June 7, 2017 Last Updated 12:44 pm

Mother Jones launches new WordPress-based website

The magazine is like many that have decided to move to WordPress rather than an unwieldy CMS; another is Digital First Media, whose VIP content management system is also built off the platform

‘We probably don’t blow our own horn enough,” Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein replied to TNM the other day when asked if there would be a formal announcement about their new website. The magazine, founded in 1976, has this week launched a new WordPress driven website, and it looks mighty attractive.

The site still has, according to columnist Kevin Drum, a few things to work out, but the overall look is clean and the navigation is easy and logical.

“It mostly went pretty well, but there are a few glitches still outstanding,” Drum wrote. “In particular, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about comments and the RSS feed. Both should be up and running shortly. Comments have to be ported over from the old site, and that takes a while since there’s a lot of them. The RSS feed just needs to be redirected.”

For far too many publications, there remains a fixation with complex content management systems. Not every publication is The New York Times, which needs to handle mass amounts of content. But even the NYT has experimented with simpler systems for some of its projects.

The key, of course, is to have someone on board who can understand and work with WordPress — unless you are small enough to take the route TNM did, which is to simply find a good theme and then know how to tweak it.

Mother Jones had the talent to handle things in-house and Bauerlein pointed to those who should get the credit: Robert Wise, Online Technology Director; Adam Schweigert,Senior Developer; Ben Breedlove, Web Developer; Jahna Berry, Director of News Product; and Becca Andrews, Assistant Web Editor.

TNM does not do awards stories, there are too many of them, and most require an entry fee which means it is really a contest between those nominated by their companies. I get that everyone deserves some recognition every now and then, but can we please get a handle on these silly award events?

Having said that, a representative for Digital First Media reached out to talk about the fact that Ryan Kanner, WordPress developer for Digital First Media, had been named a winner of the News Media Alliance’s Rising Star Awards.

“DFM’s WordPress VIP-based content management system is a one of its kind, industry leading digital platform poised to drive audience growth across DFM properties. Because of the innovation it represents, Ryan and the team have been called on to address industry influencers on the future of content management in publishing and trends in WordPress development,” said Chris Loretto, Executive Vice President Sales & Digital at DFM.

Kanner has been a WordPress developer for eight years, joining DFM in April of last year. He will be a speaker at WordCamp for Publishers event, which takes place in Denver, August 17-19.

(Digital First Media owns MediaNews Group, and with it the paper the Denver Post.)

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