It's that time of year when WordPress (who host this blog) present me with some interesting statistics about my blog and those who have visited.
So just like last year, I am sharing these with you too.
I have been using WordPress for quite some time now as the centre of my online world. I started out self hosting but after a couple of years of updating and tweaking every weekend, it made more sense for me to just take the platform as a service directly from WordPress themselves. I have not looked back since and these days I can concentrate on just creating content for my blog rather than spending time maintaining the blog server itself. It is truly liberating.
Now to be honest, my blog is not the most popular online destination for most people. On a typical day I can get 10 or 20 real visitors. Some may leave a comment but most wont and it hasn’t brought me internet fame and fortune just yet. But it is a place where I can share stuff. Where I can point people who know me to as a jump point to other destinations. So there are links through to my online photo albums as well as contact details and links to my profile on Twitter and Facebook.
But then it happened.
Each day, those nice people at WordPress pick a handful of new blog postings and feature them on the WordPress front page. This feature is called Freshly Pressed
So last week having just come back from Amsterdam I posted up a handful of photos from my trip that I thought stood out and would be nice to share. They must have been good because they caught the attention of the crew at WordPress who pick the Freshly Pressed sites and I got chosen. I got Freshly Pressed.
So apart from the honour of being picked out from a crowd of 350,000 new posts, I got to discover just how much hard work a busy blog can be.
First of all there is the increase in traffic
Yes that is over 1500 hits per day compared to the usual 10 to 20!
Next are the comments.
My single post got 90 comments in the space of 48 hours. You soon realise that trying to moderate that volume of comments is a full time job.
I also got a lot of spam. Sure the filters caught a lot of it but there was also a lot of shameless self promotion. To be honest, others trying to get their own blog noticed whilst adding a nice comment doesn’t bother me that much but some of it was obvious with comments such as:
Nice photos, now come and visit my blog at http://www.getrichquick.com to learn more
But there were lots and lots of genuinely nice comments as well. I have tried to visit the blogs of all the people who left nice comments and have in turn come across some really great blog posts on all sorts of subjects ranging from a great recipe for mango salsa to great travel blogs and loads of great photography.
So to the WordPress crew, thanks for choosing me. It really was an honour.
For all the 3000+ people who visited over the 48 hours especially those who left comments, thanks also. I am glad my pictures were of interest to you.
And finally, the second your Freshly Pressed link drops back onto the second page, the traffic stops. As you can see on the graph above, the traffic went away as quickly as it came but it really was fun whilst it lasted.
Those nice people at WordPress sent me an email showing how this blog had performed during 2010 so I thought I would share it with you.
The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is doing awesome!.
A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,300 times in 2010. That’s about 8 full 747s.
In 2010, there were 25 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 95 posts. There were 159 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 22mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.
The busiest day of the year was January 6th with 65 views. The most popular post that day was California Here I Come (again).
The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, liberation-eq2.org.uk, linkedin.com, twitter.com, and google.com.
Some visitors came searching, mostly for map skydrive, shannon walkley, rare star wars photos, mark roddis, and map skydrive windows 7.
These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.
California Here I Come (again) August 2007
Missy The Cat Is Missing!!! July 2010
Rare Star Wars Images August 2009
HTC Desire – New toy May 2010
This was really easy. WordPress were able to host my primary domain and then offered a single click so that all the MX settings for mail etc were preconfigured so I could use Google Apps. Very simple, very quick and to date, very reliable.
Of course for the last year, that’s all I have been able to do with my domain but now, those nice guys at WordPress have introduced FULL DNS control.
It’s all very simple being text based, so you need to know a little about DNS settings, CNAMEs and so on but the WordPress tool does validate settings before they go live just in case and there is still a button to automate the Google Apps setup.
So the WordPress platform is slowly becoming the centre of my cloud based world which considering most people view it as just a blogging service is rather surprising.