Switching things around

This weekend I decided to mix things up on my blog. So I switched things around:

- I took one of my domains, dullest.com, and moved it to TigerTech from pair Networks.
- I installed the latest version of WordPress on dullest.com and copied the MySQL database from mattcutts.com to dullest.com.
- I changed my blog layout to the excellent Thesis theme by Chris Pearson. Previously I was using the Almost Spring theme.
- I added an .htaccess file that will do 302 redirects from www.mattcutts.com/path/file.html to www.dullest.com/path/file.html .

Note: changing your IP address, webhost, domain name, blog template, and blog version all at the same time is the exact opposite of what you should normally do. It’s better to change only one thing at a time so that if something goes horribly wrong, you can trace what caused it.

Also, if you were truly moving a site, a 302 redirect wouldn’t be the right redirect to use–a 301 (permanent) redirect would be better. But if I like these changes, I might migrate mattcutts.com to TigerTech and then migrate my blog from dullest.com back to mattcutts.com. So I’ll stick with a 302 for now.

Sometimes it’s fun to mix things up. It’s not as if I make any money from my blog, so I don’t mind if my search rankings drop for a while. In fact, it will be a pretty interesting experiment to see what happens with search engines and traffic.

I’m sure a bunch of stuff broke; let me know if you see anything especially horrible!

Chrome marketshare for March 2009

Google Chrome continued its upward marketshare march in March. I was looking at my browser breakdown tonight. Here’s what I’ve got from the last 30 days in Google Analytics:

Browser breakdown for March 2009

Some different browser marketshare numbers:

- Net Applications says that Chrome went from 1.15% to 1.23% in the last ~30 days.

- StatCounter says that Chrome topped 2% recently. Click through to see fewer people using Internet Explorer and more people using Firefox and Chrome over the weekends. StatCounter provides CSV export, so I made a separate chart for Chrome:

Chrome usage in the last month

- Clicky says that in the last 60 days, Chrome has gone from 2.099% to 2.479%

Browser breakdown for March 2009

Not shabby for a little over six months since Chrome was released. My favorite Chrome links recently are:

- The dev channel switcher to get the latest/greatest features in Chrome. For example, the dev channel uses the F11 key to switch to full-screen mode. You can also delete auto-form-fill suggestions by cursoring down to them and hitting the “Delete” key.

- The Chrome Experiments site demonstrates how well Chrome handles JavaScript. My favorite demos are Browser Ball, Ball Pool, Wavy Scrollbars, and the bizarrely addictive Twitch.

How do the browser stats look for your site(s)? And does anyone know of other sources for browser marketshare?

My 2008 traffic stats

I published traffic stats for my blog for 2006 and 2007, so it’s time for the 2008 statistics.

2008 Traffic stats

The rough summary is:
2006: 1.7M visits and 2.9M pageviews
2007: 2.3M visits and 4.8M pageviews, plus 31K RSS readers
2008: 3.4M visits and 5.7M pageviews, plus 46K RSS readers, 7986 followers on my Twitter stream, and 1607 subscribers on FriendFeed.

My most popular posts had nothing to do with search engine optimization (SEO). The top traffic-driving posts of 2008 were:
- My Gmail power tips post.
- My “Best Business Card Ever” post.
- The series of blog posts about Chrome that I did in September 2008.
- My two posts about my Halloween costume and Google’s anti-zombie robots.txt on Halloween.

In addition, my how to hack an iphone article was posted in Sept. 2007 but continued to drive especially strong traffic. If visitors were all I wanted, I’d write about nothing but the iPhone. :)

Almost as interesting were my traffic sources:

2008 Traffic sources

Google and direct visits were a large fraction of my traffic, but so were sites such as Digg, StumbleUpon, Google Image Search, Techmeme, delicious, and Twitter. It’s a good reminder that social media sites and places like image search can drive quite a bit of traffic.

All of this data is courtesy of FeedBurner and Google Analytics, which make this sort of analysis quite easy. What do your 2008 traffic stats look like?

Browser Market Share?

I hadn’t looked at my browser marketshare in a while, so I fired up Google Analytics:

Browser marketshare

Rough browser numbers are

Firefox 57.58%
IE 26.07%
Safari 6.48%
Chrome 5.11%
Opera 2.35%
Mozilla 1.44%
SeaMonkey 0.48%
Mozilla Compatible 0.18%
Konqueror 0.13%
Camino 0.04%

OneStat says that they see 0.54% share for Google Chrome. Net Applications provides an hour-by-hour graph, which is nice, but they hardwired it to look for the string “Chrome 0.2″ when Chrome is on version 0.3 or 0.4 by now. Just eyeballing the Chrome 0.3 version stats, it looked like about 0.85% market share according to Net Applications. Hey Net Applications folks, any chance you’d be willing to roll up all the Chrome versions into your hourly report?

I hadn’t realized that Internet Explorer usage had dropped so low for my site (~26%). What does your browser marketshare stats look like for the last month or so for your site(s)?

P.S. Stephen Shankland writes about switching to Google Chrome because of the speed, while ExtremeTech also concluded that Chrome is speedy. And if you haven’t seen it, there’s a new version of Chrome (0.4.154.25) that adds a couple nice features:

Bookmark manager with import/export.
Use the ‘Customize and control Google Chrome’ (wrench) menu to open the Bookmark manager. You can search bookmarks, create folders, and drag and drop bookmarks to new locations. The Bookmark Manager’s Tools menu lets you export or import bookmarks.

Privacy section in Options.
We grouped together all of the configuration options for features that might send data to another service. Open the wrench menu, click Options, and select the Under the Hood tab.

Personally, I run the dev channel version of Chrome because I like to see what cool features are coming soon. I think the dev channel has averaged weekly updates, which is really nice because you can literally watch plug-in fixes and other improvements arrive every few days. It’s wild to see client software updated that often instead of every few months.

Update, 11/28/2008: Somehow I missed the getclicky.com browser marketshare stats from 60K+ sites. They peg Chrome at 1.55%, with a little bit of 1.6% to 1.7% in the last week or so.

Stupid Digg + a kitten

Sorry that the blog was down for a few hours. Yesterday I did a throwaway post that somehow ended up getting 3800+ diggs or so. I didn’t have WP-Cache or Supercache turned on, so my blog melted to a little puddle of fail. :)

Matt, you idiot! How you could run a modern WordPress blog without caching turned on?” you may ask. The first answer is that I’m stupid and figured that I was boring enough that I wouldn’t hit digg or Slashdot for anything.

The slightly-less-stupid answer is that turning on WordPress caching interacts really badly with the FreeBSD systems that my webhost Pair runs (I’ve written about this before). That means that for me, upgrading WordPress takes hours and is a pain in the butt. The last time I upgraded my WP install, I didn’t install Supercache simply because it was such a headache to uninstall before.

I have to do some thinking about what I might change (blogging platform, webhost, etc.) in the future to make this less painful. Frankly, the idea of racing to update my software every few months (so that I don’t need to worry about getting hacked) strikes me as a little backwards; I’d prefer to host my blog with some web service so that I never have to worry about security releases or downloading/upgrading software myself. I don’t blame WordPress or Pair, but the combination doesn’t work well for me right now.

One suggestion for WordPress: integrate caching functionality more tightly so that managing caching isn’t a multi-step process and doesn’t involve juggling plug-ins. Another WordPress suggestion: lower the price of VIP hosting ($600 setup fee + $500/month is too high; if you lowered that a lot, you could probably attract a bunch of people who don’t want to fiddle with WordPress upgrades) and make it trivial to do a CNAME like blog.mattcutts.com to VIP hosting. One suggestion for WP-Cache and Supercache: make an option that clears out all cache files and deletes all directories created by the caching plugin, then atomically disables caching. Maybe that option is there and I’ve missed it somehow. One suggestion for Pair: if I am the owner of a parent directory, let me delete any file or subdirectory from that directory. Then I could delete silly cache files that are owned by “nobody.” Again, I know the fault is primarily mine for not turning on caching, even if it’s a hassle.

Since you’ve been so nice to read my self-absorbed tale of woe, here’s a picture of my cat Ozzie, helping me hack on the blog:

Ozzie sitting on my

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