Every year we take a look at our yearly stats to reflect on what we have achieved as a community. You can take a look at last years here.
This year... has been different. Usually we celebrate better stats and the new features that had been added to the site over the past year. This time though, I can't really do either of those things. The stats have not been better then last year (I will get into why that is shortly) and we have had very few features added to the site in 2019.
That being said, despite these things, 2019 has been our most important year to date. As from every indication currently, the drastic change that was made this year seems to already be bringing us in more traffic from organic sources like search engines and I'm really excited for what 2020 is going to bring.
I've also been waiting to explain everything in this overview. So if you hadn't already known, this year I launched the new version of the site which you can find out more about here. I never really let on too much at the time but this was a huge achievement, it was something I was thinking I needed to do 2 and a half years ago. Instead I carried on building features and making the site bigger and better. Which made this goal much harder to achieve.
Despite of that, at the beginning of this year I started to really despise working on the messy poorly structured code base of the original site. It made working on it very difficult, I started to feel I had taken it as far as I really could take it. So for a bit I switched focus on creating the asset store. To try and keep us growing in an additional way. Also keep in mind I have released some games and have some other ones in the works that I have also been working on too. I think it was around about May or June time I decided I would start taking on the task of rebuilding the site in a structured PHP framework. I had no idea how long it would take, I didn't set any times or goals I just said very little and chipped away at it. Just think about it, taking a site that you had been working on for the past 3 years built off of an abandoned project that was built from the remains of a site I built more then 10 years ago. I just knew it was going to take a long time.
Also it was incredibly stressful, just imagine you built a site bit by bit, started with the account system then moved on to the upload a game section and so on so forth. Forgetting about everything before it to focus on what is ahead of you. Though this time I had to constantly be thinking about everything as a whole at all times to make sure everything will work together correctly later and that is a lot to think about believe me. Also I had to launch the site as smoothly as possible which meant running off of the same database. Just thinking about it makes my head hurt again. Which is why I have had a bit of a break since launch, stepped away and cleared my mind ready to start chipping away at it once again like before.
That being said I have been working on something that is a bit of an experimental feature I expect it'll be live soon once I have a bit more time to finish it off.
So... stats. I've already mentioned we haven't done as well as last year but before getting into them I just want to explain why it's not actually all doom and gloom. The main difference is that this year I haven't been spending the time marketing the site like I had previously instead spending my time on the rebuild. I almost didn't want to grow the site until the rebuild was finished because the larger the site became the harder it would be to launch the rebuild. We also lost our social platforms bot that would post automatically every hour due to them removing the ability to do so. We also saw sites like stumbleupon close which was giving us a fair amount of visitors.
So it is important because it means almost all of the visitors to the site this year found us though natural sources like search engines or from other websites. Which is exactly what we want!
Also this year the hits measurement is going to be a lot more than previous years. Basically I think the way I used to get this stat has changed to only show a monthly figure instead of yearly. So the hits figure is taken from our server stats. This records absolutely everything from bots to people viewing images embedded from our server to other sites, it's literally everything. So moving forward that will be how we get that stat in the future.
So although it has seemed like a slow year in 2019, we have really just set ourselves up for a fantastic 2020.
So I wish you all a very happy new year. Now let's a have a cracking start to the new decade!
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