A weekly newspaper has celebrated the 20th anniversary of its website, believed to be one of the first to be set up in the regional press.
The Hinckley Times site went live on 29 February 1996 featuring news, sport, features, ads and a ‘Who Are We’ section.
The website, then called HTnet, was founded at a time when just 30 million people had access to the internet, and a guide on how to use it featured in the paper as part of the launch.
The site required readers to register for access, so no image of its home page currently exists, but the registration page features in a gallery showing the site’s evolution through the years marking the anniversary.
In 1996, then-editor David Potter told readers: “The World Wide Web is an exciting new publishing medium and, as publishers, we cannot afford to ignore its vast potential.
“Although we have no way of knowing how the Internet will evolve, we have no doubt that it is here to stay and will play an important role in the way information is made available in the future.
“This new development means The Hinckley Times becomes one of the first weekly newspapers in the country to join the growing band of forward-looking national newspapers and magazines who are publishing electronic versions.”
During the site’s lifetime, the Times has come second in the Newspaper Society awards for best newspaper internet site.
Current editor Simon Holden said: “From such small beginnings, we are now getting up to a million hits a month as well as nearly 200,000 unique users.
“Looking back at the first website, it was a very simple affair as you would imagine.”
He added: “Today our website is constantly updated and has a vast array of news, sport and features to read.
“And we also include plenty of pictures and videos as well.”