This year, we are proud to be celebrating the 20th anniversary of Richmond Online. The Richmond community website has been successful in promoting the town, local business & community organisations, and has firmly placed Richmond, North Yorkshire on the map.
Over the last 20 years Richmond Online has led the way in developing a local self-sustaining community website, the success of which can be measured by an almost permanent top-3 placement on Google.
This long-lived success has been achieved through a partnership of commercial and community interests, together with unwavering commitment and passion from local web designer Andrew Russell of Moonburst.
Richmond's fabulous local businesses continue to play a major part in the success of Richmond Online, without which it would not exist as one of the Country's leading self-sustaining and independent local websites.
Richmond Online is an amazingly useful tool for residents and visitors alike, our town has had many years of positive and enduring rewards from this fabulous website. Here's to the next 20, and thank you Mr Russell and Moonburst... Cllr. Stuart Parsons
The website has changed dramatically over the years, continually being updated with new content and features and has kept pace with the rapidly changing nature of information technology.
Some of the permanent and successful sections on the website include:
A comprehensive information portal for visitors and local people. Extensive information, compiled over the years, about the town of Richmond and what it has to offer the visitor and local community - e.g. history, trails & walks, attractions and facilities.
A public space where people and organisations can post local events and notices about what is happening in or near to Richmond.
An area where people and organisations can send in local news stories.
An online directory where local businesses can advertise their accommodation or services for an annual fee. The Richmond Online Accommodation database is used by the Richmond Information Centre when dealing with accommodation enquiries by prospective visitors to Richmond.
Advertising revenue from local businesses is the life-blood of Richmond Online, being the main source of income.
A section on ROL where community groups and organisations can have a free web page, administered and edited by themselves. A popular resource made possible by a partnership between The Armed Forces Community Grant Covenant Scheme, Rotary Club of Richmond, Richmond OnLine and Moonburst
Creation of pages & banners for local events - e.g. Richmond Town Ticket, Love Being Local and the Georgian Festival.
Organisations can benefit from the popularity of Richmond Online and its high traffic volume by having pages within the website. Usually FREE or at a subsidised price.
With thousands of followers on social media, Richmond Online is using Twitter and Facebook to augment publicity for community and business events.
Though no longer updated, these pages are full of information and cover some interesting chapters in the recent history of Richmond.
The Richmond Online project was created in 1999 by Andrew Russell after the demise of an earlier project by the Richmond Partnership.
Realising that use of the Internet was expanding at an extremely rapid pace, Andrew was keen to ensure that Richmond embrace the new information technology and reap the benefits it generated.
Andrew built a Richmond website and suggested that a group be formed to oversee the project. The group was made up of members from The Town Council, the Richmond Business & Tourism Association and the Richmond Partnership (soon to be renamed the Richmond Swale Valley Community Initiative). Andrew's hope was that this new partnership could promote the Town to the world and take advantage of its obvious attractions as a premier tourist destination.
Using an annual grant from the Richmond Town Council, and donations from the RBTA and RSVCI, The Richmond Online group was successful in developing the site into a one-stop information hub for local information for visitors and locals alike.
Following the disbandment of the Richmond Online group a few years later, the website was handed back to Moonburst where it has thrived as a self-sufficient operation and a vital resource for the town. In continuing with the website, Andrew has been very keen to keep to his original 3 main principles:
Richmond Online will continue to tell the story of Richmond for as long as it remains a widely used, useful and relevant resource.