How to Make a Website Like CNN

by Lisa DiVirgilio

CNN is a massive information site that employs thousands of reporters and online producers to pull in news to the site. The news comes from CNN's many bureaus throughout the United States and the world. In order to create a website that is comparable to CNN, you must have news sources from different outlets feeding into your site. You must also organize the site in a simple, coherent manor so that your users can easily find the information they are looking for.

Choose the RSS feeds that you want to incorporate into your site. You can easily gather these feeds by going to several different news sites, including,, and Next to most articles on these sites, you will see an orange button that says "RSS" next to it. Click this button and it will bring you to a page where you see only headlines. Copy the URL of this page and insert it into your website under an RSS widget, which will vary depending on the hosting site and website template you are using. This will bring in the headlines from this RSS feed automatically, which will constantly update your site.

Organize your information in a coherent way. If you want to have a local focus around where you are based, then put the local information, which you are either bringing in through an RSS feed or doing original reporting on, at the top. Allow three to four headlines to be shown on the homepage, then create a "More" button to bring the user to more local news. Next, place regional news below the local news. Regional news can be countywide, statewide or even multistate wide, depending on how "local" your local news is. Finally, place national news at the bottom of the site.

Place non-news items on your site according to your location. For example, if you have sports news incorporated into your site, depending on your location, you may want to place this low or high. For instance, if you live in New Orleans, you'll want to place Saints information high on your website, since there is a good chance that will drive traffic.

Use multimedia to report. You can either gather your own video and pictures to add to your site, or you can place video from legitimate sources on your site. You can find CNN and other news sites video on their YouTube pages. You can embed these videos to your site legally, since YouTube offers an embed code.


  • close Never take a picture or video directly off a website that you do not own without first asking permission, as you could be violating copyright law.

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