My blog’s 2016 in review

Just some thoughts and numbers to contemplate my blog’s 2016

2016 was a year of change for me.
I had a few decisions to make, wanted to change and while I was at it I changed my job, too.
2016 was also the year I started blogging, so I decided to put this blog’s first year in numbers.

There is an obvious correlation between my publishing frequency and my working hours per week.
I upped my working hours from 35 to 40 hours per week starting July 2016 and from that point on I only managed to publish 2 short quick tip posts.
This is actually one of the reasons why I am considering to reduce my working hours back to 35 hours per week. I will loose money, but will get more time for experimenting and coding in my spare time, which is something I miss very much.

What visitors looked into

At the time of writing I published 14 posts in total (not counting this one).
12 of these have been full blown posts, while the last 2 have been shorter quick tip posts.
The most viewed post was HTTPS for Tomcat 7 with Let’s Encrypt with 4.489 of 11.231 total page views.
The second most popular post was Get HTTPS on DiskStation with Let’s Encrypt with 2.423 views.
On the 3rd rank sits DSM 6 Adventures: Explosive Update with 1.421 views.
These 3 posts alone created almost three-fourth of all my page views so it seems that my blog is mainly a resource for people looking into HTTPS with Let’s Encrypt and DiskStation users at the moment.

Growing the audience

The last 12 months this blog received 8.450 total visits, which is far more than I expected.
However I did put some work into spreading the word about this blog and it was a rewarding experience.
I shared posts with communities of interest on social media (Google+, Facebook, Reddit) and signed up for Google Webmaster Tools to get this site indexed by Google.
One of the reasons for setting up Piwik was to get an idea on which of these efforts achieves the goal of increasing this blog’s audience best.
I will let the numbers do the talking, but it is no surprise to see that in the end being present on Google search hits is the most efficient way of driving visitors to your site.
But without further ado here are the stats of one melo a day:

From external sites

website visits
www.reddit.com 446
community.letsencrypt.org 407
github.com 343
m.facebook.com 324
www.facebook.com 170

From search engines

search engine visits
Google 4.266
Yandex 74
DuckDuckGo 55
Bing 38

Browsers used

browser visits
Chrome 4.632
Firefox 1.421
Mobile Safari 580
Safari 550
Chrome Mobile 479
Internet Explorer 263
Opera 212
Microsoft Edge 108

Browser language

language visits
English 4.400
German 1.084
Spanish 575
French 538

Visitor’s countries

country visits
United States 1.279
Germany 1.059
France 501
Netherlands 413
United Kingdom 381

On the bright side

Being able to grow the audience to 8.450 visitors has the positive effect that I feel the blog is of some value to some people. So much that it motivated visitors to come back again and on some occasions even to comment on what I wrote. I received 81 comments in total (including my own replies to comments). This felt quite rewarding and kept me motivated to write that next blog post.

The not so bright side

Going public obviously invites both good and bad-minded people equally. With the help of the plugins Jetpack and Akismet this blog was spared 18 spam comments and was protected from 1.004 malicious login attempts.
I received positive feedback about what I shared most of the time. Even better I also met people on Reddit who disagreed with my views, took the time to start a discussion and thus made me learn one thing or two. However not all feedback is constructive. I was once called a spammer on Reddit for sharing my posts on the Synology subreddit. I disagreed with that statement (and I still do) for I don’t see how sharing something about Synology products with the Synology community can be considered spam. I shared my opinion about this, but did not get any further reaction. I hope this event will not stop me from sharing stuff with the corresponding community of interest when I think I have created something worth sharing.

Outlook

For 2017 I am again looking for change. I am doing almost no coding in my current full-time job and while I learned a lot of new so called soft skills (like efficiently managing big, distributed teams of both colleagues and suppliers) I also figured out that I can not just quit coding. As I try to change my job role (or maybe the job entirely) to take this into account I will also try to make this blog less about DiskStations and Let’s Encrypt and more about coding itself.

I wish a happy 2017 to all of you!

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