Andalucia.com 2020 / 2021
The main event of 2020 for Andalucia.com was when the new Drupal 8 version of the website finally went live in May, after a long and complex migration from Drupal 6. The new version offers greater functionality, and a more streamlined content management system and so many exciting areas for expansion. Not forgetting the Forum upgrade as well.
The migration project lasted two years, due to complicated technical issues, inevitable with a site of over 8,000 pages. It was completed during the lockdown – one definite pandemic positive.
In early March, we set up a Coronavirus information page to advise tourists about the latest developments in Andalucia. The situation changed very fast over the next few days.
On 10 March, we received an email from a reader asking if Semana Santa would still go ahead. “Of course it will,” we replied. As far as we knew, the Feria was still planned to go ahead too. We had not heard any talk of cancellations in the press or social media at that point.
By the following Saturday (14 March) we were in full lockdown, and our website traffic had suddenly halved. Both the Feria and Semana Santa were indeed cancelled.
Several months later, we saw a notable rise in traffic when Spain reopened its borders in July; then a week later it dropped again, when the UK introduced the 14-day quarantine requirement for travellers returning from the Spanish mainland and islands.
The Coronavirus information page has proved extremely popular, receiving about 2,000 visitors a day; daily views can peak at over 7k (on 10 December, for example, when changes in restrictions were announced). If we don’t update the stats for a few days, we receive emails from concerned readers, asking if we are ok!
Our Alexa ranking has been maintained during this strange and challenging year, which is highly gratifying since the whole travel sector has been so adversely affected. We are currently in fourth place for destination travel sites, behind ChinaTravelGuide.com, Vegas.com, and Australia.com.
Our Contributing Editor, Fiona Flores Watson, together with our editorial team, continue to add interesting articles on the region.
We have a new guest contributor, Arturo Pino, who is the former director of the Alcazaba of Almeria and Almeria Museum. Arturo is now based in Seville, and his next page for us will be about Los Millares, the important Bronze Age settlement near Almeria.
Be sure to visit our social media channels: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, which provide topical news and cultural stories about Andalucia, as well as stunning imagery of this incredibly photogenic region.
Next year marks a major milestone in the history of the website: our 25th anniversary! The website was founded on 17 April 1996, and was a trailblazer in providing online travel information.
Here at Andalucia.com, we are excited about the year ahead, and have lots of interesting projects in the pipeline that we will be revealing over the next few months.
We would like to send best wishes for a healthy and happy 2021 to all our loyal readers, friends and clients.