Wednesday, February 1, 2012

January was a record month

January has been a record month in almost every department. There were 25,565 visits, (19,669 previous January) from 17485 (15,264) different users, viewing 81,918 (57, 909) pages, with 435,956  (381,174) hits. The biggest increase was in the number of repeat visits with the month which was 8085 compared with 4405. January 9th had 1007 visitors and was the first day since the current statistics measure was first used  in September 2009 to exceed 900 visits in one day.

The blog Hertfordshire Genealogy News had 2907 page views in January - with visitor numbers increasing significantly each month as the graph shows. There were 43 new posts, bringing the total to 190.

In addition I processed 120 emails (in and out) excluding circulars,  automatic notifications, and monitoring ebay and purchasing some new material for use on the site.

I must also thank the users of the site for their generosity in already raising £250 for mental health in Hertfordshire so far this year. It will be wonderful if donations continue to come in at this rate.

It is perhaps worth commenting on why the month as been so successful.  Part is undoubtedly due to the success of having a separate blog for the newsletter. Part is due to the fact that "404" errors are now caught, meaning that people who are using out of date URLs from other web sites, published books, etc, now get a friendly welcoming message. However these changes are insufficient to explain all the increase, and I suspect that the recent changes to Google search is the main cause. The "more intelligent" interface could help guide people more effectively to relevant sites meaning that more relevant visitors come, and there are fewer people who visit by mistake. It may also be that having the main site and the blog as separate URLs increases the chance that one or the other appears on the top search page. If the position continues there will be no difficulty in topping 250.000 visitors in 2012.

As webmaster I have dealt with the following problems:
  • I discovered an error in the main menu linking the main site back to this blog - corrected.
  • A scammer using the name  "sbo" has been trying to post comments to this blog which include references to a malicious web site according to my Security Centre. These have all been intercepted - which is one of the reasons why I moderate comments before they appear in public. I have also discovered that many of the accesses to this site are from a different Russian scam site - which means that perhaps 10% of the visitors to this web site are not genuine visitors.
  • I have made a change to improve the way email message titles are generated
  • Next month I need to do some work on linking between Genealogy in Hertfordshire and other web sites.
 As genealogist the recent outstanding items, to be covered in February, include
  • An update on the Pictures of Stagenhoe
  • An Update on the page for St George's School, Harpenden
  • Some information on the Kingham family at Great Gaddesden
  • St Stephen's Brick Works, Bricket Wood
  • Bridge 166 on the Grand Union Canal
  • I am well behind target publishing details of war memorials
  • I need to check some older items (before October 2011) to see if they still merit action
  • I have a large pile of new material waiting to to be processed

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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.