Thursday, November 17, 2011

Second Annual Blog Report


Google Analytics map overlay showing the countries where visitors have been located, keyed in shades of green. This is pretty similar to last year, but fills in a few more countries in South America, Asia, and Africa.

This past Tuesday was my 51st birthday and 28th wedding anniversary. At some point on that auspicious day, the Total Pageviews counter on the right of the page crossed the 250,000 mark. A quarter-million pageviews! Thank you for that, it made a wonderful present! And purely by chance, this happens to be my 100th post.

Before I break down the numbers, some cautionary notes. There were two events this year that took the blog offline. The first occurred in May. This was Google's fault, when an update to Blogger took a number of blogs offline. They had to revert to backups, and lost some posts. I was able to restore my one missing post from my browser window that was still open. Lesson learned: always backup the blog after posting to it. The Blogger software makes it easy to export a copy. When did you last backup your site?

The second event occurred this past weekend. This was my fault, when I let my domain name registration (i.e. my custom website name) expire. I hadn't noticed the emails notifying me of automatic re-registration; it failed because my credit card had changed. I didn't find out until Freddy Roman sent me an email saying he got an error message when he tried to go to the site.

Google Apps does have a grace period where you can renew an expired domain, but of course I didn't find out until one day after it ended. After that it falls out of their system completely and has to be handled through the domain registration provider, in this case GoDaddy.com.

I called GoDaddy customer support and went through their redemption process for an $80 fee. While I was not happy about the situation, their customer support was excellent, helpful and responsive. I spoke to a human on the phone who was able to quickly connect me to another human who was able to quickly send me instructions. By the next afternoon the transaction was complete and my domain managment was fully transitioned from Google Apps to GoDaddy. Lesson learned: set multiple reminders (where I will notice them) to renew annually. When does your domain name expire?

To some extent, Google has over-automated the domain registration process. They've made it so easy that you don't think about it. But if something goes wrong, it's a a mess to clean up. I'm still not 100% sure everything is all set on the Google side. Note that if the blog becomes inaccessible via the CloseGrain.com domain name, it can always be reached via the name http://closegrain.blogspot.com, since it is a Blogger site.

The broader lesson here is that just as the pen is mightier than the sword, the printing press is mightier than the web server. Gutenberg triumphs again. Hard-copy publications cannot simply wink out of existence the way online publications can. There will always be a place for physical copies. Keep that in mind before you commit all the fruits of you labor to the cloud. The same old disaster recovery precautions still hold: keep multiple independent backup copies of your data.

On to the numbers. Woodworking continues to span countries, languages, and cultures. The number of visits and pageviews for the year grew significantly, more than doubling last year's numbers (even considering that I didn't have statistics enabled for the first few months).


Visits for the period Dec 15, 2010 to Nov 17, 2011. The Average Pageviews and Time on Site are almost identical to last year.

I'm averaging over 200 visits per day, with over 500 pageviews per day. That's over 15,000 pageviews per month.


Traffic sources.

Searches that hit the blog continue to be dominated by workbench topics, but bowsaws and planes are very popular, as well as all kinds of variations of the blog name, and a wide variety of specific skills. Similarly for the actual pages viewed. That tells me the blog is serving as an effective resource for people, and I've received a number of very kind emails to that effect.

The number of sites linking here has grown as well. Several are foreign-language woodworking forums. I've been able to register with some of them via Google Translate; I keep the postings very simple, since Google Translate can come up with odd renderings when I translate back to English. I had visits through over 50 different Google country and translator portals. There were also a number of hits from email servers, indicating people were emailing links to their friends. A few links were due to comments I've left on other sites that people followed back to here.

Referring Site Visits
popularwoodworking.com 6469
unpluggedshop.com 4876
sawmillcreek.org 3924
blog.woodworking-magazine.com 1820
sapfm.org 1378
pfollansbee.wordpress.com 981
blogger.com 919
galoototron.com 862
forums.woodnet.net 810
owdman.co.uk 709
logancabinetshoppe.com 673
norsewoodsmith.com 669
villagecarpenterlinks.blogspot.com 623
ukworkshop.co.uk 540
theparttimewoodworker.blogspot.com 536
pedder-altedamenauskiel.blogspot.com 422
fullchisel.com 406
planeshavings.blogspot.com 373
lumberjocks.com 367
carlswoodworking.wordpress.com 352
handtoolwoodworking.wordpress.com 291
bob-easton.com 253
rpwoodwork.com 252
holzprojekte.blogspot.com 186
forum.index.hu 178
finewoodworking.com 168
gnhw.org 165
taylorgarage.com 132
toolemerablog.typepad.com 132
woodworkforums.com 113
renaissancewoodworker.com 103
frugalwoodworking.com 87
byggahus.se 85
theloveofwood.blogspot.com 85
timberframe-tools.com 85
maestronet.com 83
charter.net 80
toolsforworkingwood.com 78
lesfousdubois.org 75
insidetheworkshop.blogspot.com 72
shopsmith.net 71
gmoser.net 69
joecrafted.wordpress.com 69
thejoinersapprentice.blogspot.com 62
delicious.com 53
thewoodwayze.blogspot.com 52
facebook.com 49
logancabinetshoppe.weebly.com 40
taylorbenchworks.blogspot.com 39
youtube.com 37
woodbyhand.blogspot.com 36
blendedwoodworking.com 28
beernlathing.blogspot.com 25
amphenol-tcs.com 21
netvibes.com 22
my.yahoo.com 20
gibsonwoodworking.com 19
trafficfaker.com 19
millcrek.wordpress.com 18
twitter.com 17
woodworkuk.co.uk 17
camberedblade.blogspot.com 15
marmadera.foroactivo.com 15
messimerwoodworking.wordpress.com 15
freehomefind.com 14
villagecarpenter.blogspot.com 14
dogpile.com 12
linkedin.com 12
swingleydev.com 12
themedievalwoodworkerlinks.blogspot.com 11
thewoodwhisperer.com 11
cafe.naver.com 10
handtoolschool.renaissancewoodworker.com 10
larrysworkshop.wordpress.com 10
search.mywebsearch.com 10
luv2sharpen.blogspot.com 9
thelightheartedwoodworker.com 7
lostartpress.wordpress.com 6
accidentalwoodworker.blogspot.com 5
blekko.com 4
bridgecitytools.com 4
legnofilia.it 4
reddirtwoodshop.blogspot.com 4
woodlooking.blogspot.com 4
acessa.me 7
evenfallstudios.com 3
hmsenterprises.com 3
shizutanischool.org 3
blogs.popularwoodworking.com 2
chineblog.com 2
kickstarter.com 2
nicolawood.typepad.co.uk 2
novicewoodramblings.blogspot.com 2
onpoint.wbur.org 2
woodnewsonline.com 2
woodworkforums.com.au 2
woodworking.mattters.com 2
www.thebesthosting.org 2
arianna.libero.it 1
astronomy.mitrasites.com 1
blowery.org 1
forum.woodtools.ru 1
hyperkitten.com 1
milwaukeemonastery.blogspot.com 1
sheworkswood.blogspot.com 1
shizutanischool.com 1
theunpluggedwoodshop.com 1
torzsasztal.hu 1
web.bobbasement.com 1
woodworkingtalk.com 1
wp.popularwoodworking.com 1

As before, to try to reasonably gauge which countries actually have interested readers, for countries with fewer than 10 visits and 10 pages per visit, I throw out any where the average time on site is less than 30 seconds. That still leaves 105 countries!

Country Visits Pages/Visit Avg. Time on Site (sec)
United States 42864 2.84 255
Canada 4762 2.65 225
United Kingdom 2832 2.65 253
Australia 1822 2.47 230
Germany 1219 3.24 273
Sweden 841 1.86 129
Mexico 739 2.04 116
Finland 688 3.54 231
France 669 4.28 310
Italy 507 3.44 239
Russia 501 3.04 254
Netherlands 452 3.98 385
Belgium 451 2.96 247
New Zealand 397 2.7 208
Hungary 391 2.86 207
Brazil 319 4.28 406
Romania 308 2.11 161
Spain 266 4.47 342
Poland 223 5.17 320
Czech Republic 223 5.07 281
Croatia 209 2.36 126
Argentina 203 5.13 358
Chile 142 4.92 307
Greece 140 1.96 126
Austria 128 2.58 206
Ireland 119 2.68 190
Colombia 118 2.29 161
Estonia 108 4.58 596
South Africa 108 2.56 313
Switzerland 107 3.52 235
Portugal 104 2.49 130
India 100 1.86 84
Philippines 100 3.63 327
Ukraine 99 3.59 318
Denmark 92 3.54 316
Norway 89 6.64 469
Japan 85 1.85 85
Israel 70 2.66 228
Serbia 60 2.92 204
Malaysia 58 2.41 178
Luxembourg 56 2.91 176
South Korea 50 5.58 508
Thailand 49 4.47 425
RĂ©union 43 2 158
Guernsey 39 1.59 111
Taiwan 36 8.78 454
Hong Kong 32 2.91 149
Lithuania 30 2.13 63
Indonesia 29 1.55 66
Turkey 27 3 267
Jamaica 27 1.26 56
China 26 2.58 232
Singapore 23 1.91 146
Egypt 21 2.62 210
United Arab Emirates 20 1.6 108
Latvia 19 1.95 108
Barbados 19 9.58 851
Bulgaria 18 8.22 688
Uruguay 18 6 813
Qatar 18 3.11 391
Vietnam 17 3.76 359
Trinidad and Tobago 16 4.13 382
Cyprus 16 5.31 1196
Peru 16 3.38 113
Slovakia 14 1.79 36
Pakistan 14 6.93 427
Brunei 13 1.92 212
Iran 12 1.67 79
Costa Rica 12 3.92 254
Belarus 11 5.18 407
Antigua and Barbuda 11 4.55 740
Iraq 11 1.82 113
Venezuela 10 13.8 808
Puerto Rico 10 2.3 92
Mauritius 10 5.1 244
Ecuador 9 2.44 239
Iceland 9 2 46
Kuwait 9 2.78 122
Bahrain 8 5.5 391
El Salvador 7 5.43 182
Nigeria 7 4 337
Slovenia 6 1.5 51
Lebanon 5 3.2 548
Malta 5 1.2 36
Georgia 5 3.6 68
Montenegro 5 2.4 73
Saudi Arabia 5 1.6 40
Kenya 4 2.25 247
Kazakhstan 4 4.25 652
Dominican Republic 4 2.25 511
Moldova 3 3 102
Sri Lanka 3 1.33 49
Bermuda 3 2 118
Libya 2 2 207
Haiti 2 2.5 254
Dominica 2 1.5 80
Botswana 2 32.5 871
Ethiopia 2 1.5 93
Armenia 1 2 202
Mozambique 1 3 322
Albania 1 4 158
Morocco 1 3 73
Fiji 1 2 1194
Guatemala 1 6 445
Laos 1 3 672

Finally, I did manage to earn a little more Google Ad revenue, most of which went to pay the redemption fee to GoDaddy.

Thanks for another great year! I always enjoy getting comments and emails (and so do other bloggers, so let them know if you like what they do; sometimes people aren't sure if anyone is listening).

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