Basic characteristics of an online magazine

Some characteristics of digital publications. What makes a site on the Internet recognized as a magazine? How different are digital magazines from print ones? Things that should not be missing from a digital magazine.

Editorial control

A team that decides the magazine’s focus receives and edits the materials and enriches them with multimedia content such as images, audio, and video. That categorizes or labels the contents so that they are displayed, related, and archived appropriately.


Traditionally, magazines define when they are released to the public. Thematic magazines usually use this time to collect and edit their content. The Internet allows the possibility of not depending on periodicity, creating infinite lists of topics where articles from different editions are archived.

I believe a magazine should categorize its contents by number/edition and in the section to which they correspond—for example, date/number, subject, section, etc.


The call to receive content can be done in various ways on the Internet. The most traditional is to write an email to actual collaborators.

Social media can also be influential in getting collaborations from the general public.

In addition, it is possible to have a permanent section on the site with calls or a banner that attracts attention.

Subscription / Broadcast

Social networks are booming as a form of subscription. Electronic newsletters are also an option, but they generally require more work on the part of the publisher, and many times, the service to send newsletters costs to reach a large number of subscribers.

Technologies such as RSS are another option on the Internet to receive notifications of new content in almost real-time.

Even though the contents of an edition are usually published on the same day, they can be distributed in a relevant cadence throughout the period.


As long as the advertising is not intrusive, elegant pieces of advertising can be created.

Not all advertising should be external. Using spaces to run a campaign to find new collaborators or highlight content is possible.

Include the term magazine.

If you want people to identify your digital publication as a magazine, it’s a good idea to add the word “magazine” to the site name, perhaps also to the domain.

This way, they will arrive more easily from the search engine if they search by your brand and identify that your project is collaborative.

Archive by author

In addition to showing the list of collaborations, this archive can link your authors to their projects to promote them and get to know more about the collaborators by publishing their biographies.

For some, this can become the collaborator’s website.

Search engine

Users can use categories to navigate the site, but nothing is more powerful than a search engine to find content.

Fun fact: many of the searches for a magazine have to do with contributors searching for themselves.

Comment system

It’s optional. If you decide to have one, it can be a direct way to provide feedback to the collaborator and the editor.

There are two basic types: the classic form that asks for your name, email, and comment, and the systems that ask you to authenticate on social networks to pull your photo and information and distribute your comment.

Remember that comments can be moderated if we are interested in generating an atmosphere of debate and avoiding spam.

Sharing buttons

The number of Likes on a post serves as a quick measure of the popularity of a post. It is also a way to distribute the discussion to social networks and as a call to action.

Content permanence

Don’t forget that an archive is being created when building a magazine. Try to preserve links and content in general never to be broken.

You can ask readers to report any issues to us to keep the system optimal.


The information can be consulted appropriately on any device, using responsive designs that adapt to the width and type of screen.


It is not always necessary to create apps to distribute the content, upload the PDF of the printed version, or be on all the emerging social networks.

It can be enough to have a good web version to reach everywhere.


It is possible to create contact forms that reach directly the different departments of the magazine.

It doesn’t matter if the team is small. Distributing and preparing the proper communication channels from the first moment can make the difference between winning and losing an advertising offer.

Web developer

In addition to the editorial and design team, an excellent online magazine must have the technical staff to avoid catastrophes such as loss of information, infections, server crashes, and boosted visits based on statistical analysis.

Contact me if you are interested in starting or improving your magazine.

Jos Velasco

CC0 licensed photo by Marcus Burnette from the WordPress Photo Directory.

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