LymeOnline website celebrates third anniversary

lyme online website launch
Editor Francesca Evans pictured launching the LymeOnline website in January 2018

THE LymeOnline website is celebrating its anniversary having been launched three years ago today.

The community website was launched on January 26 2018 by editor Francesca Evans, who continues to update and manage it on a daily basis along with her father and veteran local journalist, Phillip Evans MBE.

Together they have grown LymeOnline’s following over the past three years, and the website is now the first choice for the most extensive coverage of the Lyme Regis, Uplyme and Charmouth area, visited by an average of 900-1,000 users a day.

A month after the website went live, LymeOnline expanded its brand with the launch of a free, fortnightly, printed newspaper.

Both the website and newspaper have become known in particular for their unrivalled coverage of Lyme Regis’ busy calendar of events and festivals, as well as in-depth reporting on local council matters and must-read opinion columns.

Then 2020 arrived and life in Lyme Regis changed beyond recognition – businesses closed, events were cancelled, council meetings moved to Zoom and everyone’s focus was on getting through the coronavirus pandemic safely.

LymeOnline switched to a digital-only format, putting its printed paper on hiatus during the national lockdowns and focussing solely on the website.

A ‘Coronavirus: Live Updates’ section was launched to keep residents up to date on the unfolding COVID-19 situation, where they could find help, support and how the virus was affecting the local community.

The pandemic saw more people than ever turn to LymeOnline for their news and, as restrictions were eased in May 2020, LymeOnline championed local businesses that were finally able to reopen doors, with website visitor numbers soaring over 33,000 a month.

In the same month, the LymeOnline website was commended in the Community Website of the Year category for the newsawards 2020.

Editor Francesca Evans, who was also nominated for Young Achiever of the Year at the newsawards, said: “Like all local businesses, 2020 was a hugely challenging year for LymeOnline but there were also lots of achievements to celebrate and be proud of.

“Our website user numbers continued to grow with some of our busiest days, weeks and months on record. And we were delighted to be commended for the Community Website of the Year award in May.

“Our advertising revenue and sponsorship has dropped significantly over the past year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but we have made it through with the help and support of our readers, along with grants from the Google News Initiative and Dorset Council.

“The Lyme Regis community has encouraged us to continue through this challenging period – a time when we know reliable, local news is needed more than ever – and that’s what we intend to continue providing.

“As we celebrate our third anniversary, we are making a few improvements and changes to our website, and refreshing our sponsorship and advertising packages, so look out for more details on this soon.

“We would also like to reassure readers that we are planning to relaunch our popular printed newspaper when current lockdown restrictions are eased and businesses can reopen. In the meantime, you can find out how to get the most out of all the features of the LymeOnline website below.”

Get the most out of the LymeOnline website

Did you know, our website includes a digital version of the LymeOnline newspaper and you can flick through the pages on screen?

We also upload weekly video news bulletins to bring you up to speed on the latest top stories, and present weekly news bulletins on community radio station Lyme Bay Radio – you can tune in every Friday at 5pm.

As well as comprehensive news and sports coverage, LymeOnline has a varied Blogs section with comment and opinion pieces on everything from politics to food, local history to environmental issues.

If you’re looking for something specific, you can use the search bar which can be found at the top of each page.

We also have a handy information section for visitors, as well as a What’s On page for local events (when they can take place again!).

And if you’re searching for a local business, take a look at our comprehensive Local Directory, or our list of local organisations you can get involved with.

We also offer a weekly newsletter with the latest stories sent straight to your email inbox. You can sign up by filling in your details in the ‘Join Our Mailing List’ section below or on our website homepage, or email and ask to be added to the mailing list.

We promise we won’t bother you with annoying pop-up adverts, surveys, paywalls or irrelevant ‘click bait’. All of our content is completely free to read and relevant to the Lyme Regis community.

If you require assistance or are unsure how to find something on the LymeOnline website, give Francesca a call on 07810 221 420.

Facts and figures on our third anniversary

Since launching in January 2018, the LymeOnline website has welcomed a total of more than 337,000 users.

Most of our readers are in the UK (West Dorset to be precise!) but we also have regular readers from all over the world, including America, right across Europe, and as far afield as Australia and New Zealand.

Lots of you click on our website via social media, where we have 3,204 followers on Facebook, 1,308 followers on Twitter and 1,795 on Instagram. Make sure you’re following us to stay up to date with the latest local news!

Covering Lyme Regis definitely keeps us busy… since January 2018, more than 4,200 articles have appeared on the LymeOnline website.

Our most read-story of the past three years was about stars arriving in town ahead of the filming of ‘Ammonite’ in March 2019 – read a total of 11,506 times!

Our busiest month to date was August 2020 when 37,964 people visited the LymeOnline website during what was a very busy summer for Lyme, despite being amid a global pandemic.

How you can help LymeOnline over the next three years (and beyond!)

LymeOnline is a non-profit, independent, family-run venture that was launched specifically to benefit the community of Lyme Regis.

We love what we do, and we hope you love it too! We want to ensure that LymeOnline can continue providing comprehensive local news coverage you can trust into the future.

We rely solely on advertising revenue and sponsorship to cover our costs, and this has been significantly reduced during the coronavirus pandemic.

You can find details on our competitive advertising opportunities by clicking here.

To help ensure we survive, you can also make a secure donation to LymeOnline via PayPal. Simply click the yellow ‘Donate’ button on our website homepage and fill in your details, or if you would rather make a donation in another way, get in touch by calling 07810 221 420.

You can also support us by sharing your local stories with us, and by following us on social media and sharing our posts to help spread the word!

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