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As I said in my Happy New Year post, I usually summarise things on my birthday, but site statistics is an exception. I have traditionally posted information about website statistics in the beginning of January and this year will be no exception. Last year’s results were fairly straightforward and saw a steady rise of traffic. In 2009 the traffic peaked and then started dropping for some reason:


Statistics and graph from StatCounter.


Statistics and graph from StatCounter.

And some comparisons with previous years (monthly averages):

2006 2007 2008 2009 Change
Page loads: 994 1806 3231 3522 +9%
Unique visitors: 479 952 2081 2323 +12%
Returning visitors: 184 318 475 528 +11%

If I were running a business, these figures would make me worried, but fortunately, I’m running this website mostly because I enjoy writing regularly and share whatever I write with whomever is interested in reading, so I’m not that worried. The most likely reason for the decrease in traffic is a greatly diminshed posting frequency, mostly because of my focus on studying Chinese (see here, for instance). If I don’t do anything drastic, it would be reasonable to believe that next years report will show figures in the red, but in this case, I sincerely believe that qualitty trumps quantity. If people who look for things I can provide find my website and people who are intersted in what I’m doing here in Taiwan can find that, I’m fully satisfied.

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Even though I tend to summarise most things on my birthday and not the new year, I have traditionally posted information about website statistics in the beginning of January; this year is no exception. Last year’s results were somewhat difficult to interpret, which gave rise to a slightly longer article. The data from 2008 is pretty straightforward, though, and I think a simple presentation and comparison will suffice. This is what 2008 looked like:

And some comparisons with previous years (monthly averages):

2006 2007 2008 Change
Page loads: 994 1806 3231 +79%
Unique visitors: 479 952 2081 +119%
Returning visitors: 184 318 475 +49%

These results are fairly obvious, I think. Overall, there’s a gradual increase, which is only to be expected because the total number of articles inexorably increases (I’ve not yet reached one thousand, but it’s probably only a few months off).The big increase in September is most easily explained with my departure for Taiwan. The subsequent drop in visitor activity (albeit not very great) is probably only partly due to the fact that people’s initial curiosity has subsided; another reason might be that during the last three months of 2008, I only wrote 29 articles, which is roughly equal to the number posted in September alone!

Anyway, although statistics are interesting, even in this primitive form, this data shouldn’t be taken too seriously. I do mostly write because I want to write, and lately also because I know people in Sweden are interested in what I do here in Taiwan. My website functions as designed right now in that it is an outlet for semi-creative writing as well as an communication channel to friends. If other people find the content interesting, well, that’s good, but it’s not a prerequisite for my continuing my online activity in this fashion. On the whole, I’m very satisfied.

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Statistics is nice, as long as you don’t have to do calculations on your own. In this case, my curiosity concerning the traffic on this site, drove me to install various stat counters on the server. It may seem strange, but before now I’ve had no idea of how much traffic the site gets. Since it’s been up for about two years and I normally fancy stuff like that, I thought the time had finally come to quench my hunger for knowledge. I’ve employed two counters (see below), which has been monitoring traffic for about two weeks now. This is what the report looks like for an average day (summarised, of course):

Pageloads: 39
Unique visitors: 13
First time visitors: 7
Returning visitors: 6

The numbers themselves aren’t that surprising, though I’m happy to see that not all visitors are returning ones. Some influx of new visitors is good, though it would be even better if they returned later as well. The most salient result is the relationship between pageloads and unique visitors. Pageloads come in chunks, most times just a few more than the amount of unique visitors.

This implies that most people never leave the main page and that sometimes, someone conducts a foray into other parts of the site (thus rendering some 40 additional pageloads). This is understandable, because i think most people view the page about once a week and then you don’t need more than the main page (which is my intention). I’ll probably say something more on this subject later on, when I’ve got more data. The conclusions drawn here are probably premature.

Right now I’m using:

StatCounter
Google Analytics

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