How to publish a WordPress site to Apple News

In June 2015, Apple introduced a dedicated News app for iPhone and iPad users as a part of iOS 9. In the two major releases since then, Apple has continued to refine the app and its usage has grown. Apple News began as a closed opportunity for big publishers only, but was quickly opened up to the public. According to a report from Recode, Apple News has 70 million unique users, making it a great opportunity to reach a large user base. The setup process is simple, so adding your site to Apple News is a great opportunity to expand your site’s reach.

1. Create an iCloud account and sign up for News Publisher

Sign up for Apple’s News Publisher to add News Publisher your iCloud account. If you don’t already have an iCloud account, click the “Don’t have an Apple ID? Create yours now.” link at the bottom of the sign-in screen.

The Apple News meta box provides additional controls in the WordPress post editor should you choose to enable it.

The Apple News meta box provides additional controls in the WordPress post editor should you choose to enable it.

2. Install and set up the Apple News plugin in WordPress

In your WordPress Dashboard, install and activate the Publish to Apple News plugin. Then, go to Apple News → Settings in your WordPress Dashboard. We’ll get the 3 fields for the Apple News API in a minute, but fill out the other options on the page:

  • In the Apple News API section, decide whether you want to automatically publish to, update in, and delete from Apple News when you publish, update, and delete in WordPress.
  • Under Post Type Options, decide which post types you want to publish on Apple News (we recommend only posts). If you turn on the meta box for Apple News in this section, you’ll have more control over how you post to Apple News when you create or edit a post.
  • The Advanced Settings section is fine as is, but feel free to read through it and change it to your liking.
  • Turn debugging off in the Developer Tools section. You can turn it on here later on if you’re having trouble publishing properly.

3. Set up your Apple News account and connect your site

Once you’ve added News Publisher to your iCloud account, you’ll have access to its settings at icloud.com. Go to icloud.com, click the News Publisher button, and click Settings at the top of the screen. Fill in the following information:

  • In the Channel Info tab, name your channel, select your language, enter your website URL, and choose your primary audience (General, Children, or Mature).
  • In the Contact Info tab, enter your contact address, phone number, and email for business inquiries and content inquiries.
  • In the Logo tab under Branding, upload your logo. Be aware of Apple’s logo specifications when uploading your logo. You’ll need a transparent PNG image that meets their design requirements.
  • In the Cover Image under Branding, decide if you want Apple’s algorithms choose an image from your channel based on your recent posts or if you want to upload a static image for your channel.
  • If you want to add other contributors to your channel, do so in the Members tab.
  • If you want to set up advertising with Apple, do so in the Advertising tab.

Once you’ve finished those settings, visit the Connect CMS tab. Next to the number 2, you’ll see a link to generate your API key. Click that link and you’ll see three fields appear. Apple will not generate the Secret field more than once without resetting your key, so make sure not to close this tab until you’ve successfully connected your site to Apple News.

In a new tab (again, leave the iCloud tab with your API key open), go to your WordPress Dashboard and return to Apple News → Settings. At the top of the Apple News API section, copy the Channel ID from the iCloud tab and paste it into the Channel ID box in WordPress. Do the same for the Key ID and the Secret. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the blue Save Changes button. Once these settings have been saved, you can close your iCloud tab.

4. Export your content to Apple News and request approval

Go to Apple News → Articles in your WordPress Dashboard. You’ll see a list of the content you’ve written in the post types you selected to send to Apple News. Click the checkbox to the left of the word “Title” in the heading row of the table to check the boxes for all of the articles. Then click the Bulk Actions dropdown, click Publish, and click the Apply button. If you have more than one page of items listed, go to the next page and repeat the process.

Once you’ve published your content to Apple News, return to icloud.com, click the News Publisher button, and click Articles at the top of the screen. Click the Drafts tab on the left side of the screen and you’ll see a list of the articles you set to Apple News in WordPress. Click Publish All to publish the content.

You’ll then be asked to select the articles you wish to include for review. Apple will begin a review process to determine whether or not they’ll add your site to Apple News. The review process can take a couple of weeks, and you’ll receive an email once your site has been added to Apple News. At that point, return to the Articles tab in iCloud News Publisher and make sure your articles are published. Your content will then be published on Apple News!

If you’re an Apple News user, we’re on Apple News too! Find our Apple News feed here.

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