Orleans Hub set new record for traffic in 2020, passing 10 million pageviews for first time

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 January 2021 at 9:33 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers: These Kendall graduates walk by a large 2020 sign created for the commencement ceremony on June 26, 2020, which was moved from the auditorium to outdoors at the Kendall Firemen’s grounds. Families watched from cars and trucks due to a cap on crowds at 150 for graduation ceremonies because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Each vehicle counted as one person if the event was a drive-in. Kendall and others in the community found ways to adapt during a year of unprecedented challenges.

Orleans Hub smashed its record for traffic in 2020 with nearly 11 million pageviews and by averaging nearly 10,000 unique visitors each day for the year.

The 10,932,597 pageviews last year was up by 15 percent from the 9,556,253 in 2019, which was the previous high for the Hub.

We also averaged 9,956 unique visitors, which was up 17 percent from the previous record of 8,529 in 2019.

Sean Kennedy wore these cool 2020 glasses for Holley’s commencement on June 27.

We saw a noticeable spike in mid-March with Covid-19 impact, when schools and non-essential businesses were closed. We covered the impact each day throughout the year.

We get some pushback – too much on Covid, some people tell us. But we are committed to getting out the information to the community. Based on the reader traffic, we know most people want updates in this long public health emergency.

We tried to cover lots of other community news as well this year. We appreciate the readers checking the site so often, and for advertisers choosing us to help promote their businesses.

Here is the monthly traffic report for 2020:

  • January: 835,154 pageviews (27,838 daily average)
  • February: 819,021 (27,301 daily average)
  • March: 1,064,215 (35,474 daily average)
  • April: 1,034,461 (34,482 daily average)
  • May: 936,049 (31,202 daily average)
  • June: 843,672 (28,122 daily average)
  • July: 841,576 (28,053 daily average)
  • August: 861,688 (28,723 daily average)
  • September: 812,577 (27,086 daily average)
  • October: 923,199 (30,773 daily average)
  • November: 931,530 (31,051 daily average)
  • December: 1,029,455 (34,315 daily average)

Orleans Hub went live almost eight years ago. After 2019, when we had a 1 million pageview jump, I didn’t think we could grow much more. I thought even back then it would take a lot of bad news to push us past 10 million.

Well, 2020 delivered with near-constant bad news. The public health crisis is 10 months and counting. We tried to show a resilient community in 2020, highlighting ways to live, work and celebrate safely while protecting others.

The five public schools, for example, all found new ways to hold their high school graduation ceremonies. They couldn’t do large indoor or outdoor gathering like before. They stayed within the guidelines – no more than 150 people – and still gave graduates a fitting sendoff.

Businesses found new ones to serve customers, through curbside sales, deliveries or on-line. Major projects moved along including the redevelopment of the former Holley High School and the Bent’s Opera House in Medina.

Most parades and festivals were cancelled but community groups weren’t shut out with all their events. In Medina, the annual Parade of Lights was a “reverse parade” with people driving by stationary floats and decorated fire trucks. Service clubs and non-profits served chicken barbecue dinners – take-out only.

After the spring high school sports season was wiped out, athletes returned in the fall, wearing masks while playing soccer and golf, even while running long distance in cross country.

Even Santa got creative. With his in-person visits discouraged by the health Department, Santa met with children and their families through Zoom video conferencing. He made the rounds standing from the back of a pickup truck and waving to kids.

The show went on.

Here are the annual page views and average daily unique visitors annually since the Orleans Hub started in 2013:

  • 2013: 1,697,887 – average daily unique visitors: 2,100 (went live April 1)
  • 2014: 5,267,498 – average daily unique visitors: 4,700
  • 2015: 7,811,345 – average daily unique visitors: 6,739
  • 2016: 8,334,946 – average daily unique visitors: 7,112
  • 2017: 8,553,605 – average daily unique visitors: 7,884
  • 2018: 8,467,818 – average daily unique visitors: 7,463
  • 2019: 9,556,253 – average daily unique visitors: 8,529
  • 2020: 10,932,597 – average daily unique visitors: 9,956

Santa couldn’t do in-person visits like usual in 2020 so he found other ways to spread holiday cheer, including riding from the back of a pickup truck in Albion on Dec. 19.