Guardian Unlimited adds 900,000 users after homepage redesign
LONDON - Guardian.co.uk has added around 900,000 new users during May, the month in which it launched its new-look front page, strengthening its position as the most popular UK newspaper website.
According to ABC Electronic figures for the month ending May 31, 16.1m unique users visited Guardian Unlimited websites, compared with 15.2m for April. Visits to the Guardian website fell around May 13, when the new front page of the site was launched, but later in the month the newspaper recorded several days where unique users to the site topped the 1m mark.
A spokesperson for Guardian Unlimited said it was too soon to attribute the rise to the new homepage design. There are plans to roll out the new look across the rest of the site gradually.
"Our approach to developing the site is very much evolutionary. We're phasing it in, we think that that is a very online way of doing things -- it takes users with you and keeps them on board," the spokesperson said.
The Guardian's redesigned site has come under fire from some quarters with staff airing their views on the paper's Guardianista Facebook group.
"Is it just me, or does anyone else feel that the R2 website (the new website) is utter s**** and it was a total waste on money on all those sodding 'consults' and extra people," one Guardian staffer wrote.
Emily Bell, editor-in-chief of Guardian Unlimited, responded: "Hmm, interesting question Chris... I don't think it is shite, no.I would bet my boots the NYT won't have a facebook page with their own employees describing their output as shite... and that makes me slightly proud."
Among other newspaper groups reporting their figures via ABC, The Sun reported 9m unique users for the month, including traffic to thesun.co.uk, newsoftheworld.co.uk and page3.com, among others. This was up by 800,000 on the level of visitors in April. This puts it just ahead of fellow News International title Times Online, as the second most popular newspaper website in the country.
Times Online managed to maintain the 1m visitors it had added in April but could not build on the figure. It reported 8.7m unique visitors during the month ending May 31, compared with 8.9m in April.
The Telegraph also failed to report any significant increases in traffic for May. It reported 7.3m unique users, compared with 7.4m, in April although its certificate takes into account a denial of service attack which may have cut the level of traffic. The site is now fully restored.
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