How to Connect Your WordPress Powered Site to Apple News Publisher

When Apple News Publisher launched in September, 2015, it partnered with 20 publishers including, ESPN, The New York Times, and CNN. Today, publishers large and small are able to sign up to Apple’s News Publisher program which delivers content from sites to devices running iOS 9 or above. Since its launch, the service has garnered more than 40 million users.

Aside from its user base, one of the main benefits to syndicating through News Publisher is that content is optimized across all of Apple’s iOS 9 devices, providing a better user experience as opposed to RSS readers that can render content unpredictably.

Configuring Sites for News Publisher

There are three options for publishers to push content to the service. You can use the content creation screen inside of News Publisher, connect an existing site using a plugin, or submit the URL to your site’s RSS feed.

News Publisher Content Creation Screen
News Publisher Content Creation Screen

I submitted the Tavern to News Publisher a few weeks ago and received a notification today that the site is approved. When submitting your site, you’ll need to give Apple your contact phone number and physical address. You’ll also need to upload a PNG logo that’s transparent, less than 2MB in size, and meets Apple’s logo guidelines.

News Publisher Submission Process
News Publisher Submission Process

If you use WordPress and your site is approved, consider using the Publish to Apple News plugin developed by Alley Interactive and other contributing developers. Once installed, visit your channel’s administration page in News Publisher and click on the API Key link. This will give you the three things needed to connect your site.

Channel API Information
Channel API Information

Login to your WordPress site and visit Settings > Apple News and insert the following information into the corresponding fields. Since the field names and order don’t match, I created this short list.

  • Channel ID > API Channel
  • Key ID > API Key
  • Secret > API Secret

From the settings screen, you can configure if the plugin should publish and update articles to Apple News automatically and whether to do it at the same time as WordPress in one action. You can also choose which Post Types are available. At the bottom of the screen, there are a host of design options that enable you to alter the display of how your articles look in Apple News.

News Publisher Plugin Options Page
News Publisher Plugin Options Page

I don’t know what the Tavern’s content looks like on News Publisher as I wait for the initial series of posts to be approved. For the time being, the content is styled with the default settings.

Monetizing Your Feed

To monetize your News Publisher feed, enable iTunes connect with your developer ID. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to enroll in Apple’s Developer Program Once that’s complete, sign the Apple News Content Agreement and provide your tax and banking information on iTunes Connect. Note, that in order to place ads in your content, you need to publish articles from a CMS like WordPress.

Is News Publisher Worth the Hassle?

As a new publisher to Apple’s syndication system, it’s too early to tell if signing up was a waste of time or a benefit to readers. In the next week or two, I’ll report my findings, including feedback from Tavern readers on what they think of the format. Until then, you can subscribe to our channel by opening this link on a device that uses iOS 9 or later. If you subscribe to the Tavern, tell us about your experience in the comments.

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