As I’ve blogged about previously, I took over responsibility for the technical, design and subscription aspects of the Herald and Times Group news sites in January 2013.
At that time my first priority was to improve the speed, reliability and search engine optimisation of the platform where I could see some big improvements were possible. My (small) new team focussed on that for the first half of the year with some impressive results – by August HeraldScotland was announced as the fastest-growing regional news site in the UK.
In the second half of the year we turned our attention to the metered paywall. Through improvements to paywall security, an adjustment of the metered paywall limit and a brand new marketing message my team was able to greatly increase the rate of new subscribers to the site. The rate of increase allowed us to more than double our total subscriber base year-on-year.
Significantly, before the end of 2013 we hit a big milestone, with the number of digital subscribers overtaking the total number of subscribers to the associated print titles, The Herald and Sunday Herald.
Passing that milestone resulted in some nice press coverage: