Traffic on UMW Blogs and a few notes

Yesterday was the last day of the Fall semester so I took a quick screenshot of traffic on UMW Blogs in Google Analytics over the last four months, which looks like this:

Traffic for Fall 2011 Semester on UMW Blogs

Which made me think, how does this compare to traffic from the Fall semester last year? So I did a quick filtering for traffic from 8/16/10 through 12/16/11 and what was interesting was how consistent the traffic was between the two time periods in terms of frequency throughout the week, over the weekends, etc.

Traffic for Fall 2010 Semester on UMW Blogs

What’s more, we had almost exactly 100,000 more visits and unique visitors this Fall than last–with almost 200,000 more pageviews. All of which seems to suggest traffic is settling in given that from Fall 2009 to Fall 2010 trafic almost doubled across the board in terms of visits, unique visitors, and pageviews.

Traffic for Fall 2009 Semester on UMW Blogs

The change in traffic this Fall in comparison to Fall 2010 was a more modest 20% growth in visits, 25% growth in visitors, and a little less than 15% in pageviews. I’m not sure what any of this suggest other than the growth in traffic on UMW Blogs seems to have stabilized a bit over the last year. And I think this has a lot to do with how much UMW Blogs has saturated UMW more generally. I think we would need significantly more students to see significantly more growth at this point. I think we are at a very sustainable moment in terms of hardware, software, and support. What’s more, UMW Blogs has also stabilized considerably given we have had next to no downtime all semester long, which is a first for us and a very proud day indeed.

We’re gonna update to WordPress 3.3 this Wednesday, and I’m pretty confient that will go as smoothly as all the other upgrades on UMW Blogs have been over the last two years. One more thing, we are back on Akismet after trying our hand with TypePad’s Antispam solution for a NY minute. We survived most of the semester with the Cookies or Comments spam solution, which worked surprisingly well, but we were starting to get spam complaints from faculty and students alike so we went back to Akismet. The reason we were resisting Akismet to begin with over the last year was because the quote us a ridiculous $900 a month for the service last December, but that has since come own to about $45 a month for the service ($550 a year) which is both afforable for us and well worth the peace of mind.

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