PaywallProject is a Newspack Alternative for Local News Publishers

At the beginning of 2022, Tyler Channel published a short two minute video to Twitter. The video was elegantly done and introduced The Welch News, a small newspaper in West Virginia.

That video led to a detailed article in WPTavern with more background on the newspaper and Tyler’s work.

Tyler runs PaywallProject and tried to keep newspapers like The Welch News in business. He offers a more affordable alternative to Newspack, which is run by Automattic.

This is important work, but it’s not easy and it’s not always successful. The Welch News stopped publishing about a year after Tyler’s video. They have plans to come back as a digital-only publication.

Fortunately, Tyler has continued his work with similar newspapers and PaywallProject continues to grow.

I spoke with Tyler about his goal for PaywallProject:

“This whole project was founded on the idea that all publishers should be able to benefit from paid digital subscriptions without having to worry about the technical complexities, strategy, and development. From day 1, my mission has been to help make local news publishers more sustainable. Whether a publisher is in a small town in West Virginia or they’re in a large regional market with a growing population, paid digital subscriptions continue to play a huge role in supporting the continuation of local news.

A Rebranding for Paywall Project

Tyler has just launched a redesign of the company website so check out Starting at $499 per month (with discounts for newspapers that can’t afford that), they will cover all the costs related to running a local news website. Everything is included in that price, from support and plugin licensing to hosting and newsletter sending.

There are now several WordPress platforms available for publishers. In addition to PaywallProject and Newspack, there’s also Lede, which acts as a platform and also an incubator for publishing start-ups. PaywallProject focuses more on existing publishers that want to move online. Some of these newspapers aren’t start-ups … they’re over 100 years old!

Here are some typical customers:

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