All posts by William Davis


I wanted to credit a few people who were immensely helpful in getting the site up and running.

I’m William P. Davis, online editor at the Bangor Daily News. Todd Benoit is Director of News and New Media, and Martha Ward is Product Manager.

Mo Jangda, who now works for Automattic, which runs, wrote the Zoninator.

Juan Carlos Sanchez wrote the C plugin that integrates WordPress with InDesign.

Mark Jaquith, a lead dev for WordPress, and Ryan Duff provided much-needed freelance support.

We manage our servers in conjunction with Firehost. WPEngine is also a great host that we used for a time until we decided to go self-hosted.

Andrew Nacin, Daniel Bachhuber and Scott Bressler fielded a multitude of questions and developed excellent plugins.

Everyone, including Daniel, at CoPress who truly broke ground in this area.

And, especially, everyone who has ever contributed to WordPress core.

Open Source is superior because of the community around it.

Bangor Daily News completes final switch to WordPress

Wednesday, we pointed the last of our traffic to our WordPress servers.

We started planning the transition soon after I started at the BDN in July, and started beta testing the system in late August with our Sports section.

Stories are penned first in Google Docs, then brought over to WordPress via XML-RPC and pushed to InDesign via tagged text. It’s a unique system we built, for the most part, from the ground up, and we believe we’re the largest newspaper running entirely on WordPress.

Over the next few months we’ll be extensively sharing how we did it and open-sourcing much of the project. Our goal is to help other newspapers set up an easy-to-use, low-cost content management system. The setup is actually quite simple and easy to implement.

For the time being, feel free to leave comments with questions or e-mail me at

To get everyone started, I would recommend a few plugins that I think are must-haves for any news org on WordPress. The first, which the BDN commissioned from Mo Jangda, is The Zoninator, which allows you to order content by hand instead of chronologically.

Another is Edit Flow, which is an important tool for managing workflow through WordPress.

Scott Bressler‘s excellent Media Credit allows you to natively set the credit for images, instead of including the information in cutlines.

Co-Authors Plus, also by Mo, allows you to set multiple authors per post.

And CP Redirect is a good example plugin for how you might remap links from your old site. We used it as a template to avoid dropping links.

You might also wish to check out the Ben Franklin Project, from the Journal Register Company, CoPress, which, although not operating anymore, contains a trove of useful tips for converting, and a post I did in 2009 after converting my college newspaper to WordPress.