I’ve been wanting to create a hyperlocal news website for over 10 years. About a year and a half ago I registered ChandlerAzNews.com with that in mind. It is a lot of work and I expect it will take 2 to 4 years to rank organically on Google, if I am able to regularly feed it top quality content. It will probably require 200 – 400 articles to rank and to start getting regular traffic. That is a lot of work.
The print media has been in a downward spiral for years. They have also moved away from the local and for the most part stopped doing investigative pieces. With the advent of mobile devices and a wide range of media sources the hyperlocal has become a void.
To this point no one has experienced any real sustainable success with hyperlocal journalism. Patch, an AOL attempt at local reporting failed as have others. There is a secret sauce that no one is finding. I want to try to find the secret to building a sustainable, revenue producing hyperlocal website for Chandler AZ. I think I can do it. Only time will tell. There are a lot of nay-sayers out there. I’d like to prove them wrong.
Since I am a PHP programmer and have been learning Drupal, I plan to use Drupal for this project. Currently Drupal 7 is the version everyone is using. Drupal 8 was just made live and Drupal 6 is no longer supported. Drupal 7 will be supported until Drupal 9 is in production. I will probably stay with Drupal 7 for at least 2 more years and more like 4 years. Drupal is not for the faint of heart. It requires substantial hosting resources. I would recommend a 2 core / 4G RAM virtual private server (VPS) that is well tuned as a minimum hosting platform. I will be using a VPS running CentOS 7 with 2 cores and 4Gigs of RAM. I will be tuning it myself.
Drupal is also a maintenance hog, requiring regular core updates as well as regular module updates.
I am excited, please join me in my journey.