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Google supports WordPress initiative to build cloud platform for local publishers

Google supports WordPress initiative to build cloud platform for local publishers

Google has announced in a blog post that it supports an initiative by Automattic, the creator of WordPress. Automattic wants to create a cheap publishing platform for small and medium-sized news organisations. The project was launched today under the name Newspack.

The project focuses mainly on local media, which have been severely affected by the monetization and competition challenges in the modern media landscape.

“Journalists should write stories and cover news from their community, not worry about designing websites, configuring CMSs and building commercial systems,” said Jim Albrecht, director of news ecosystem products at Google. “Their publishing platform should solve these problems for them.”


One of the most important tasks that Newspack wants to automate is the management of the infrastructure. The platform, which is still being developed, must run on top of Automattic’s WordPress.com hosting service. In addition, Newspack receives specialised tools aimed at publishers.

These focus partly on simplifying the incorporation of functions to earn money in their websites. The goal is to lower the technical barrier for media organizations that do not have the resources to deploy complex plugins or write their own code.

“While Newspack publishers have access to all the plugins created by the WordPress developer community, the most important product is not trying to be everything for all publishers,” says Albrecht. “It tries to help small publishers succeed by building best practices into the product while removing distractions. We call it an opinionated CMS: it knows what the right thing to do is, even if you don’t.”

Google support

Google supports Newspack with 1.2 million dollars. So far, Automattic has been able to raise a total of 2.4 million dollars for the project. Other funders include The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, ConsenSys and The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Google offers not only financial support, but also technical assistance. The company is helping Automattic to integrate its publishing tools into the project and plans to gather feedback on the function roadmap of local news organisations.

Newspack is expected to be launched on a limited basis with around ten publishers in July. By 2020, the platform should become more widely available for media at a price between $1,000 and $2,000 per month.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.