2008 On More Than Scratch The Surface

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Happy New Year to all! A new year, a new start, but before I start churning out new posts, I want to have a quick look at 2008 on More Than Scratch The Surface. I’m not normally given to writing review posts, but I was looking at my Google Analytics stats for 2008 and felt moved to write a review of 2008.

The Top Ten Visited Posts In 2008

According to Google Analytics, the top ten visited pages on my blog included the home page and four of my plugin pages, which was pretty predictable. Stripping these out, leaves the following as the top ten visited posts in 2008:

  1. WordPress – Rounded Text Boxes in Posts (2007)
  2. Creating A JavaScript Array Dynamically Via PHP
  3. Don’t Let Your CommentLuv Be Stolen Away!
  4. WordPress – Simple CSS Text Boxes In Posts (2007)
  5. WordPress – Most Viewed – Sidebar Widget (2007)
  6. NetBeans IDE 6.5 Beta for PHP Developers
  7. How To Avoid Adsense Smart Pricing On Blogs
  8. WordPress – Taming The Advanced Editor (2007)
  9. Shylock Adsense Plugin – Hack To Avoid Smart Pricing
  10. The Adsense Dilemma (Or How To Make Money)

Interestingly, four of these posts are actually from 2007! Apart from the WordPress Most Viewed Sidebar Widget post, which was out of date as soon as I posted it, the other three are some of my better work (although I now use a different rounded corners technique and wouldn’t recommend it anymore)

If we were to just look at 2008 posts, the following four would be added to the bottom of the list:

Although some of my best posts are in the top 10 2008 posts, there are also some that I definitely wouldn’t have included.

My Top Ten Posts In 2008

Now, if you asked me what my top posts in 2008 were, in terms of importance to me, I would have ranked them this way:

  1. Password Protecting The Wp-admin Folder
  2. Don’t Let Your CommentLuv Be Stolen Away!
  3. The Adsense Dilemma (Or How To Make Money)
  4. How To Avoid Adsense Smart Pricing On Blogs
  5. How To Display Ads Only To Search Visitors
  6. Creating A JavaScript Array Dynamically Via PHP
  7. SearchWiki Breaks Numbered Google Results – Easy Fix
  8. The Curse Of The Blogger
  9. Setting Cookies In WordPress – Trap For Beginners
  10. Spammed By A Master (Of Making Money Online)

Other Interesting Stats From Google Analytics

Google Analytics also provided some interesting statistics for 2008 on this site.


The site recorded 46,488 Visits and 74,916 Pageviews in 2008. Not bad, but I’m hoping to improve on that in 2009.

By far my largest source of traffic was Google, accounting for a little over 50% of all my traffic. This is normally 70 – 80% on a day to day basis, but a couple of posts went hot on StumbleUpon and DZone, sending a surge of traffic and driving down the percentage from Google over the whole year.

Browser Breakdown

The vast majority of visitors were using Firefox, with IE a distant second. This isn’t surprising given the nature of this blog, as it appeals to web developers and bloggers, groups given to using FireFox. The full breakdown is as follows:

  1. Firefox – 69.74%
  2. Internet Explorer – 21.63%
  3. Safari – 3.95%
  4. Opera – 2.02%
  5. Chrome – 1.47%

Operating systems

I thought it would be interesting to look at the major operating systems used by visitors and it was dominated by Windows. The full breakdown is as follows:

  1. Windows – 83.48%
  2. Macintosh – 11.57%
  3. Linux – 4.56%

Top 10 Screen Resolutions

The screen resolution of visitors is always important to web developers. I’ve included the top 10 resolutions below. Some are pretty damn big, but the important one to note is that 800×600 has almost dropped off the list at last!

  1. 1024×768 – 24.77%
  2. 1280×1024 – 19.34%
  3. 1280×800 – 17.89%
  4. 1680×1050 – 10.68%
  5. 1440×900 – 10.09%
  6. 1920×1200 – 4.56%
  7. 1152×864 – 2.68%
  8. 1600×120 – 1.83%
  9. 800×600 – 1.60%
  10. 1280×768 – 1.53%

Top 10 Countries

  1. US (by far)
  2. UK (London was the top city)
  3. India
  4. Canada
  5. Australia
  6. Germany
  7. Philippines (Hi RT)
  8. Netherlands
  9. China
  10. Indonesia

Goals For 2009

Here are some of my goals for the upcoming year.

Post More Often

I only managed 41 posts in 2008, slowing towards the end of the year, with only two in November and two in December. By contrast, I managed 52 posts in a little over 7 months in 2007. I’d really like to get more posts out.

It’s not for lack of ideas – I have lots of half written posts that I just need some time to finish off. I tend to spend more time working on my projects than writing about what I’m learning.

Post On Topic

It’s noticeable in my top 10 posts above that many are my Make Money Online posts. I’d like to keep posting on that topic as I learn more about it, but I want to post more often on my Web Development efforts (and WordPress of course).

Update My Current WordPress Plugins

I want to overhaul my existing WordPress plugins, make them more efficient, add some new features and move them into the official WordPress plugin repository.

Release Some New WordPress Plugins

I started off by writing that I’d like to release another 4 WordPress plugins this year (I already have 4 half finished plugins that I want to finish off). However, thinking of my workload, I changed it first to 3 plugins, then to 2 plugins! So we’ll have to see how many I can actually get out.

Release A WordPress Theme

I’ve extensively customised themes on several of my WordPress blogs, including this one. It’s always been my intention to build a theme from scratch, which I’d then use as a basis to create WordPress Themes for release. Hopefully, I finally get around to it in 2009.

Release Some Greasemonkey Scripts

I have a couple of half written Greasemonkey scripts that I plan to finish off in the near future and I’m sure that I’ll develop more as the year progresses. I’m really loving how easy it is to tweak the behaviour of the websites I visit.

Final Thoughts

Well that’s a quick look at the year that was and the year that will be here at More Than Scratch The Surface. I hope all your endeavours for 2009 are successful as well!

If you have any big plans for your blog, feel free to share in the comments.

20 responses on “2008 On More Than Scratch The Surface

  1. Dave@Lift Chairs

    Wow, I didn’t know NetBeans worked with PHP. I like to use NetBeans for Java sometimes, but typically when it comes to php, I use VIM most frequently. I have been meaning to play with Eclipse’s PHP suite, but I might have to give Netbeans a try first. I can see why that was one of your most popular posts of 2008 ;D

  2. aaron@digital TV changeover

    Great stats. Deciding to post more is always tough to do. My worry is that if I write too many posts that the quality will suffer. If that means I’m limited to one a week than so be it.

    A new wordpress theme would be awesome. It could also really help your traffic with a good backlink in the footer.

  3. WebGyver

    Great job, Stephen!

    Keep up the good work. Love the stats. I’m definitely going to follow you more closely in 2009. Heck, I’m even going to read and re-read your 2008 posts.

    Thanks for the inspiration and your insights,


  4. Mike@FranchiseArticlesDirectory

    I definitely agree with Aaron. Pumping out article after article is a real drain. At least this economy has given us a lot to write about in the world of business

  5. bill@money-saving-tips

    If we could vote, I’d vote for your “How To Display Ads Only To Search Visitors”.

    Heck, chitika.com based a whole business off of that concept.

    Keep up the great work in ’09.

  6. Jerry from@online-marketing-system

    Wow, you have a pretty good stats. I always find a struggle to post and now, I going to set my goals as well. You are my inspiration.


  7. Javier@Stephen

    It’s interesting that you’re receiving a lot of visitors who’re landing on pages from 2007. 🙂 I can understand though why that rounded text boxes post would be pretty popular. Would love to know how to do something like that.

  8. Phill@dofollow links

    Arr , I agree. I love looking at indepth information from my Analytics, its just so interesting.

    It kind of odd why those rounded text boxes are so popular!

    Keep it comming 🙂

  9. Stephen@digital slr camera reviews

    Stephen, i predict your traffic numbers will surge in 2009. i think as word of your WP plugins expands you’ll see the benefits. as a developer myself it makes me want to investigate whether i too could write a decent WP plugin. i wonder what would be a good one…

  10. Zath@Hi Tech Gadgets

    Interesting post! I would personally say that I found your couple of posts on displaying adsense only to search engines was my personal favourite – I’ve been using that on my main site now for several months and while I may lose out on the occasional click, only displaying to search engine visitors does make the site look better.

    Thanks very much, look forward to seeing more of your work in 2009!

  11. Chris@Kansas City wedding photographer

    It’s not surprising some of the most read posts were from the previous year. No matter the innovations of our technology age, stuff still takes time to marinate and find an audience.

    Not sure those 2009 goals are going to be realized. Your posts are few and far between anymore!

  12. tom@Pozycjonowanie

    No wonder that the How To Avoid Adsense Smart Pricing On Blogs tutorial is on most visited list. It was a very helpful article.

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