Metrics on this website’s “size”

Submitted by Sammy Smith (sammy@thesga.org)

How “big” is this website? How has it “grown” over the last year?

Since it’s digital, we could measure it in megabytes, but since its main goal is outreach and education, a simple page count makes more sense. Also, by tracking the page count we can assess our website’s growth. Our page count statistics, it turns out, show steady growth, and thesga.org now can proudly boast well over 600 pages (or “stories”)!

On this website, thesga.org, web pages are, essentially, a single story. Our stories generally track a single idea. Taken together, they provide the casual reader—we hope—something of interest, including information and thoughtful ideas. We hope there is now sufficient depth to our posted stories that a serious reader can glean substantive information about our Society and its goals and mission.

Now that this revamped version of the website has been “live” for over a year, and we’ve been adding to it since it debuted, now’s a good time to assess its growth and our progress.

This version of the website “went live” in March 2009. Our content was primarily: 1) reference materials from the older version of the website; 2) stories gleaned from recent issues of The Profile, our Society’s newsletter (which hadn’t previously been online); and, 3) a glossary, much of which came from our journal, Early Georgia, a 2001 special issue called “Resources at Risk.”

Since then, added materials principally have been: 1) news of the Society, including Chapter reports; 2) other news of interest to our members; and 3) Weekly Ponders.

The SGA leadership was concerned that our website should be fresh and include new stories and information on a regular basis, so we instituted the Weekly Ponder. Ponders can address any relevant topic, and post every Friday morning at 5 am. Originally, we thought the Weekly Ponders might be our only new website stories for several weeks running.

Now that our website’s flow of information has developed, however, we often find relevant news to pass along to our members and the interested public once a week or more. With this background, take a look at this chart.

2010_Jun_pagecounts_by_month.png

Each column shows the webpage count for that month. The dark green is the webpage count from the previous month, and the small light green section at the top represents the new pages generated that month. The numbers on top of the column show the values for the light and dark green sections of each column.

The general trend shows a steadily increasing expansion of the number of pages—and thus the information—on the Society’s website.

Not surprisingly, the number of new pages added each month doesn’t vary much. From April 2009 on, we have averaged nearly eighteen new stories each month—that’s means a story was added more often than one every two days! We generated a much higher than average webpage count in December 2009, when we posted a new online issue of our newsletter, The Profile. We also had higher counts the first two months after we “went live,” when we were still adding some of the “background” content.

Note that of the 631 pages we had at the end of May 2010, thirteen months after debuting this version of the website, 164 are glossary entries and 70 are Weekly Ponders. That’s a total of 234, or over 37% of the pages. As we add more “news” stories, however, the percentage that are glossary entries decreases, since we rarely add additional glossary items these days.

What do you think of this website? What are you glad you found to read here? Other comments?