Commercial? Yes
Type of site Online Newspaper
Available language(s) English
Owner Guardian Media Group
Created by The Guardian
Launched 1999 (1999)
Alexa rank decrease 163 (November 2011)[1]
Current status Active, formerly known as Guardian Unlimited, is a British website owned by the Guardian Media Group. Georgina Henry is the editor.[2] 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 May 2011 it was the second-most popular UK newspaper website after MailOnline (, with 2.8m unique visitors per day, and 51.3m per month, behind the MailOnline's 4.4m and 77.3m.[3]

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 25th 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 for 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.[4]


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.[citation needed] 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.[5]

In 2006 reported its first profitable year, with income coming mostly from recruitment and display advertising.[6]

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.[7]


Guardian Sport

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 Barclays 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

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

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

Comment is free

Comment is free, often abbreviated as 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 subsite 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".

The site strictly enforces its talk policy by moderating comments after posting.[11] For particularly sensitive topics, comments may be moderated before posting.[12] Moderators may remove posts that violate the "Community Standards" (usually leaving a marker of the removal), but do not edit them.[12][13]

Readership is one of the world's leading online newspapers, becoming the first UK newspaper to attract more than 25 million unique users in a month (October 2008).[14] 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[15]

As of August 2010 it was the second-most popular UK newspaper website after MailOnline (, getting almost 34.6 million unique users monthly, and 13.7 million unique British users monthly.[16] 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.[3]


The awards were created in 2008.[17]

In addition, the 2011 award of "Political Journalist of the Year" to The Guardians 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."[18]

In 2009 it was nominated for (but did not win) a Webby Award for "Best Copy/Writing".[19] However, the subsite Cif belief was nominated for, and won, the Webby in the best religion and spirituality site category.


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2011-11-02. 
  2. ^ Josh Halliday "Georgina Henry named head of",, 25 July 2011
  3. ^ a b, 23 June 2011, ABCe: Mail Online nears 80 million monthly users
  4. ^ "The Guardian Launches Content API". idio. 2009-03-10. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  5. ^ 13th Annual Webby Awards Nominees & Winners
  6. ^ "Guardian Unlimited in the black for first time". Press Gazette. 2006-03-31. Retrieved 2008-01-30. "The Guardian's website,, made a profit of £1m this year" 
  7. ^ "Guardian Unlimited - the new look explained". news blog (London). 2007-05-10. Retrieved 2008-01-30. "…an 18-month programme to redesign and rebuild every part of GU." 
  8. ^ Natalie Hanman, Guardian profile opage
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Andrew Brown, A thank you note on moderation, 24 March 2010
  12. ^ a b, 7 May 2009, Frequently asked questions about community on, accessed 28 July 2011
  13. ^, 7 May 2009, Community standards and participation guidelines
  14. ^ 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." 
  15. ^ Plunkett, John (2005-07-08). "Record numbers visit Guardian Unlimited". MediaGuardian (London).,,1524130,00.html. Retrieved 2008-01-30. "Total unique users: 15,955,312" 
  16. ^ Mail Online presses ahead as rivals see post-World Cup dip
  17. ^ a b Press Gazette, Roll of Honour, accessed 27 July 2011
  18. ^, 6 April 2011, Press Awards 2011: let's not forget the winners
  19. ^ 13th Annual Webby Awards Nominees & Winners

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Guardian — Guard i*an (g[aum]rd [i^]*an or g[aum]rd yan; 106), a. Performing, or appropriate to, the office of a protector; as, a guardian care. [1913 Webster] {Feast of Guardian Angels} (R. C. Ch.) a church festival instituted by Pope Paul V., and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Guardian — Guard i*an, n. [OF. guardain, gardien, F. gardien, LL. guardianus. See {Guard}, v. t., and cf. {Wasden}.] 1. One who guards, preserves, or secures; one to whom any person or thing is committed for protection, security, or preservation from… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • guardian — early 14c., garden; early 15c., gardein, from Anglo Fr. gardein (late 13c.), from O.Fr. gardien keeper, custodian, earlier guarden, from Frankish *warding (see GUARD (Cf. guard) (n.)). Guardian angel is from 1630s …   Etymology dictionary

  • guardián — guardián, na adjetivo,sustantivo masculino y femenino 1. Persona o animal que guarda o cuida una cosa: perro guardián. sustantivo masculino 1. Superior de un convento franciscano …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

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  • Guardiān — (mittellat. guardianus, v. ital. guardiáno, »Wächter, Hüter«), heißt bei den Franziskanern und Kapuzinern der Pater Superior oder Vorgesetzte, in England derjenige, der während einer geistlichen Vakanz die geistliche Jurisdiktion in einer Diözese …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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