling words!!!
    PROOF THINGS…….
    *mutters* Idiots

  91. 91

    Leigh why did you say idiots, i have not spelt anything wrong and my grammar is perfectly fine.

  92. 92

    >.> SWEAR.
    EVERYBODY LOOK QUICK, SHE SWORE
    The great Snell will murder you in your bed tonight Marie!!!!

  93. 93

    Unlike you, Leigh, I’m not so sad I have to sit there reading through things.
    And why don’t you make me, Marie?
    Will both of you please stop putting such irrelevant comments. It’s site abuse.

  94. 94

    Yes that may be so Martha, but it’s hillarious abuse!!

    But that language is uncalled for Marie.
    Hang your head in shame!!!

  95. 95

    Steven snell will not mind i am sure.
    Martha what exactly am i supposed to make you do.

  96. 96
  97. 97

    Ah… can’t argue with that Leigh

  98. 98

    >.>
    *shakes head*

    YES!

  99. 99

    Shhh marie

  100. 100
  101. 101

    so unfair >.> I wanted the 100th post

  102. 102

    STUPID SITE, YOU CAN’T BLOCK ME….

    FOR I AM
    ARLENE PHILIPS!!!!!!

  103. 103

    Wel said arlene phillips

  104. 104

    EVERYBODY LOOK

    spelling mistake, AHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA

  105. 105

    shit i can’t spell now
    thanks martha

  106. 106

    and for once it wasn’t made that did it! hahahahahahaha

  107. 107

    Martha’s contagious!!!

    Teeheee

  108. 108

    Leigh i just read what you said
    how very dare you i can spell it just slipped under my radar

  109. 109

    That’s exactly what happens to b#me too…. >.> <.<

  110. 110

    *tumbleweed*

  111. 111

    leigh you taunter

  112. 112

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Have you seen those people on the logo????!!!!
    They look wickid man, yeah i’m done with the kids!!!

  113. 113

    nearly made a boo boo there

  114. 114

    So NOW you’re insulting the logo? NOT COOL

  115. 115

    i have never used the term boo boo before
    and i NEVER will again

  116. 116

    wow I feel special for witnessing that, Marie

  117. 117

    damn it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  118. 118

    Yeah so maybe we got distracted from the original point but what we were trying to say before is-

    Yer’ layout is shit man!!!

    (and stop saying i’m posting too quickly, it’s annoying as hell!!!)

  119. 119

    Leigh swore
    For Shame!!!!!!!!
    like you said to me bitch

  120. 120

    OMM! You can’t say that!!!!!

  121. 121

    My last post was directed at Leigh btw

  122. 122

    I STILL CAN’T SEE THE COMMENT PAGE!!!!!

    WHAT IS UP WITH THIS SITE?

  123. 123

    NEITHER CAN I AND IT IS PISSING ME OFF
    I LIKE THIS WEBSITE BUT GOD I HATE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  124. 124

    ……… we like your banner though

  125. 125

    na na :P I can see the comments

  126. 126

    ¬.¬

    Smug git!

  127. 127

    no come back either, i rule!!!!

  128. 128

    Are you still there Marie????

  129. 129

    Hush you. You have no opinion cause you can’t read the comments :P

  130. 130

    YES why do want to know if i am still there
    ARE YOU A STALKER LEIGH?

  131. 131

    *laughs hysterically*

    HAHAHAHAHAHA MARTHA!!! Stop posting too fast, Steven Snell will murder you as well.

    Do you think he’s Santa?

  132. 132

    no you retard

  133. 133

    Nah, Santa’s too busy with all the presents to make a website. LEIGHS A STALKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  134. 134

    ….. that is a serious and hurtful comment Marie!!!!!

    AND NO I AM NOT A STALKER YOU STRANGE KID!!!!

  135. 135

    shouldnt ask those sort of questions then
    it was a easy mistaka to maka

  136. 136

    *sighs in exasperation*

    Should’ve been a doctor………

  137. 137

    mistaka to maka…..?

  138. 138

    yes martha i said that
    it was italien can’t spell that either
    its all good
    shame we forgot to do IT
    but what are you gonna do

  139. 139

    oh i am terribly sorry Mister Snell, i never rated your site…..

    I give it…………………………….. *drumroll*

    4 STARS

    If i could actually see the bloody comments it would be a grand five but sadly i can’t rate due to the same malfunction that doesn’t enable me to see comments, sooooo………..

    TOUGH TITS!!

  140. 140
  141. 141

    E E E E E E E E E E E E E E E EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

    YOU FORGOT THE E!!!!

  142. 142

    no i nivver
    proper scouse there

  143. 143

    Bella voice!!!!!

  144. 144

    I don’t even have the voting button on my computer >.<
    *gets out tiny violin*

  145. 145

    F**k you bitch, i am going to KILL you

  146. 146

    *runs away!!!!!!!!*

    …… Meh. I had a good run!!!

  147. 147

    *gets out popcorn and watches*

  148. 148

    wait till you are asleep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  149. 149

    EDWARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    YOU WATCH ME WHEN I SLEEP????!!!!

    What an Edward Cullen, freak

  150. 150

    i am not an edward, edward would never kill bella
    i am going to kill you

  151. 151

    O.O
    Harsh?
    Calling someone Edward is practically abuse

  152. 152
  153. 153

    >.>

    Calling someone Edward is harsher than killing them?????

    Weirdo’s!!

  154. 154

    Yes. Finally you understand. You got there eventually…

  155. 155

    *hugs site*
    I know you’ll miss us
    byeeeeee!!!!

  156. 156

    this is probably my last comment
    love the site but sort out the comments page so that everyone can enjoy them
    this is me departing
    auf wiedersehen!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  157. 157

    Hurray!!!

    I concur with Marie, apparantly it doesn’t have an ‘E’ on the end….. WHO KNEW?????????

    Tschus

  158. 158

    Hurray!!!!

    I concur with Marie, yes it’s spellt with no ‘E’ on the end…. WHO KNEW??!!!!!

    Tschus

    *hugs site*

  159. 159

    Received mine a few hours after leaving a comment here yesterday, haha! :) So glad it finally arrived! Thanks.

  160. 160

    this website is damn helpful…helped me a big deal in my assignment…:)

  161. 161

    Sometimes they look cluttered and really hard to look at, or maybe it’s just me. LOL

    Carl

  162. 162

    This is an awesome read, great information and very well put together. Thank you for the insight, it confirmed my theory.

  163. 163

    I primarily use guardian as it’s more HTML based.

  164. 164

    This is a great article, wonderful read and the screenshots are perfect for illustration. This is one of those articles that kept going and going, but in a good way because I wanted more and more, an absolute delight :) If I could add one more to this list it would be the unique design at videotwitter.net

  165. 165

    this a strong article , but i saw almost of this sites rely on protal-style layout to run content in site ,
    i want ask you ( writer of article Or any one ) about which global or famous trends to gedign online news .
    thanx for all about information-dense
    a researsher PHD

  166. 166

    งานออนไลน์

    May 12, 2011 5:13 am

    Nice! I that This single website very ultimate. Them makes i the knowledge. Them is the website that are so much knowledge. me sense best at came form the this websites Thanks a lot and me will stop to visiting this sites frequenty thanks.

  167. 167

    Seagrass Chairs

    May 16, 2011 12:21 am

    This blogging site is awesome I’ll really have to read through everything, thanks for sharing. Seagrass Furniture

  168. 168

    superb url! I truly appreciate Here’s how this’s quick by my eyes and in addition also The data in many instances are terrific prepared. I’m thinking Procedures to I can be notified whensoever a different piece of writing has now been built. I’ve subscribed ways to Ones New rss feed which should attain the trick! allow for a very good day! Seagrass Rug

  169. 169

    Great! This was a really quality post. In theory I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real effort to make a good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and never seem to get something done. Tuscan Decor

  170. 170

    Good day! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could find a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding one? Thanks a lot!

  171. 171

    I must say I really don’t like the international look of newspaper design. There are too many links, from top to bottom, in too many columns. In Sweden, for example, you have a tradition of a more clean look, where you more easily can see what news are the most important right now. Checkout http://www.dn.se or http://www.norran.se for example.

  172. 172

    Cool….have to do a report for school…..very helpful!

  173. 174

    Glad to see there’s a Slider with a proper keyboard layout. The one I got to test in the last weeks came with that awful European layout, with the bigger enter and the tiny Left Shift. The same Asus uses for all laptops in my country and a total fail in my eyes.

  174. 175

    Horrible. Look totally polluted, follows a Brazilian inspiration:
    http://www.terra.com.br

  175. 176

    I had come across several websites with newspaper background and I had planned to design a website in this trend for myself.

    Ayesha
    http://www.creativewebdesign.ae/web-development/Drupal-website-development

↑ Back to top