Photics.com October 2009 Web Report

october-2009-stats-thumbnailI worked on a lot of projects during the last two months. With another full month of data to review, the successful projects are emerging. While I may have more time to work on my website, I do not have an infinate amount of time. I’ll have to focus on what works. Some results were expected. But with some others results, I was quite surprised by the way things turned out. But most importantly, things are improving.¬†Month-Over-Month website activity roughly doubled¬†in October. There were more visitors – like you :-) –¬†and they’re staying longer. That’s encouraging!

Hits:
Total Hits........................1,686,592
Visitor Hits......................1,625,939
Spider Hits..........................60,653
Average Hits per Day.................51,108
Average Hits per Visitor.................41
Cached Requests.....................181,517
Failed Requests......................24,595
Page Views
Total Page Views....................835,143
Average Page Views per Day...........25,307
Average Page Views per Visitor...........21
Visitors
Total Visitors.......................40,108
Average Visitors per Day..............1,215
Total Unique IPs.....................14,886
Bandwidth
Total Bandwidth....................55.50 GB
Visitor Bandwidth..................53.66 GB
Spider Bandwidth....................1.85 GB
Average Bandwidth per Day...........1.68 GB
Average Bandwidth per Hit..........34.51 KB
Average Bandwidth per Visitor.......1.37 MB

First, the bad news. My iPhone development appears to be a failure. I’m thinking it’s “little fish, big bowl” syndrome. With 85,000 apps to choose from, my three apps and one demo got lost. Even though I released the exact same apps for the iPhone, they’re performing better on Android. It might be too early to be sure. Maybe I have to change tactics. But so far it hasn’t been worth the trouble.

The good news is that Android activity is¬†moving back¬†towards March 2009 levels. I probably should focus on my Android Apps. Although, that statement is meaningless. It’s not too¬†much trouble¬†to convert my Android apps to the iPhone. So even though the iPhone is an overwhelming disappointment, I’ll probably be releasing new apps for it… but that’s only because of the success from Android.

But I shouldn’t be too quick to give up on the iPhone.
Sometimes, something unexpected happens…¬†

What surprised me was the activity on the¬†main Photics website. I’ve been playing Guild Wars again. I threw together some new content. It made the website more popular. Even though Issue #35 wasn’t too popular, referral traffic from GuildWars.com¬†increased. I checked two separate sources to see if there was a traffic spike with¬†the official¬†website. Nope… things looked normal. Regina has been doing a good job as Community Manager,¬†and my content updates received great coverage, but why Guild Wars content getting a second wind?

  1. http://www.guildwars.com (2,519)
  2. http://fr.guildwars.com (723)
  3. http://gw.univers-virtuels.net (491)
  4. http://www.guildwars.pl (486)
  5. http://guildwars.pl (368)
  6. http://de.guildwars.com (307)
  7. http://wiki.guildwars.com (272)
  8. http://es.guildwars.com (218)
  9. http://images.google.com (139)
  10. http://it.guildwars.com (135)
  11. http://eu.guildwars.com (65) 

Most of my top referrers are Guild Wars related. That’s insane! I have more referrer traffic coming from France and Poland than I do from most search engines – AOL, Bing, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves. Last month, Google sent 1,153 visitors to Photics.com. That’s less than half of the main Guild Wars website. This tells me two things…¬†1) Review search engine optimization for this website.¬†2) Don’t give up on Guild Wars! I have been having fun with the game, so I have some new ideas for content. As for SEO, I have been a little sloppy. I’ve been so focused on mobile apps that I’m forgetting basic maintenance¬†for the main¬†website.¬†¬†

The whole site grew, but traditional content (rather than mobile content) performed better than expected.
The whole site grew, but traditional content (rather than mobile content) performed better than expected.

While focusing on the main site is important, I’m probably going to¬†avoid downloadble¬†content… PDF, ZIP… it just doesn’t seem to work. My “Bluish Victory” WordPress theme is an excellent example. While 1,469 visitors looked at the download page, only 89 visitors actually downloaded it. I wasn’t expecting huge numbers from that file, but I haven’t found a site that’s actually installed the theme. That’s always been the trick with Guild Wars content… and running a Guild Wars fansite in general… it’s not too hard to get the fans to visit your website. The problem is making them repeat visitors. I’ll have to improve my strategy as Guild Wars 2 nears release. What would make the players want to stay?

Conclusions:

  • Mobile content is huge, but don’t sacrifice the main website.
  • If Guild Wars is popular now, it’s going to be huge with GW2.
  • For Photics.com, the iPhone is secondary to Android.
  • Stay away from downloadable files. PDFs/ZIPs underperform.
  • An improvement with¬†SEO¬†is necessary.

7 thoughts on “Photics.com October 2009 Web Report”

  1. I’m curious – what is this site actually for? At first glance it seems like a mix’n’match of Guidl Wars with other random things. So it’s like a personal blog, that happens to be a Listed Guild Wars Community Fansite? Or is it a webzine with no definite focus?

    Maybe I’m missing something…

    If I were you, and wanted to get some big things happening in time for GW2 (something I’m thinking of myself), perhaps this is a good time to develop a whole new website with clear objectives (and more relevant name). What do the players and fans want and need? The potential is huge, but I’m a bit scared by the sheer volume of traffic that a popular site would attract. I’ve not dealt with those stats before.. :S

  2. Good comments and fair questions!

    This site is my blog and what interests me. It’s been that way since 1998. It was originally started with the idea of Photography, which is why the name doesn’t fit. Yet, I’m not sure that I want to change the name. Look at Nintendo… how important is the meaning of that word? Wii… another silly name for such a successful product. Have you looked for a good Guild Wars fansite name? It’s not easy! I might as well stick with Photics.

    However, you are right about this site’s focus. What is it exactly? If it’s just my blog, it will only go so far. Should I focus just on Guild Wars? I did once before. It was a great time. I’m going to research this.

  3. One thing you could do us branch out this blog. I’ve tried to be good at website creation. With seperate sections you can focus on seperate topics. This will howerver take more of you time. I myself am fan of Guild Wars. My one could site was devoted to it. I tried to branch out but failed. but you seem really good at this.

  4. Well, there are categories. I put all of the Guild Wars content in the “Guild Wars Fansite” section. It would be better if the categories had their own unique theme, to give each section a unique look.

    There are other questions though… Should I go beyond a blog? Should I invite other writers? Should I bring the forums back?

  5. My chain of thought is towards a site that really, really, really, really pushes community interaction – guilds and events.

    I have considered Drupal, but I’m not a programmer, and I don’t know how well Drupal scales to 200,000+ users (Guru forum has this many, and that’s a narrow audience compared to a one-stop go-to place for the entire Guild Wars community).

    I have a domain, GuildToday.com, and I’m not sure what to do with it.

  6. I don’t like Drupal. I’m investigating some new technology. I think I see a clear path in what I can do here. I’m still in research mode though… I remember what happened last time I focused on Guild Wars content. There was a spike in traffic, that continued all the way up until Factions, and then a severe drop once people realized that there was nothing else to look forward to.

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