Sunday, January 1, 2012

Site activity for the year 2011

[For more up-to-date information see Site Statistics for 2012.]

The most important development during the year has been the moving of the in site blog to a separate blog site . I did it because it allowed me to restructure the old integral "newsletter" in a more modern format and has clearly proved popular as the usage statistics has shown steady growth over the period (868, 1358, 1684 and 2357 page views a month). It allows me to run the newsletter in a more imaginative way, with temporary and fun items, leaving the main site for more serious treatment of the material. The default statistics may be a little limited but has the advantage of providing rapid feedback, helping me to find out what is working best. While one can't track individual users it is clear that quite a lot of the visitors look at the current posts (this counts as one page view) and then explores further, either old blog posts or visiting the main web site.

One fun aspect of the statistics is that it provides details of the visitor's country - and the following have been spotted over the last four months::
Argentina, Australia (316), Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada (239), China, Columbia, Côte d’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Denmark (270), Ecuador, Ethiopia, France, Germany (116), Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Latvia, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Moldova, Netherlands, New Zealand (67), Nigeria, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia (295), Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain (102), Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom (3692), United States (687), Vietnam
The main site has been as busy as ever and during 2011 there were 235,720 visits to the web site, a small increase on 2010 when there 230,063 visits. More significantly 64,751 of these visits (2010: 50,859) were repeat visits during the same month. Part of this may be due to the way the new blog works and part to the changes in Google, which may mean that it is better at directing relevant traffic to the site. In addition at the end of the year my 2011 "emails dealt with" mail box contained over 1000 mail items - and this excludes all circular letters and newsletters and the very much larger volume of messages related to monitoring ebay and purchasing postcards, etc, for inclusion on the web site.

Overall I have really spent more time on the site than I can afford and maintenance (and checking everything works smoothly) has tended to be neglected. I also have a significant backlog of new material waiting to be added.  One recent improvement to the site will help. If you use a link to a page deep in the site the link will be broken if I move the page as part of a site reorganisation - and parts of the site urgently need restructuring to make it easier to maintain. In the past any broken link resulted in an unfriendly "404" error message - but now such broken links are redirected to a friendly page designed to redirect you to the part of the site you require. During 2012 this will make it possible to restructure many of the place pages so that each place has its dedicated menu.

Finally the collection for the mentally ill in Hertfordshire has been the most successful ever, The final sum donated via the collection web site was £875 towards a target of £1000 - but anther £45 was actually paid into another account by mistake so does not show in the online total, making £920. To this must be added the Gift Aid refund for donations by U.K. taxpayers - and several people asked if they could make a donation (in various currencies) to their local mental health charity. So in effect the target was reached. 
Thank You 
to all who have donated - and for the rest of you the 2012 collection box is
Target £1200

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This is the newsletter for the Genealogy in Hertfordshire Web site. Comments on this blog are moderated and may be transferred to the web site where appropriate. If you have a local or family history query you want answered you must use "Ask Chris" - See box in right hand column. Anonymous comments cannot be answered.