Ever wanted to have an online magazine? If you have, you are in luck! Now you can create an online magazine for your niche using a free magazine plugin and theme package from the folks at Issue M.
Like most plugins Issue M was created to solve a problem for the users and was then made available to the general public. The creators of Issue M were looking for a way to publish their Dartmouth College Engineering magazine online. The magazine had traditionally been published with an “issue based production cycle”. They wanted to keep this format, but transport it to the online world by being able to “load up all their stories and publish each issue with one click”. The advantages of getting email subscribers, search engine traffic as well as social media coverage was part of the reason they combined their problem into a WordPress solution.
There are a number of advantages to using WordPress as a magazine platform as set out in this article.
What I like about Issue M (as well as being free) is that it is super simple and intuitive to use.
You simply create the Issue of your Magazine in the dashboard of WordPress and then add articles to each issue. Easy peasy.
This short video shows just how simple it is to set up:
The magazine plugin has a number of in built features including:
- the ability to publish your articles as a slideshow,
- a cover issue widget quickly shows the user what issue they are browsing
- an archive widget allows people to easily find and browse previous issues; and
- an article teaser widget
The team at Issue M have released this package for free for use by the WordPress community. It is available either at their site or through the repository. It would appear that in the future to monetize the software they have created and that they will develop additional add ons for purchase. Out of the box, it’s a quick, elegant and free solution to get started as an online magazine publisher for your niche.