This article is about the online news resource. For the newspaper, see The Guardian.
Type of site
Online Newspaper
Available in English
Owner Guardian Media Group
Created by The Guardian
Alexa rank 162 (October 2016)[1]
Commercial Yes
Launched 1999 (1999)
Current status Active, formerly known as Guardian Unlimited and, is a British news and media website owned by the Guardian Media Group. It contains nearly all of the content of the newspapers The Guardian and The Observer, as well as a substantial body of web-only work produced by its own staff, including a rolling news service. As of November 2014, it was the second most popular online newspaper in the UK with over 17 million readers per month; with over 21 million monthly readers, Mail Online was the most popular.[2]

The site is made up of a core news site, plus a network of niche websites covering subjects including media, environment and technology, sport, education and the public sector. is notable for its engagement with readers, including long-running talkboards and, more recently, a network of weblogs. Its seven blogs were joined on March 14, 2006, by a new comment site, Comment is free (see below), named after the famous quote by The Guardian editor, C. P. Scott. Articles (like the talkboards until their sudden closure on 25 February 2011) accept comments without pre-moderation, although posts on Comment is Free are moderated after the event. All now require registration for comments.

The site can be viewed free and without registration, though some services such as leaving comments on articles require users to register. In March 2009, launched their API, using the OAuth protocol, and making a wide range of Guardian content available for use by web application developers.[3]

Ownership is part of the Guardian Media Group of newspapers, radio stations, and new media including The Guardian daily newspaper, and The Observer Sunday newspaper. All the aforementioned are owned by the Scott Trust, a charitable foundation which aims to ensure the newspaper's editorial independence in perpetuity, maintaining its financial health to ensure it does not become vulnerable to takeover by for-profit media groups, and the serious compromise of editorial independence that this often brings.

History was launched in 1999, born of the Guardian New Media Lab. Its popularity soared after the September 11 attacks in the United States in 2001, largely thanks to the diverse range of viewpoints published in the Guardian newspaper. The website won the Best Newspaper category in the 2005, 2006 and 2007 Webby Awards, beating the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and Variety.[4]

In 2006 reported its first profitable year, with income coming mostly from recruitment and display advertising.[5] In May 2007, begun an 18-month programme of redesigning and adding features to the entire website, starting with the travel section, then moving through the rest of the site and the front page, finally updating the blogging and community features.[6] On July 30, 2013, the website was moved from to as part of increasing investments to grow globally.[7]


Guardian Sport

The Guardian′s sports section is a popular and well-respected web site, providing news, results, match reports and live commentaries from a host of different sports. has pioneered the online newspaper industry in the United Kingdom with its live coverage of sports, including live text commentaries of 115 Premier League football matches and every FIFA World Cup match. The site also provides some live coverage of the FA Cup, Champions League, Europa League and the occasional La Liga, League Cup and playoff games.

Guardian America

Main article: Guardian America

"Guardian America" was an American version of the British news website Guardian Unlimited. The strategy, intended to win more US-based readers, was abandoned in October 2009. now redirects to the website's United States topic page.

Much of the content on Guardian America was taken from Guardian Unlimited and The Guardian, although some content was produced specifically for Guardian America.

Comment is free

Comment is free (shorted to Cif) is a comment and political opinion site within It contains the comment and opinion pieces from The Guardian and The Observer newspapers, plus contributions from more than 600 other writers. The site is edited by Natalie Hanman;[8] its sub-site devoted to religious affairs, Cif belief, is edited by Andrew Brown. It was launched on March 14, 2006,[9] with Georgina Henry as launch editor. The original technical design and build was by Ben Hammersley, based on the Movable Type blogging platform. Latterly, Cif runs on a bespoke Guardian-made system, using Pluck for the commenting.[10]

The site's name is derived from a sentence in a famous essay written by veteran Guardian editor C. P. Scott: "Comment is free, but facts are sacred."[11]

The site strictly enforces its talk policy by moderating comments after posting.[12] For particularly sensitive topics, comments may be moderated before posting.[13] Moderators may remove posts that violate the "Community Standards" (usually leaving a marker of the removal), but do not edit them.[13][14]

Readership is one of the UK leading online newspapers, becoming the first UK newspaper to attract more than 25 million unique users in a month (October 2008).[15] On 7 July 2005, following the London bombings, 1.3 million unique users visited the site and a total of 7.8 million pages were viewed, at the time a record for[16]

As of August 2010 it was the second-most popular UK newspaper website after Mail Online, getting almost 34.6 million unique users monthly, and 13.7 million unique British users monthly.[17] By May 2011 it reached 2.8m unique visitors per day, and 51.3m per month, behind the MailOnline's 4.4m and 77.3m.[18] As of May 2013, using National Readership Survey and comScore's statistics, it was the most popular UK newspaper website with 8.2m unique visitors per month, ahead of Mail Online with 7.6m unique monthly visitors.[2]


The awards were created in 2008.[19]

In addition, the 2011 award of "Political Journalist of the Year" to The Guardian's Andrew Sparrow "was significant because it was a recognition of the impact of his general election live blog – a reward for innovation as well as reporting."[20]

In 2009 it was nominated for (but did not win) a Webby Award for "Best Copy/Writing".[21] However, the subsite Cif belief was nominated for, and won, the Webby in the best religion and spirituality site category.


  1. " Site Overview". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  2. 1 2 "Daily Mail most popular UK newspaper". Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  3. "The Guardian Launches Content API". idio. 2009-03-10. Retrieved 2009-05-14.
  4. "The Webby Awards".
  5. "Guardian Unlimited in the black for first time". Press Gazette. 2006-03-31. Archived from the original on May 23, 2009. Retrieved 2008-01-30. The Guardian's website,, made a profit of £1m this year
  6. "Guardian Unlimited – the new look explained". Guardian Unlimited news blog. London. 2007-05-10. Retrieved 2008-01-30. 18-month programme to redesign and rebuild every part of GU.
  7. " is our new domain, as of today". Inside The Guardian Blog. 30 July 2013.
  8. Natalie Hanman, Guardian profile page.
  10. Laura Oliver, "Guardian implements Pluck on Comment Is Free platform", 9 June 2008,
  11. "Comment is free, but facts are sacred". the Guardian.
  12. Andrew Brown, "A thank you note on moderation", 24 March 2010.
  13. 1 2, 7 May 2009, Frequently asked questions about community on, accessed 28 July 2011.
  14., 7 May 2009, Community standards and participation guidelines.
  15. Kiss, Jemima (2008-11-20). "ABCe: US election build-up helps UK newspaper sites to record traffic". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2008-11-20. The site recorded 25,976,046 unique users last month, according to the latest officially audited web figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations Electronic.
  16. Plunkett, John (2005-07-08). "Record numbers visit Guardian Unlimited". MediaGuardian. London. Retrieved 2008-01-30. Total unique users: 15,955,312
  17. Jemima Kiss. "ABCes: Mail Online presses ahead as rivals see post-World Cup dip". the Guardian.
  18., 23 June 2011. ABCe: Mail Online nears 80 million monthly users
  19. 1 2 Press Gazette, Roll of Honour at the Wayback Machine (archived August 7, 2011), accessed 27 July 2011,
  20., 6 April 2011, Press Awards 2011: let's not forget the winners.
  21. "The Webby Awards".
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