Skip to main content

Publishing your magazine in the digital realm unlocks many inherent benefits and opportunities. From new distribution channels to interactive features, going online creates opportunities to drive new magazine subscriptions and engage readers in all new ways.

When choosing an online magazine publishing platform there are many considerations to factor into the decision-making process. To properly assess each platform and come to an informed decision we have chosen to share with you our knowledge and expertise.

Follow this guide for a structured process on how to choose your digital magazine publishing platform in 2024.

Considerations for Choosing a Digital Magazine Publishing Platform


Analytics and insights

Analytics tools help you better understand how readers engage with your online magazine so that you can deliver better experiences and drive subscriptions.

When looking at publishing platforms, compare the capabilities of analytics tools they provide using these key points:

  • Ensure they have built-in analytics - the ability to collect first-party data is increasingly vital as the crackdown on cookie tracking limits the data you can capture using third-party analytics tools.
  • Research the tracking capabilities of their analytics software - make sure you can collect basic data like page views, traffic sources and the device type of the user.
  • Review the reporting features of the platform - tracking data points is only part of the process, so make sure the platform has a robust system for creating and sharing reports to visualise data.
  • Enquire about integrations - consider whether the platform can integrate with third-party analytics solutions like Google Analytics.

Ease of Use

You want a publishing platform that makes it easy to create and release your digital magazines. An intuitive interface with user-friendly tools that speed the publishing process and require minimal effort. The last thing you need is a platform that comes with a 100-page user manual am requires extensive training. 

Here are some core ease-of-use features to consider:

  • A clean user interface - the platform should be easy to read, while interaction elements are well-spaced and not cramped together.
  • Intuitive design tools - using the editing tools to create or enhance your online magazine should be straightforward. The process of adding links, embedding videos and publishing should be obvious with clear pointers to guide you through each step.
  • Simple navigation - moving through the platform should be a walk in the park, with clearly signposted menus.

Distribution Channels

Going digital unlocks all new channels for you to grow the reach of your magazine significantly. When evaluating potential digital publishing platforms, look closely at the distribution channels they offer. You want tools to amplify reach like:

  • The ability to embed your digital magazine on websites.
  • Built-in functionality for readers to share magazine content directly to social media platforms like Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), and Facebook - both individual pages or the whole magazine.
  • The option to create a dedicated app where subscribers can purchase and access your latest magazines, along with a digital archive where readers can view past online magazine editions.
  • The capacity to trigger mobile app and web push notifications as a way to promote new magazine releases. 
  • Capabilities to download a copy of your digital magazine for offline viewing.

You want to consider how your target audience behaves and how you can effectively reach them through these channels.

Monetisation Options

A core benefit of online magazines is the monetisation strategies that can unlock all new revenue streams. Even if you choose not to use them, you want a platform provider that offers the full range of monetisation options for your magazine which include:

  • A built-in subscription management system which lets you offer a range of subscription models - pay-per-view or a monthly subscription model - with digital-only or a hybrid print and digital offering.
  • API integration with third-party subscription platforms if you have an existing subscription management service in place.
  • The option to enhance print adverts with interactive elements - especially useful if your digital magazine is a PDF replica of your print magazine.
  • Embedding hyperlinks into your online magazine on products so you can participate in and generate revenue from affiliate programs.

If you already have an online magazine with a digital subscription model built in, you will want a provider that offers you a migration support service for a seamless transition.

Cross-Platform Compatibility

Ensure your digital magazine publishing platform allows you to optimise your online magazine for viewing across different devices, screen sizes, operating systems and browsers. Responsive design and multi-device compatibility are essential for reaching a wider audience and promoting access.

Here are some key cross-platform compatibility features to assess:

  • Ensure the publishing platform's user interface itself is responsive with navigation elements and menus that are clear, readable and easy to interact with across each device. Be sure to test this across as many desktop, mobile and tablet devices as possible.
  • Check that the provider lets you create a reflowable design for your digital magazine using HTML5. This is especially important for publishers creating a digital replica of their print magazine using a PDF, as this content has a fixed layout. While this content can be responsive to different screen sizes, it is not optimised for mobile or tablet consumption.

Video & Interactive Elements

Digital offers you the ability to enhance your online magazine with video and interactive elements creating a unique reading experience that increases engagement and grows your audience.

When choosing a provider, asses the platform's capabilities for adding interactivity, look for key features like:

  • The option to embed a wide range of multimedia content - video, audio, animations 
  • The ability to include pop-ups and create an additional layer of unique content to enhance the reading experience beyond print.
  • Support for user-generated content like annotations, highlighting and bookmarks to deliver a more personalised reading experience.
  • Page-turning animations that recreate the traditional experience of reading a print magazine, along with the option to include sound effects.
  • Hyperlinking, so you can offer readers ease of navigation through the magazine clickable links on content.

Customisation Options

When publishing your digital magazine, you want to deliver a consistent look and feel to leverage your existing brand recognition and trust. When considering potential options, explore the level of customisation provided by each digital publishing platform, this will be crucial in delivering a fully branded experience. Make sure to

  • Look for features that allow you to tailor the design, colour schemes, typography and branding of your digital magazine to match your unique style and brand identity.
  • Ensure the platform lets you add branding elements to the user interface.
  • Check if the provider supports custom domain hosting so you can deliver your digital magazine directly from your chosen domain or subdomain.

Customer Support

A key factor in choosing your digital magazine publishing platform should be the level of customer support and training available from the provider. Not only will this influence the successful onboarding and adoption of the platform, but it will also dictate your ongoing success in utilising the platform to its full potential.

Here are some factors to consider when assessing potential partners:

  • You want a range of support options available through a range of channels - telephone, live chat, remote login, online helpdesk, online FAQs, knowledge base, and training resources.
  • Understand the availability of support and the country it is being provided from - ideally, you want available support in your local region, with minimum support between the hours of 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday to Friday.
  • Explore the costs associated with customer support - check if it's included, or an optional extra at an additional cost.
  • Make sure your provider has an SLA and that it provides a satisfactory level of protection. 


Delivering your magazine in a digital format creates an opportunity to integrate accessibility options to reduce barriers your readers may face when consuming your content.

The right platform will deliver accessibility features and integration with accessibility technology to provide improved access to content for those with visual and motor impairments. Here are some accessibility features you might want to look for:

  • The option to automatically create and publish a plain text version of your online magazine.
  • Platform compatibility with mainstream screen reader technologies so you can offer magazine access for those with visual impairments. 
  • Support for keyboard shortcuts so readers with visual and motor impairments can navigate magazine content with ease.
  • Functionality in the platform interface that allows users to easily change text size for improved readability in line with their needs.
  • An option for support in helping you produce WCAG-compliant accessible content in the publishing process.

Pricing Structure

Pricing is a major factor in the decision-making process for choosing a suitable digital magazine publishing platform. Each provider will have their own unique pricing model and it is not always clearly outlined, this makes direct comparisons a challenge.

When researching pricing structure, you will need to dig below the surface for the complete picture. Here are some key elements you will want to explore:

  • If the provider has different publishing plans or feature options, make sure you fully understand what's included and not included in the price. Along with how much optional extras are going to cost you.
  • Clarify if you will be billed monthly or yearly, and check if paying yearly in advance will save you money.
  • Understand the type of contract you are entering into, whether you can select a month-to-month contract or are required to make a minimum 12-month commitment.
  • At the core of most publishing platform pricing models is a cost per page published - see if you can drill down and find this price for each platform to get a like-for-like comparison.
  • If the provider's pricing model has monthly allowances like file size, or how many pages you can publish, understand what you will be charged for any overages. You will also want to check if there is a hard stop in place when you reach this limit, or whether you can move past it without realising - not all providers will provide this level of transparency.

By fully assessing pricing for each provider, you can then choose a platform that aligns with your budget and financial considerations.