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Author Topic: Some Site Statistics  (Read 37349 times)
grahame
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« Reply #30 on: August 01, 2012, 06:43:03 am »

For my end of July update, I'm going to focus on the ups and downs of the last couple of months, and looking for any significance therein.

In June, there were just over 1000 posts to the forum, with 78 new topics opened, and that was the quietest month for a very long time indeed.  Yet in July, without any "marketing push" or anything at our end, posts rocketed to over 1700 making it the third busiest month of the year, and 126 new topics were started.  These figures from http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?action=stats

Before you jump to any conclusions - consider some other stats. From our Google Analytic stats we had 23,850 visits in June, rising to 28,600 visits in July. Pageviews were 112,645 in June, rising to 161,127 in July, with pages per visit moving up from 4.72 to 5.63

71% increase in posts.
61% increase in subjects.
43% increase in pageviews
40% increase in pages viewed per visit
20% increase in visits.
and let's not forget
3% increase in reporting period (30 days -> 31 days)

Google analytics also reports 21,861 unique visitors across the whole 2 month period, with over 49,000 of 52,000 visits from the UK (and the second most popular "country" was unknown / unidentificable - a further 900 visits).

I'm going to suggest that June was something of a lull month in railway news - "quietly as she goes", whereas there's been quite a lot happening in July.  Still lots of visits in June - just not so much to comment on.  More visits in July, and more to read and comment on too, hence the rises in visitor numbers, pages viewed per visit, and new posts.

And when all's said and done, 31,477 unique visitors in the last 3 months is an awful lot of people looking at the site, and they're averaging over 5 pages per visit.

May, June, July - visits per day to tracked pages on this site:


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bignosemac
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« Reply #31 on: August 01, 2012, 09:20:34 pm »

I think we can thank the DfT for the very busy July. They gave us HLOS for Control Period 5, the Intercity Express Programme contract award and the Invitation to Tender for the Greater Western Franchise.
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johoare
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« Reply #32 on: August 04, 2012, 02:55:42 pm »

..and there were quite a few major delays/issues in July too which will explain a bit of the increase I imagine...
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grahame
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« Reply #33 on: October 01, 2012, 09:25:01 am »

In September, we had 26,631 visits from 11,756 unique visitors. Pages viewed were 147,806 and the average duration was 6 minutes and 27 seconds. 24,991 visits were identified as being from the UK.   And that's according to Google Analytics. Top cities reported were London, Bristol, Oxford, Birmingham, Reading, Bath and Cardiff. Amongst 300 places that reported just a single visit were Maraciabo, Dershingham, Allentown and Aberdeen (turns out to be one of the Aberdeens in the USA; there were 14 from the Aberdeen in Scotland).

Our local stats show 1430 posts, with 121 new topics started - that's about 48 posts and 4 new topics per day - not bad going, when you consider that so much has already been asked and said over the years.   Over 5000 applications were made to join the forum - the vast majority being "forum spammers" who have already been reported by other forums, and whom we (the admins) are able to reject quite quickly;  Chris_f_n - I really appreciate your assistance in going through these, as we really don't want to accidenatlly reject, or delay, genuine signups.

Personally, September saw me travelling far and wide within the UK. For three of those trips, I was able to use the train ... for others (such a Weymouth and Worcester), the lack of trains pushed me onto the road - and that was a lack of trains at appropriate times, and not a lack of railway lines.  The Worcester trip would have been "saved" to the train if it weren't for the withdrawl of the mid evening bus back to my home town at the start of the month.
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grahame
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« Reply #34 on: November 01, 2012, 09:14:18 am »

Sharing some of the October stats with you:

Visitors per hour:


Overall statistics from real browsing visitors (robots and crawlers don't log with Google)


Splits by country (top ranked only shown):


Split within the UK by town / city (top ranked only shown):
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« Reply #35 on: November 01, 2012, 11:26:33 am »

Interesting stats Wink

I think some of them may be slightly out of area though. A lot of ISP's (PlusNet and Eclipse/KCOM) Spring to mind use BT Wholesale Trunk Lines to the ISP networks which are mostly based in London. So even though you appear to be in London, you are in actuality much, much further away Shocked Roll Eyes
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grahame
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« Reply #36 on: December 01, 2012, 11:30:10 pm »

29033 "real"visits from the UK out of 30,896 to the forum in November. At the other end of the scale, single real visits from Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Belarus, Chile, China, Guernsey, Croatia, Isle of Man, Iceland, Jordan, Cambodia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Maldives, Puerto Rico, Serbia, and Uganda

Busiest day - 22nd November with 1,335 visits; quietest 24th with 838.  The busiest hour with 105 visits was from 21:00 on 21st November.  I think we see the effect of the weather on the forum, just as we've seen the effect of the weather on our area's rail services.
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bobm
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« Reply #37 on: December 02, 2012, 08:33:05 pm »

What amazes me is the number of sign-ups each month and how it has grown over time.  Much as it would be great if they were all "genuine" sign-ups many must be, as has been reported before, joining for reasons far removed from the topics we like to discuss on here.   The fact that so few ever see the light of day is a tribute to the rear-guard action fought by the powers that be to keep them at bay. 

In search of meaningful statistics what sort of percentage of sign-ups are classified as bona fide?
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grahame
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« Reply #38 on: December 03, 2012, 07:29:45 am »

In search of meaningful statistics what sort of percentage of sign-ups are classified as bona fide?


As I write, there have been 91,497 applications for membership since the forum started and we curently have 1,238 approved members.  Only a handful of approved members have ever been deleted, so that's an overall ratio of 73:1.

Now - that's not really 'meaningful' as it combines two phases.  Let me try for something current ... 24 new members approved during November, stats say 9342 applications, so you're looking at around 1 in 400 accepted.

The administrators have mechanisms in place to help us identify the genuine signups, and it's not a case of us having to manually reject all that lot.  Where there's a doubtful case, we can always instigate an email conversation with the potential member to clarify their credentials; it may look a bit nosey, but it helps us maintain the security and effectiveness of the board. And can I please reassure anyone who's thinking of joining that people with a genuine interest are very welcome indeed - we try to make it as easy for you as possible.
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grahame
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« Reply #39 on: January 01, 2013, 09:28:01 am »

We concluded 2012 with the busiest month of 2012 - no fewer that 1982 new posts, in what's usually quite a quiet month as people head off for a Christmas break.  But this year was different - perhaps because of how difficult train travel was for many people looking to get away - see http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=11794.msg123310#msg123310

In the final quarter of 2012, we had 88,504 visits to the coffee shop of which 83,502 were identified as being from within the UK.  Many people visit us multiple times - Google Analytics tells us that we've had 37,858 unique visitors in that period, which is an impressive number - it helps put some sort of measure onto "guests" who are an an important part of our customer base - reading and learning from the material here, but leaving such a light footprint that they're not often noticed.
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grahame
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« Reply #40 on: February 01, 2013, 12:40:31 am »

Another traffic rise in January - 2361 new posts, which is the highest for years (since July 2010).  I'm trying to work out why; December 2012 was the highest for 2012, with that number encouraged by the truley horrible performance (much of it weather related) up to Christmas, and if you had asked me for a January forecast I would have got it wrong.

You'll see from the stats that our signup requests (1721) are down to around a fifth of what they were in November (9384) ... that's an artificial change; the majority of signups are what's known as "forum spam" and stronger filters have allowed the exclusion of much more of this traffic without any significant hit in genuine requests.

Some stats from Google Analytics .... 33,026 (14,588 different)  visitors in the month calling up a total of 192,624 pages.   December stats 29,355 / 12,714 / 173,785.  31,080 visitors were from the UK, and a further 446 might have been, but could not be identified to anywhere for certain. Average visit duration was 6 minutes and 25 seconds, with visits away from the UK having a much lower duration. Towns and cities listed are predominantly in the GW area; not a reliable measure, except that when I compare it to our other sites, the pattern's quite different.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 12:54:39 am by grahame » Logged

Coffee Shop Admin, Member of Melksham Rail User Group, on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest and some more things besides
grahame
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« Reply #41 on: May 01, 2013, 06:10:23 am »

Some of our members keep returning, and others just call in occasionally. Likewise we have guests who drop ir regularly (even frequently), and guests who come here just once.   What's the split, and how long do people stay?   In April, we had 31,849 visits (30,318 from the UK) accounted for by 12,616 unique visitors. These are Google Analytics figures, so real figures - although the unique visitor count will count you twice if you use two different computers.  The visitors viewed no less that 175,786 pages in total - that's between 5 and 6 pages on average. I've provided a graph of this through the month. 



As you might expect, visitors are typically here from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. with the highest spikes between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. - up to 90 visits per hour. (not seen in the graph above) with a handful of visitors even during the wee small hours.

Posts in April were over 2000 for the fourth successive month - that's starting to look like a significant change from 2012 (when the figure was between 1010 and 1982 per month) and 2011 (when only 2 months exceeded 2000).   It's hard to guess why it's increased - are we getting more popular, are peope finding us more welcoming and feeling freer to post, or is the railway industry and those parts we're involved with giving us more to talk about?
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grahame
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« Reply #42 on: June 02, 2013, 08:29:29 am »

Many thanks to Chris from Nailsea for his monthly update on site use at http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=10596.0 .   That gives a useful month on month, year on year picture of our growth / shrinkage / stability, whether it's due to our own performance in running the forum or the desire of people to chat about the rail and related issues we cover.

Continuing here with my semi-regular series in which I pick out an aspect of our performance from the last month, I've taken a look at weekly cycles - which day of the week is busier.   Graph shows number of visits per day:



Interesting to note that Saturdays are consistently quieter. Looking at the same graph hourly, I find it harder to see that same trends - but it *is* there with lower daytime peaks:




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grahame
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« Reply #43 on: November 01, 2013, 08:05:13 am »

Here we are in November, with similar numbers to those we had earlier in the year ... 31370 visits (of which 30097 were from the UK) from 13895 unique visitors, 152114 page views in the last month.  Top cities - London, Bristol, Oxford, Maidenhead, Cardiff, Birmingham, Plymouth, Reading, Bath and Exeter.  We know this latter data tends only to give a geographic trend; its interesting to compare it to another site we host that includes Cambridge, Southampton and Milton Keynes, Brighton, Edinburgh, Leeds and Northampton in the 'top city' list. No big surprises; graph shapes still the same, though with a surge last weekend (30% higher traffic) in the run up to and aftermath of the big storm.
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grahame
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« Reply #44 on: January 01, 2014, 11:25:55 am »

To augment Chris's regular monthly update, I'm following up here on my "occasional" series of site statistics, and I've taken the new year as an opportunity to go right back and analyse annual posts and new topics to the very start of the forum.

In year 2007 there were   7330 new posts in   1320 new topics
In year 2008 there were  25211 new posts in   2747 new topics
In year 2009 there were  25925 new posts in   1892 new topics
In year 2010 there were  24293 new posts in   2111 new topics
In year 2011 there were  21836 new posts in   1807 new topics
In year 2012 there were  18682 new posts in   1657 new topics
In year 2013 there were  22285 new posts in   1533 new topics

We should ignore 2007 ... as the forum didn't exist until the end of January, and then needed "seeding" and nurturing.  But since then we've been remarkably stable.  During this time there have been major changes at First Great Western - in many / most cases for the better, yet at the same time the extra loading of more and more passengers has created new problems, and at times it's seemed that factors such as the weather have got more extreme, leading to to tougher operational issues.  And of course the stock has got older - I don't think that First Great Western are operating a single piece of rolling stock manufactured since the forum started.

As time goes on, is there less to talk about?   It would appear not.   The number of new topics drops, but that's because so much carries on with existing discussions.  1488 of the posts in 2013 were on the "Reading Station Improvements" thread which was started in 2010 and it's great to see the continuity and interaction of discussions there - we really shouldn't worry about a modest decrease in new topics.

As ever ... a big thank you to my fellow admins, to the moderator team, and especially to all the forum's contributing members for making the coffee shop a successful, and a pleasant, place to spend a few hours!

Long forgotten about now by most members, I expect, was the unplanned server switch in June which took the forum down for a few hours, with progressive recovery over the following day.  And as the forum came back on line, security algorithms changed meaning that every active member had to reset their password / account to log in.  Although we were very concerned at this at the time, it's wonderful to see that the effect on the ongoing success of the forum appears to be minimal.
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You can find out more about how this forum works [here] - that will link you to a copy of the forum agreement that you can read before you join, and tell you very much more about how we operate. We are an independent forum, provided and run by customers of Great Western Railway, for customers of Great Western Railway and we welcome railway professionals as members too, in either a personal or official capacity. Views expressed in posts are not necessarily the views of the operators of the forum.

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