March 2010 saw Line25 turn one year old. Since its launch last year the blog seems to have been well accepted into the blogosphere, despite entering at a time when design blogs are springing up every day. I always enjoy posting a behind the scenes insight into the traffic levels and growth stats on each anniversary of my blogs, so let’s check out some of the facts and figures behind Line25.
How it all began
I originally came up with the idea of Line25 after two years of running my first blog over at Blog.SpoonGraphics. I’d reached a stage with Blog.SpoonGraphics where I wanted to begin looking into more web design related topics, but with the site having developed a name for itself with Illustrator tutorials and general design related articles, I didn’t want to suddenly switch focus. I decided to take this as an opportunity to start from fresh with a brand new blog, and put my new knowledge of launching and growing a blog into practice with a second site.
I pulled out my notepad and began jotting down some ideas for names, the first one that sprung to mind was ‘Web Lounge’, but unfortunately the domain was taken (but not in use). I emailed the owner to ask if they were willing to sell, but had no luck. I must have tried 50+ alternative names and couldn’t find a domain for any of them, even the most obscure names. I eventually brainstormed some keywords that related to coding and picked out ‘line’ (as in line numbers) to base a domain on. I randomly picked out the number 45 because it sounded cool, making ‘Line45′. Yet again the domain was taken, but at least I had another 99 options based on this naming formula. Luckily ‘Line25.com’ was available and I snatched it up straight away. I thought my nightmare was over, but minutes after grabbing the domain I headed over to Twitter. Surely the name @line25 would be available? Nope. Yet again a name was taken but wasn’t in use. I tried contacting Twitter support, but they couldn’t help out. I had to settle with @line25blog.
The next step was to jot down some ideas for the style of design and its content. My favourite idea was to base the design on the theme of old drawing boards, a place where designers plan out accurate drawings and drafts. This opened up options for all kinds of grid patterns that I could pull into the design of the blog. Line25 is now on its second design refresh, but is still rocking the same styling I had in mind all along.
When it came to planning out the structure of the blog, I already had a formula that worked for me from Blog.SpoonGraphics – Post one main topic a week, followed by a smaller news roundup. So for Line25 I created the three categories of Articles, Inspiration and Tutorials, and came up with the idea of ‘Sites of the Week’ – A roundup of 5 of my most favourite website designs that I’d recently stumbled across.
A few stats
Since the launch of Line25 since March 2009, I’ve stuck to this schedule, posting whatever topic ideas spring to mind each week. Some have been a creative outlet for ideas I’ve been itching to put into practice, while others have been posts that were aimed at being handy learning resources for anyone new to the world of web design. Out of the 110 posts, here’s a list of the most popular topics from the past year:
- Create a Clean Modern Website Design in Photoshop
- 30 Awesome Design Enhancing jQuery Plugins
- How to Convert a Photoshop Mockup to XHTML/CSS
- 15 Must Read Articles for CSS Beginners
- 10 HTML Tag Crimes You Really Shouldn’t Commit
- 50 Inspiring Examples of Minimalism in Web Design
The list of traffic sources provides some interesting stats. 26% of traffic come directly to the site and 16% from Google searches, then the remaining percentages are made up of smaller figures with 5% from StumbleUpon, 4.5% from Twitter and 4% from Blog.SpoonGraphics.
Of the Google search terms, it seems there’s lots of people on the lookout for jQuery lightbox scripts, making one of my early posts titled Rounding Up the Top 10 jQuery Lightbox Scripts appear pretty highly in search results. Here’s the top five search queries:
- jquery lightbox
- lightbox jquery
- line 25
- mootools lightbox
The highest spike of traffic was back on December 10th 2009 with 20,901 visitors as a result of the post 10 Usability Crimes You Really Shouldn’t Commit. A mixture of a catchy title, some handy hints & tips, the opportunity for readers to vent their own opinions and of course the addition of He-Man to the post all helped draw in a mass of traffic. On average the site sees around 3500 per day with Mondays and Tuesdays being the most popular days of the week due to posts going live at the start of each week.
The RSS subscriber stats have amazed me the most, with figures rocketing up right from the start. Today, the figure stands at 29,549, which is quickly catching the 34,519 subscribers Blog.SpoonGraphics has collected over the past three years.
Firefox dominates the browser share with 60%, with Safari coming in second with 15%. Chrome appears third on the list with 9.6% and Internet Explorer takes a small slice of 8.7%. Only 30% of you lot are Mac users, and the most popular Windows OS is XP.
Everyone who has subscribed, tweeted, voted or stopped by to check out an article over the past year gets a huge thank you from me. I hope you all stick around for the next 12 months, and I trust some of the upcoming topics come in handy!