The Sunday papers and URLs

Martin Belam by Martin Belam, 17 July 2011

The other week I wondered why newspapers still need a distinct name on a Sunday in a digital age. I thought I’d have a look at how the existing titles handle their URL and domain name strategy.

Sunday papers on sale in Walthamstow

Sunday newspapers, missing the defunct News Of The World, and (I presume) the sold out Observer.

People

Site hosted at people.co.uk. Individual stories served from people.co.uk. No equivalent daily. Online it is awkwardly up against celebrity site People.com covering much of the same territory

Sunday Mirror

Front page with Sunday Mirror masthead at mirror.co.uk/sunday-mirror/. Stories served from mirror.co.uk. Home link on the Sunday Mirror front goes to main mirror.co.uk front page. Sunday stories included on main front. There is no link back to the Sunday edition in the main site navigation.

Mail on Sunday

Front page with Sunday masthead at dailymail.co.uk/mailonsunday/index.html. Stories served from dailymail.co.uk. Story selection on the “Sunday” front follows news events during the day i.e. arrest of Rebekah Brooks was leading this afternoon, even though Mail on Sunday lead had been “Clare’s law”. Story selection on the “Daily” front includes stories from the Sunday edition. There is no link to the Sunday edition in the main site navigation.

Daily Star on Sunday

Users reaching the homepage are redirected to dailystar.co.uk/sunday/ with a Sunday masthead. Stories are served on the main dailystar.co.uk address, but the Sunday masthead persists across the site.

Sunday Express

Front page served at express.co.uk/sunday. This has the standard site masthead, but an additional banner “Sunday Express in association with S Magazine” above the main content. Stories are updated during the day. A Sunday Express link features in the site’s main left-hand navigation.

Sunday Telegraph

Appears to make no concessions to Sunday, including not having sundaytelegraph.co.uk or thesundaytelegraph.co.uk URLs registered as redirects.

Sunday Times

thesundaytimes.co.uk has a standalone site. This is updated during the day - leading to the arrest of Rebekah Brooks being simultaneously covered by Simon Alford for the Sunday title and by Sadie Gray and Anushka Asthana for the daily Times.

The Observer

The Observer front page online is at observer.guardian.co.uk. It does not feature updating news during the day - although today does feature David Mitchell pondering “How can the Observer attract former News of the World readers?”. Stories are published on www.guardian.co.uk, not observer.guardian.co.uk. There is a link to the Observer from the main guardian.co.uk front page navigation.

Sunday Sport

I couldn’t be bothered ending up with these URLs and search terms in my browser history.

3 Comments

Great post, this made me laugh. You're probably the first person I've read on the Web that addresses newspapers like you do. Would it be weird if there was a physical newspaper that's name was a URL?

Interesting post, although isn't the UK one of the only countries which has sunday papers? In my own country (the Netherlands) we don't have sunday papers. Might be a heritage from old christian times.

I can only speak for TMG, but a decision was taken a while ago not to maintain a great list of URLs on the offchance that someone might want to use them. For that reason we no longer own thesundaytelegraph.co.uk. We still have sundaytelegraph.co.uk, but I'm not sure if it will be renewed. There's too much admin and expense in keeping things that no one wants, so when there was a round of cuts a while ago, the URLs found themselves on the block. At the time we owned houseofpain.com, although god only knows why.

If the Sunday Telegraph suddenly required a web presence of its own away from the master address of telegraph.co.uk we'd look into getting something appropriate, but I can't really see that happening. As you say, it's a 24-hour always-on thing these days.

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