MEDIA group Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) has clinched five awards recognising the most popular websites among Internet users in Singapore.
An annual ranking of the most visited websites in Singapore last year, based on detailed Internet tracking analysis, was released by research firm Hitwise last week.
The website of SPH's Chinese language daily Lianhe Zaobao - zaobao.com - was named the top website for print news.
The wine and dine channel of SPH's AsiaOne portal picked up an award in the food and beverage category.
And SPH's popular technology portal Hardware Zone scored three awards. They were for computing and Internet hardware, technology news and media, and for forums and social networking. Hardware Zone is a subsidiary of SPH Magazines, which is a subsidiary of SPH.
Other winners included DBS Group Holdings in banking, the City Harvest Church in religion, Soundbuzz in music and streetdirectory in online maps.
Hitwise Asia Pacific general manager Michael Walmsley said the ranking is determined by measuring the volume of Singapore users visiting the Internet sites.
He said this means the winners of the various categories are the 'people's choice'.
Hitwise tracked 10,000 sites visited by 1.5 million Internet users in Singapore. It publishes the results for the top Singapore websites in more than 160 categories as part of its Online Performance Awards Media Guide.
AsiaOne picked up the award for the food and beverage category for the third straight year, but it is not resting on its laurels, said AsiaOne editor Adrian Tay.
Even now, his team was working on overhauling the site to 'provide our readers with a new experience and establish our position as the leading food site not just in Singapore but in the region', he said.
Zaobao.com online editor Zheng Wei said Singaporeans' increasing interest in regional issues and the inexorable rise of China has contributed to Zaobao.com's popularity. The site offered readers 'broader and deeper' coverage of these regional issues when compared with its print product as it is not limited by page sizes.
Hardware Zone chief executive officer (CEO) Jackie Lee said he was 'delighted to be recognised once again for the strenuous efforts we put in'. Hardware Zone has won 17 Hitwise awards over the last six years. Last year, 6.91 million people visited the site, up 40 per cent from the year before.
Another winner was Tian.com.sg, the company behind the Singapore Brides wedding portal and Singapore Motherhood parenting site. Its director Ng Chin Leng attributed the wins to the 'vibrant community of users'.
He said the users who selflessly share tips with other users are a draw. The tips range from which wedding studio shoots better pictures to breastfeeding pointers.
It also helps, he added with a laugh, that his wedding site provides a good stream of visitors to his parenting one as 'many of our brides go on to become mothers!'