Six million visitors: a record month for The Local

Six million people read The Local's sites last month – more than in any month since it was founded in 2004.

Six million visitors: a record month for The Local
The figure of six million unique visitors (6,011,886 to be precise) for January was 13 percent higher than for January 2016. The figures come the month after we completed the rollout of our new design.
It was an exceptionally good month for our original site,, with 1.5 million visitors. The 830,000 visitors to our French site was double the figure from the previous January. The number of readers actually in France (as opposed to reading from elsewhere in the world) was also up 100 percent – and who could be surprised, with the fascinating race for the Elysée throwing up ever more surprises?
Similarly, our German site reached 797,000 readers, and the number of domestic readers was up 47 percent. Our sites in Italy and Spain each reached 454,000 and 453,000 respectively, after a year of steady growth. Our Swiss site reached 282,000 people, a 40 percent increase on January 2016.
So what is everyone reading? 
The terrible avalanche in the Italian Alps was one of the most-read news stories of the month. Another major news item was a horrid story from Sweden of an alleged rape that was, according to witnesses, broadcast live on Facebook.
On a lighter note, some of our most popular articles are those that debunk myths about our countries. Our article explaining why the French aren't rude (it's true – French culture prizes politeness), became a real talking point. 
Europe's reaction to Donald Trump's inauguration also caught people's attention – this expert bit of trolling by Germany's state railways was particularly popular.
On the kookier side, this story about how Madrid authorities are resorting to medieval technology – bows and arrows – to control the rising boar population in the city.
And in Switzerland, our interview with a Dutch woman who had been denied a Swiss passport after she launched a campaign against cowbells was cited by media around the world. What story could be more Swiss?
Indeed, what story could be more Scandinavian than Denmark's decision to appoint a digital ambassador to represent the country to tech giants like Apple, Google and Facebook. In Norway, we looked at why the state and church were divorcing, while in Austria we asked if you have what it takes to be a part-time hermit (yes, that's a real job).
We hope you'll keep reading. And if you have a business to market – why not check out what we offer advertisers? After all, 6 million readers can't be wrong.
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What The Local’s new design means for you

You may have noticed that The Local looks quite different today. Here’s how our new design makes it easier to get around the site.

What The Local’s new design means for you

After several years with the same design we decided last year that it was high time to give the site a makeover. For one thing we wanted it to look nicer, but most importantly the new design is aimed at making it quicker and easier for you to find what you need without hassle.

You will notice, for example, that the site has a new menu bar that will direct you to the most popular categories. The example below is taken from our France edition but you will find variations on the same menu items on all our country sites. 

You won’t be surprised to learn that we are hoping to retire the Covid-19 category as soon as possible. 

On the desktop version of the site, if you hover your mouse over a category title you will find some of the most important related topics. 

If you click on one of the main categories in the menu bar you will find links to what are currently the most popular related topics. 

On the homepage, each article’s main topic will be displayed above the headline so you can quickly click or tap your way to more articles on that subject. 

You will also find more topics at the bottom of every page that will take you to related articles. 

One significant change is the introduction of a feature that will automatically load up a new article for you once you have got to bottom of the page.

Similarly, articles (like this one) that are not affected by the paywall will show an unlocked padlock. 

If you want to search for a particular topic the search tool is prominently displayed at the top left of the desktop and mobile sites. On desktop it’s just under the dropdown menu you can use to switch editions. 

As a members of The Local you will be able to quickly access your account details and update your newsletter preferences using the buttons in the top right. 

If you are not yet a member you can cast your eyes to the top of the site to see offers that are such good value you will wonder what you’re waiting for. Now really is as good a time as any to join. 

READ ALSO: How The Local’s members are helping us get better

We have also worked hard on significantly speeding up the site, which we hope will make your visits to The Local more enjoyable. 

You are sure to notice plenty of other changes as you get familiar with the new design. But one thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to producing independent journalism that leans heavily on dialogue with our readers. 

With this in mind, we would love to hear from you if you have any feedback on the new design or suggestions for improvements. You can drop us a line at [email protected] or, if you are a member, you will as always be able to let us know what you think in the comments below the article. 

Thanks for reading, and we hope you like the new look!