2015 has been a great year for UKClimbing Ltd. Our websites UKClimbing.com and UKHillwalking.com have had record breaking years for traffic and our publishing arm Rockfax has launched its digital version in the form of the Rockfax App.
UKClimbing.com has published a huge variety of content from short news through to longer articles and this year we have launched out new look Digital Features. UKC has grown hugely in the last few years not only in terms of breadth of content, but also in basic numbers too. Our stats tell us that we have had a 174% increase in users since 2007. We've hit daily unique views of over 40,000 in 2015 and our visits are up 98% since 2007 too.
The Digital Features are longer articles that have all featured in-house UKC videos. Initially we used a third party plug-in to help with displaying the features but we quickly built our own UKC platform to have more control over the system. We have many more planned for 2016, and will also use the platform to display full page photo articles as well as video-based pieces.
Another first for UKC in 2015 was a film submission to the hugely popular Kendal Mountain Festival. A full length cut of the videos seen in the In The Bubble Digital Feature was aired at the festival and was highly regarded by the judges.
UKHillwalking.com has also had a great year with record stats and some well recieved articles from our talented Editor Dan Bailey. The sister site to UKC has produced wide-ranging content from tips and tricks through to in depth interviews on hot topics such as this piece with George Monbiot on Re-wilding.
UKClimbing’s publishing arm Rockfax has had an amazing year. We managed to publish four books during the 12 months which included new editions of established titles Eastern Grit, Clwyd Limestone and Northern Limestone, plus a new area never previously properly documented by anyone in the shape of Dorset Bouldering.
The first of next year’s books, Spain : Mallorca, is already on the presses and due for publication in January. This will be followed by one of our most exciting ever projects - a big guide to the climbing in Chamonix. We hope to have this out for the middle of the year. Other books for next year are South Wales Sport and Finale - both new areas for us - and on top of all this we are also putting together a new edition of Lofoten Rock.
However the most exciting development of 2015 was the final completion of the Rockfax App. This mammoth project finally came to fruition in October and we already have 21,000 routes available via the App. It is currently only available on the Apple iOS platform but we will be launching the Android version in 2016.
UKC / Rockfax Staff Team
Martin McKenna has been a valuable addition developing the technical side of things and is concentrating on the Android version of the Rockfax App for the time being.
Throughout the year we have also had Nick Brown working initially in a small role, but now much more actively involved in several areas of the UKC site. Nick has been key in the video production that has graced our Digital features.
Also worth a mention is Natalie Berry. Although she started at UKC in September 2014, 2015 has been her first full year and has seen her grow in her role as assistant editor for UKC, adding her own style to the news page and articles we have covered.
We now have six full-time staff and three more part-time staff in addition to two full-time Rockfax authors plus a number of other authors.