2009 On More Than Scratch The Surface

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Happy New Year to all! A year ago, after looking at my Google Analytics stats for the year, I wrote a post reviewing 2008. I figure I may as well do it again for 2009 and also take the opportunity to explain the direction of this site.

The Top Ten Visited Posts In 2009

According to Google Analytics, the top ten visited posts in 2009 (with the home page and plugin pages stripped out) were:

  1. Creating A JavaScript Array Dynamically Via PHP (2008)
  2. Blogger – How To Add Adsense Inside Single Posts Only (2009)
  3. How To Display Ads Only To Search Visitors (2008)
  4. Poll – Which WordPress Theme Framework To Use? (2009)
  5. WordPress – Simple CSS Text Boxes In Posts (2007)
  6. WordPress – Most Viewed – Sidebar Widget (2007)
  7. WordPress – Rounded Text Boxes in Posts (2007)
  8. Custom Page Templates – Calling An External CSS File (2009)
  9. Setting Cookies In WordPress – Trap For Beginners (2008)
  10. How To Avoid Adsense Smart Pricing On Blogs (2008)

While I feel some of those posts deserve to be there, there are some that I don’t feel are particularly deserving.

Also, as you can see, there’s only 3 posts written in 2009 in that list. The others were written in 2008 (4 posts) or 2007 (3 posts). I guess that’s not too surprising as a lot of my traffic comes from search engines and old posts are just as likely to rank well as new ones.

It also doesn’t help that I only wrote 20 posts in 2009 (not counting automatic lifestream posts), but more on that later.

My Top 5 Posts From 2009

Last year, I included a list of the 10 posts that I thought were my best in 2008. If I were to do this again for 2009, I’d only go with 5 articles that I was particularly happy with. There are others which are okay, but don’t particularly stand out for me.

So, here are my top 5 posts written in 2009:

  1. Subscribe To Comments & Protected Wp-admin Folder
  2. Blogger – How To Add Adsense Inside Single Posts Only
  3. Show Adsense To Search Visitors Only – On Blogger
  4. XAMMPLite Virtual Directory And WordPress Permalinks
  5. Sharepoint As A CMS – Microsoft Tech.Ed Australia 2009

Other Interesting Stats From Google Analytics

Google Analytics also provided some interesting statistics for 2009 on this site.


The site had significantly more traffic in 2009 than in did in 2008. There were 75,343 Visits and 113,016 Pageviews in 2009, up from 46,488 Visits and 74,916 Pageviews in 2008.

That said, the first half of 2009 was the best: traffic tailed off slightly in the second half of 2009 (since I disabled my DoFollow plugin).

It will be interesting to see what will happen in 2010. Unlike last year, I’m not particularly concerned about whether traffic will increase in 2010.

I now consider this site as an area for me to write about my WordPress plugins and my Greasemonkey scripts – I no longer have any grand ambitions about creating a thriving blog.

Browser Breakdown

The vast majority of visitors were using Firefox. That 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 – 67.62%
  2. Internet Explorer – 17.65%
  3. Chrome – 6.24%
  4. Safari – 4.75%
  5. Opera – 2.30%

Of the Internet Explorer users, 20.66% were using IE6 (about 3.6% of all visitors). Too many! The numbers are roughly the same as last year, but with a slight drop for IE and a 5% increase for Chrome.

Operating systems

The major operating systems used by visitors was virtually the same as last year, being dominated by Windows. The full breakdown is as follows:

  1. Windows – 82.92%
  2. Macintosh – 12.28%
  3. Linux – 4.25%

Top 10 Screen Resolutions

The screen resolution of visitors is always important to web developers. I’ve included the top 10 resolutions below.

  1. 1024×768 – 21.23%
  2. 1280×800 – 19.57%
  3. 1280×1024 – 15.07%
  4. 1440×900 – 11.88%
  5. 1680×1050 – 11.06%
  6. 1920×1200 – 5.21%
  7. 1152×864 – 2.36%
  8. 800×600 – 1.76%
  9. 1366×768 – 1.50%
  10. 1280×768 – 1.46%

Interesting things to note are:

  • 800×600 has actually moved up one place, despite me proclaiming last year that it had almost dropped off the list at last. It’s hanging in there grimly.
  • 1024×768 is still the most popular, but it’s 5% lead in to 2009 has been reduced to just 2% in 2009. Will it hang on in 2010?

Top 10 Countries

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

Not much change here.

Report Card For 2009

I didn’t meet many of my goals for 2009, as I changed my objectives during the course of the year. Here’s a brief rundown on how I did for each of my 2009 goals.

Post More Often

I published 52 posts in 2007, followed by 41 posts in 2008. One of my 2009 goals was to post more often. I failed big time, only publishing 20 posts in 2009. As I said last year:

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.

That’s still true, but I’m more comfortable with it now. I’ll probably post more this year, but won’t sweat it if I don’t.

Post On Topic

Last year I wrote:

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).

I didn’t post often in 2009, but I was probably more aligned with my core topics than in 2008.

Update My Current WordPress Plugins

I had planned to overhaul my my existing WordPress plugins and move them into the official WordPress plugin directory. Didn’t happen. The new ones are going into the official directory, but the old ones haven’t been touched. Still on my list for 2010.

Release Some New WordPress Plugins

Last year I wrote:

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.

Spot on! I released 2 new plugins in 2009. I’m sure more will follow in 2010.

Release A WordPress Theme

I had been thinking that I’d release a WordPress theme in 2009. Didn’t happen. This is now far down on my priority list. I may release one in future if I create my own theme framework for my sites, but it’s not likely anytime soon.

Release Some Greasemonkey Scripts

I released a couple of Greasemonkey scripts in 2009 and plan to release more in future. Greasemonkey rocks! I write little scripts for it all the time, although I haven’t released many of them (yet).

Changing Goals For 2010

I don’t really have many goals for this site in 2010. As I mentioned above, I’d like to update my old WordPress plugins and move them into the official directory, release some new WordPress plugins and release some new Greasemonkey scripts, but that’s about it.

I have other projects, which I won’t mention here, that are more of a focus for me in 2010. This is just going to become the ‘portal’ to the software I release, with the occasional post thrown in.

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 2010 are successful! If you have any big plans for your blog, feel free to share in the comments.

6 responses on “2009 On More Than Scratch The Surface

  1. Tess@SEO Content Writing

    Wow! It’s amazing how detailed you are in your efforts, goals and analytics. If I were that organized, I could make much better use of my time. As for posting on your blog only 20 times, I can understand easily how that happens. I too get off into other projects and fail to make time to post as often as I would like. Also, I have not yet gotten into Word Press, I have been using Blogger. Thanks for sharing – great stuff

  2. Gail

    I am really surprised your KeywordLuv post isn’t on this list. Even though you are no longer part of the dofollow community I wanted to express my appreciation for your having written the Keyword Luv plugin and for keeping it available for us to use.

    The number of CommentLuv and KeywordLuv enabled blogs has grown so much that in 2010 I will be focusing my collaborating and commenting almost exclusively in dofollow sites that have KeywordLuv installed.

    I sincerely hope KeywordLuv continues to work indefinitely. Should it ever need upgrading I’m sure we can rally the users to keep it working. Thanks again.

    P.S. I’ll review this post on StumbleUpon and from there it will end up on Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed and Delicious.

    1. Stephen Cronin Post author

      Thanks Gail, especially for promoting the post.
      I’ll continue to keep KeywordLuv working, as long as I have time.
      I hope you get a lot of Luv out of it!

    1. Stephen Cronin Post author

      Hi Josh,

      Yep – that’s my audience. The website of the organisation I work for is targetted at the average person and IE dominates. I’m happy that my core audience are Firefox users.

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