Most popular websites for news in the UK: Monthly top 50 listing

Top 50 UK news sites in August 2021: Tab and Daily Mash owner's Entertainment Daily sees biggest year-on-year growth

Celebrity and showbiz brand Entertainment Daily was the fastest-growing news website in the UK in August with year-on-year visits up 120% from 1.9 million to 4.1 million. 

It was followed by last month’s fastest-growing website, the Daily Mail and General Trust-owned inews.co.uk which saw visits up 66% to 10.1 million.

The third fastest-growing was aljazeera.com which was up 29% to 4.6 million visits according to Press Gazette’s exclusive ranking of the country’s most popular news websites.

As in previous months, visits to several local and regional news sites were also significantly higher year-on-year. Reach-owned MyLondon was the fourth fastest-growing site in August with visits up 27% from 6.4 million to 8.2 million, while another Reach property WalesOnline was sixth (16.4 million visits – up 19%).

Edp24.co.uk, examinerlive.co.uk, thenorthernecho.co.uk, leicestermercury.co.uk and kentonline.co.uk were other local titles among the top 15 sites for year-on-year growth in August. 

At the other end of the table, buzzfeed.com saw the biggest year-on-year fall with visits down 30% to 6.1 million. It was followed by nytimes.com to which visits were down 28% to 8.2 million. 

Growing fastest month-on-month was the website of Qatari international broadcaster Al Jazeera – visits to aljazeera.com were 28% higher than in July (3.5 million visits that month). Completing the top five for monthly gains were four Reach sites: dailyrecord.co.uk (14.6 million visits – up 8%), Leicestershire Live (6.4 million – up 7%), dailystar.co.uk (25.7 million – up 7%) and Yorkshire Live (7.6 million visits – up 2%). 

When it comes to the leading sites for volume of visits, the BBC’s digital properties, bbc.com and bbc.co.uk, are clear leaders again. The two sites together racked up 663.6 million visits in August. Second-placed dailymail.co.uk counted 145.5 million visits during the month while third-placed theguardian.com had 117.7 million visits. Similarweb data for the BBC however includes visits to both the BBC’s main website as well as BBC News.

As in previous months, rounding out the top five for number of visits are express.co.uk and thesun.co.uk.

Of the current top 50 sites, 20 had year-on-year traffic increases, while 30 saw a decline month-on-month. Just 11 sites saw more visits in August compared to July.

Similarweb generates its traffic data by applying machine learning and modelling to statistically representative datasets that the company collects. Datasets are based on direct measurement (i.e. websites and apps that choose to share first-party analytics with SimilarWeb); contributory networks that aggregate device data; partnerships and public data extraction from websites and apps.

Visit data is based on desktop and mobile web visits. A visit (session) means that a visitor has accessed one or more pages in a website. Subsequent page views are included in the same visit until the user is inactive for more than 30 minutes.

Press Gazette uses Similarweb data for its digital traffic analysis stories so we can compare figures across publishers, who differ in how they measure their own audience data.

July 2021

Daily Mail and General Trust website inews.co.uk was the fastest growing UK news website in July with year-on-year visits up 87% from 7.2 million to 13.5 million, according to data from Similarweb.

As in June, local and regional news sites also made strong showings when it came to year-on-year growth in audience.

Reach-owned Wales Online was the second-fastest growing site in July with visits up 61% from 12.2 million to 19.5 million, while alternative video news platform, Bitchute was the next fastest growing site (3.9 million visits - up 55%), according to data from web analytics firm Similarweb.

Eight local and regional titles made the top 15 fastest growing sites. Reach-owned mylondon.news was the sixth fastest growing site with year-on-year visits up 49% from 5.7 million to 8.5 million. It was followed by Examiner Live, one of several "Live" brands launched by Reach in recent years, with year-on-year visits up 39% from 5.4 million to 7.4 million.

The site got a boost after it was rolled into the company's broader Yorkshire Live brand. Other local offerings in the top 15 included kentonline.co.uk and Reach brands liverpoolecho.co.uk and manchestereveningnews.co.uk.

Among the sites with the biggest year-on-year falls in traffic were several US newsbrands. Visits to the CNN”s sites were down 37% to 15.9 million in July, while visits to nytimes.com were down 26% to 8.4 million.

When it comes to the monthly growth in visits, inews.co.uk was again the leading site with visits up 48% on June 2021’s figure of 9.1 million. Also in the top five was kentonline.com (6.5 million - up 36%), manchestereveningnews.co.uk (30.9 million - up 29%), hellomagazine.com (26.4 million - up 30%) and thescotsman.com (6.3 million - up 2%).

Leading the list for volume of visits were the BBC’s digital properties, bbc.com and bbc.co.uk - clear leaders. The two sites together racked up 747.3 million visits in July. Second-placed dailymail.co.uk counted 156.8 million visits during the month - a little over a fifth of the BBC’s figures. Similarweb data for the BBC, includes visits to both the BBC’s main website as well as BBC News.

As in previous months, rounding out the top five for number of visits are theguardian.com, express.co.uk and thesun.co.uk.

Taken as a whole, the 50 leading news sites in July had a combined 1.8 billion visits, which is in line with the total in recent months. Year-on-year traffic is, however, slightly up - by six per cent. Of the current top 50 sites, most (33) had year-on-year traffic increases, while 17 saw a decline. The picture month-on-month is similar: 38 sites saw a gain in visits compared to June, while 12 had less visits in July.

June 2021

Local and regional news platforms dominated the list of sites that saw the biggest year-on-year growth in audience in the UK last month.

The website of Scottish free-to-air broadcaster STV was the fastest-growing site between June 2020 and June 2021, according to data from web analytics company Similarweb, which combines traffic to both news.stv.tv and stv.tv.

11 other local and regional titles made the top 15, including seven from the UK’s biggest regional publisher Reach.

Examiner Live, which was rolled into Yorkshire Live and is one of several “Live” brands launched by Reach in recent years, was the second fastest growing site, with year-on-year visits up 64% from 4.6m to 7.5m.

It was followed in third place by celebrity and entertainment-focused news site entertainmentdaily.com, which saw visits increase by 63% from 2.9m to 4.7m.

Other Reach sites in the top 15 included national titles walesonline.co.uk and dailyrecord.com, as well as cornwalllive.com, birminghammail.co.uk, liverpoolecho.co.uk and mylondon.news. Two Newsquest sites (lancashiretelegraph.co.uk and telegraphandargus.com) also made the leading 15 sites for growth.

Among the sites with the biggest year-on-year falls in traffic were several US newsbrands that had benefitted from a particularly buoyant 2020 for traffic due to the US election and the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Visits to the site of The New York Times were down 33% to 8.5m, while visits to cnn.com and edition.cnn.com were down 43% to 15.5m.

When it comes to monthly growth in visits, stv.com was again the leading site with visits up 167% on May’s figure of 2m. Also in the top five was cornwalllive.com (5.5m, up 16%), devonlive.com (5.2m, up 7%), thesun.co.uk (69.5m, up 7%) and walesonline.co.uk (18.2m, up 7%).

As in previous months, the BBC’s sites were the outright leaders for news in the UK. BBC.co.uk and BBC.com together counted 758m visits in June.  Second-placed dailymail.co.uk counted 148.6m visits during the month - five times less than the BBC.

Also in the top five when it comes to number of visits are the sites of three other established news brands: theguardian.com, express.co.uk and thesun.co.uk.

Combined visits to the current top 50 sites saw very little change on May’s list. The leading 50 sites in June had a combined 1.8bn visits - the same as in May. Overall, year-on-year traffic saw a slight boost with combined visits up 5% compared with June 2020. Of the current top 50 sites, 29 had year-on-year traffic increases, while 12 saw month-on-month gains.

April 2021

Local news sites were among those that saw the biggest year-on-year growth in audience in the UK in April.

Hellomagazine.com was the single fastest growing site according to data from Similarweb, but four Reach titles were among the ten sites that saw the most growth in audience between April 2020 and April 2021.

Leicester Live, one of several digital newsbrands launched by Reach in recent years, was the second fastest growing site, with year-on-year visits up 70% from 3.2m to 5.4m. It was followed in third place by another Reach brand, Birmingham Live, which saw visits increase 67% from 8.4m to 14.1m. Examiner Live, which got a boost after it was rolled into the company's broader Yorkshire Live brand, came in sixth with visits up 52% to 5.7m. Also in the top ten was Reach national title the Daily Star.

Among the sites with the biggest year-on-year falls in traffic were several national newsbrands. The Financial Times saw visits fall 32% to 11.2m, while the audience to metro.co.uk was down 37% to 22.4m.

When it comes to monthly growth in visits, local news sites again led the way. Visits to the website of Reach title the Liverpool Echo were up 10% on last month at 15.8m, while the 24.4m visits to the website of the Manchester Evening News, the UK’s most popular online local news brand, represented an 8% increase on March. Russian state-funded English news site RT.com also made the top five for growth with its 4.8m visits in April – an increase of 5% on last month.

When it comes to the leading sites for volume of visits, the BBC’s digital properties, BBC.com and BBC.co.uk are clear leaders. The two sites together racked up 689m visits in April – almost five times more than second-placed dailymail.co.uk, which counted 144m visits during the month.

Rounding out the top five when it comes to number of visits were the sites of three other established news brands: theguardian.com, express.co.uk and thesun.co.uk.

Combined visits to the current top 50 sites were slightly down compared with March. The leading 50 sites racked up 1.7bn visits between them in April – 6% lower than the previous month. Overall, year-on-year traffic saw a slight boost with combined visits up 6% compared with April 2020. Of the current top 50 sites, 27 had year-on-year traffic increases, while just six saw month-on-month gains.

Note: Press Gazette will be updating this page on a monthly basis. See our previous coverage here:

Biggest news websites in the world archive data

SIGN UP HERE FOR

FUTURE OF MEDIA

Press Gazette's must-read weekly newsletter featuring interviews, data, insight and investigations.