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Daily Mail was ‘late online’ admits chief exec, as new site moves out of beta

May 20th, 2008Posted by in Newspapers

A redesigned Daily Mail website – rebranded as Mail Online – is to be officially launched after a period of beta testing.

The old site will be shut down over the next couple of days as the new design is brought in, an announcement on the site said yesterday.

The revamp introduces a navigation bar with drop down previews of section headlines, a central picture gallery and a wider page format.

A bookmarking function to allow users to save stories on a personalised page is another new feature, while the right hand column of the homepage has been given over to articles from the newspaper’s popular Femail section.

Speaking to the House of Lords communications committee today, Charles Sinclair, chief executive of the Daily Mail and General Trust, said the paper had been ‘quite late online’.

“With one or two honorable exceptions the newspapers around the world were not making a good job of putting newspapers online,” he said.

“So the Mail has come to this rather late – in the last 18 months, but having decided what to do, it is now doing it rather well.”

The narrowing gap between audiences for the Mail website and Guardian.co.uk showed the success of its online strategy despite coming to the web relatively recently, Sinclair said.

The most recent figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations Electronic (ABCe) put the Mail website at 17,972,153 unique users to the Guardian’s 18,703,811.

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