Sep 272013

I don’t know if you caught the video of my talk at last week-end’s Cambridge Jam? One of the quiz questions (at 17:31) was “RasPi.TV will hit a million page views next week. True, false, pass?” Quite a few people called out “False”, although some of them sounded jocular. In fact it’s True. We just hit 1 million page views at around 5am this morning. That’s 1 million views of WordPress blog pages on RasPi.TV since June 2012. (My WordPress JetPack Stats module is configured to automatically exclude views by ‘logged in’ users i.e. me).

A million views hit around 5am (BST) this morning

Page Views are not to be confused with “hits”, which are a fairly useless measure, since a hit is generated for every little graphic or icon or .js file called from every page. We’ve had about 58 million of those (from the log files).

Let’s do stats

So, while we’re spouting off stats in a self-congratulatory reverie, here’s some more for you…

Unique visitors – we’ve had about 560,000 of those. That’s almost a third of the number of Pis in circulation.

Bandwidth, just over 1.5 Terabytes – good job I switched to YouTube for the videos just before traffic really took off.

Busiest day 8,792 page views.

We’ve also had 1,663 comments spread over 122 blog posts comprising 77,967 words.

Akismet, has intercepted 83,078 spam comments, missed 92 and I’ve only found 1 false positive so far. Pretty good. (I’m not sure what proportion of those submissions would register as a page view.)

Oh, and while I’m drowning you with statistics, there have been 6,766 downloads of the Python Gertboard test software I wrote.

According to Alexa, RasPi.TV is the 292,388th most visited site on the web. I don’t think Alexa stats are very accurate but it’s an indication. The Raspberry Pi Foundation site is at 7,791 on this scale, but gets about 100k views per day on their blog.

And there’s more…

And just in case you think that sounds like a lot, don’t forget the RasPi.TV YouTube channel.

This only really got going in September 2012. In the last year, I’ve made and uploaded 50 videos, accumulating 308,000 views, 635,000 minutes watched and ~2,700 subscribers.

So, I guess you could say I’ve been quite busy.

So what do I get out of all this?

  1. It’s been a lot of fun.
  2. I’ve learned a lot.
  3. It’s been a bit like an organic, online showcase. I have plenty of work as a result of it.
  4. It’s pushed me into hardware design/development. You’ll be hearing a lot more about that when the time is right for me to talk more about it.
  5. I get plenty of “free stuff” sent to me for review. This is awesome because I’ve spent quite a lot of money on my “electronics habit” in the last year. Any way of accumulating cool stuff at low or no cost can only be good. (Although I’ve learned not to spend too much time on low-value items unless they’re really good fun.)
  6. I’ve met lots of great people. Something about the Raspberry Pi – maybe the charitable nature of the Foundation – makes people share freely and help each other. It’s so nice, compared with the cut-throat world of commerce.
  7. I’ve been able to help quite a lot of people improve their knowledge and skills. This is probably the coolest thing of all.
  8. I use my own site as a reference source. Yes. I don’t remember all the procedures I’ve written about. I look them up on here.

It would have been worth all the time/cost/effort for any one of the above, but taken together, and with the benefit of 20:20 hindsight, it would have been foolish not to have bothered doing it.

So, with all this traffic, why don’t I have any advertising?

Easy one. Because I don’t like it. I find it annoying and I think it cheapens a site. That doesn’t mean I would never put any relevant advertising on the site. But it would have to be strictly relevant and tightly controlled. It would have to meet your needs, my needs and the advertiser’s needs. No such planetary alignment has yet come to light.

One more thing

Even now, I can still produce a blog post or video that completely bombs. Not everyone finds everything I do interesting. But that’s OK. There’s lots here for most people (apart from perhaps the uber geeks).

You know a new blog post is “not a hit” when it’s not even in the site’s top ten most visited pages on the day you release it. That happened once over the summer, although it’s slipped my mind which post it was (probably the ego in self-protection mode). Fortunately, it doesn’t happen often. I guess there’d be no need for this post if it did.

Ironically though, I wouldn’t be all that surprised if this post falls into that category. But reaching a million page views is a landmark, so I’m indulging myself on this occasion. And if you don’t like it, that’s OK. There’ll be something else worth reading about soon enough. ;) Allow me my moment of celebration because there’s something magical about your first million.

  13 Responses to “RasPi.TV hits 1 million page views”

  1. *raises a glass* A million page views! Congratulations!!!

  2. Yes congrats Alex!
    Well done for providing an excellent service to the community :)

  3. Well done Alex. Your site is one of the jewels in the Pi community’s crown. Looking forward to the next 100 posts.

  4. Congrats! Keep up the good work . I will keep sharing to the Adafruit G+ page.

  5. Hi, well congratulations! I have to ask if you are getting these many page views then how do you have WordPress configured in order to handle this load? I was averaging about 7,000 unique visitors a month (I’m not sure how many page views) at which I was causing my hosting provider server to crash or use upwards of 60-80% CPU usage. At this point I was forced to abandon WordPress as I just couldn’t afford to continue with issues let alone pay the high price of hosting at the rate I was going. Lots of people have experienced this issue with WordPress so I know I’m not alone but please do tell how you do you do it? In all honestly I don’t want to leave WordPress 100% behind.

    • I have a dedicated server at a data centre in London. I run several sites from it. Costs about £60 a month. Perhaps a bit too much for your average casual blogger, but it works for me.

  6. Congratulations Alex! You didn’t mention what your most popular blog post was (do you have those stats?) so I’m going to guess it was ;-)

    It’s on a completely different scale, but I’ve recently passed the 2000-posts threshold on – in many of those posts I’ve pointed people at one or more articles on RasPi.TV. I agree with other commenters that this site has become a great resource.

    • I laughed out loud when I read that Andrew. That pliers review was your favourite wasn’t it? ;) Off the top of my head, I think the one about fitting a reset switch must be the top one. That was the one that got Hackadayed and Lifehackered at the same time. I’ll check whether or not it’s accurate though. Some of the basic stuff gets a lot of steady traffic too.

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