Letter from the CEO

The year 2020 was a very strange year for us, as it was for pretty much everyone else on earth. It was a bit of a rollercoaster ride: Initially, things were going really well and then the pandemic hit. Our team has always worked remotely from home, so we were not really impacted by the lockdowns. With our truly global team it was interesting to compare how each of the countries we live in reacted differently. If there was one good thing about 2020, it's that businesses all around the globe figured out that remote working is entirely possible in most industries!

In the education sector, online learning suddenly became "a thing" and we did our best to help teachers and students through this transition by providing them with materials that were designed for both classrom and remote learning environments.

There were things we weren't prepared for, though: In March we were shocked to see advertising revenue plummet to almost half, and it took until Black Friday to fully recover. However, with most of our readers being at home, we saw a significant increase in membership sign-ups that continued all the way to the end of the year. With the generous financial support of our members and donors, we managed to overcome the advertising slump. Thank you so much!

In the end, it turned out that 2020 was the best year in the history of our non-profit organization. We saw the highest number of visitors to our site ever, likely boosted by the fact that online resources are more in demand with remote learning, and by our increased efforts to speed up the site. In terms of revenue, we also had a bumper year, due to many improvements we made to the advertising setup and the support of our members. This means that we are expanding our core team of employed staff in 2021 with the goal of producing more free content. Speaking of which, we've produced more content than ever in 2020!

So far, we've had an excellent start to 2021 and we hope that we'll achieve even more in the coming years, with an expanded team of employees.

Keep reading below for more details...

Kind regards,

Jan van der Crabben, CEO


29.1 Million Readers

We had over 29 million readers from all over the world who read over 60 million pages on our website. This is by far our record in our 11-year history and we're extremely proud to have helped so many people learn about history. If each of them learned only a little bit more about our past, we've made a good step towards making the world a better place!


We are aware of 5,283 schools, universities and libraries who used our website in 2020. That's 32% more than last year! Our education department completed three teaching bundles on Rome, Greece and Egypt, containing numerous lesson plans. Our teaching materials have surpassed 47,000 downloads.

2,818 Articles

Our authors and editors published 400 new articles and definitions on the website, our biggest year-on-year increase ever, bringing the total to 2,818. Additionally, we have published several new collections, which group related content together. One of these, The 12 Olympian Gods, has become the most-read piece of content on the site.

1 Million Followers

Our social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr grew to an impressive 1 million followers.

Our Youtube Channel, which represented one of our focus areas for 2020, surpassed 10,000 followers and continues to grow rapidly.


Supporting Teachers

This was the first year in which we started publishing teaching materials in earnest. Our education team created and published complete teaching bundles on Rome, Greece and Egypt. This resulted in the publication of no fewer than 40 packs of teaching materials, which are entirely free to download. Each pack contains multiple lesson plans, activities, worksheets and of course answers. In essence, everything a teacher needs to hit the ground running! Additionally, we've enabled Quizzes on our website, allowing teachers to have their students test their knowledge.


At the very end of 2019, we completed development of the translation feature. In 2020, we started to publish translated articles into many different languages. With the help of our translation editor Babeth, we now have 727 translated articles published, spanning 21 languages! Our top languages on the website in terms of the number of translations are:

  • Spanish
  • French
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Malay
Throughout the year 2020 we saw traffic 4200% growth (from January to December) in the number of readers of non-English content on our website! A huge thanks goes out to the numerous volunteer translators who've made this possible!


In 2020 we expanded our audio offering. Not only do we have more articles read by humans, we now offer the possibility to have every single article read out, by an AI reader (or a human, if we have a recording). The quality of the AI reading is surprisingly good!

This is extremely useful for those people who have reading difficulties, or who wish to listen "on the go" while communiting or maybe doing their dishes! This is now also available for Spanish and French!


This year we only added one person to our team:

  1. Fiona Richards - Newsletter Editor
If you wish to join us, too, feel free to contact us.

Help us Grow

You can support our non-profit organization by becoming a member, giving a donation or by joining our team.

World History Encyclopedia

Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization registered in Canada.
Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom.