Londonist: The Evolution Of A Website

M@
By M@ Last edited 40 months ago
Londonist: The Evolution Of A Website
Londonist launched in October 2004, having previously existed under the name The Big Smoker. Here's a screengrab from the first month, when our only advertising was from sister sites in the US, and our main story was about Graham Norton's dislike for Croydon.
Londonist launched in October 2004, having previously existed under the name The Big Smoker. Here's a screengrab from the first month, when our only advertising was from sister sites in the US, and our main story was about Graham Norton's dislike for Croydon.
A screengrab from 7 July 2005. Rumours were circulating of power outages on the tube. The full truth of what became known as 7/7 had yet to emerge. Note also the copyright-unfriendly use of the Olympic rings in our logo to commemorate the awarding of the 2012 Games to London, the previous day.
A screengrab from 7 July 2005. Rumours were circulating of power outages on the tube. The full truth of what became known as 7/7 had yet to emerge. Note also the copyright-unfriendly use of the Olympic rings in our logo to commemorate the awarding of the 2012 Games to London, the previous day.
2006 carried on with a similar template to 2005, with a few cosmetic changes to the sidebars. The 'Extra Extra' article of news links is still a daily feature on the site in 2014, although we now call it London News Roundup.
2006 carried on with a similar template to 2005, with a few cosmetic changes to the sidebars. The 'Extra Extra' article of news links is still a daily feature on the site in 2014, although we now call it London News Roundup.
2007 brought in a new look with a bolder logo and the first inklings of a menu bar. A rubbish story dominates this day's news.
2007 brought in a new look with a bolder logo and the first inklings of a menu bar. A rubbish story dominates this day's news.
In 2009, the site got all-the-more photo friendly, with the latest Flickr images above our menu.
In 2009, the site got all-the-more photo friendly, with the latest Flickr images above our menu.
All change in 2010, as we became more independent from the Gothamist network and redesigned the site. The new, pared-down black and white site also brought a change of underlying software, when we moved from Movable Type to Wordpress.
All change in 2010, as we became more independent from the Gothamist network and redesigned the site. The new, pared-down black and white site also brought a change of underlying software, when we moved from Movable Type to Wordpress.
On 2011, we built on the existing template to introduce a better 'editor's choice' box and to plug-in social media buttons. A double-decker menu bar was also introduced.
On 2011, we built on the existing template to introduce a better 'editor's choice' box and to plug-in social media buttons. A double-decker menu bar was also introduced.
2012 was, naturally, dominated by the Olympics and Paralympics.
2012 was, naturally, dominated by the Olympics and Paralympics.
In 2013 we discovered colour. A major site redesign made things a little more striking. You'll also note the cheeky cookie message at the bottom.
In 2013 we discovered colour. A major site redesign made things a little more striking. You'll also note the cheeky cookie message at the bottom.

This month, Londonist celebrates its 10th birthday. In a series of articles, we're looking back at how this website and the city it serves have changed over that decade. Today, we've used the TheWayBackMachine to dig out 10 screenshots from the site's history — one for each year between 2004 and 2013. Londonist's layout and editorial tone have changed markedly over that decade, as shown by the gallery images above.

See also

Last Updated 14 October 2014

Carlo Pandian

Compliment Matt for Londonist. It's a unique site with the content I love! it's more insightful and eclectic than TimeOut. I work in SEO and I have found 2-3 things you could do improve to beat TimeOut as well. Carlo

Chris West

I just want to say congratulations yet again. This evening's party was vibrant and joyful, with everyone so proud of what you have achieved together. The team is developing strongly and with skills that needed to be brought in, but noone should forget the long early years of solid graft, commitment, devotion and skills that you and Lindsey put into Londonist, working from home and with precious little money. Look at it now, marvellous!

LondonRemembers

We've been reading and relying on Londonist for longer than 10 years, surely! Looking forward to the next 10. Thanks to Matt and Lindsay and everyone at Londonist.