Four years after first launching a simple WordPress theme (thanks Woothemes for Typebased from 2008!) to serve as the home of TechnicallyPhilly.com, we are launching a rebrand as Technical.ly, which will be the replacement for the Philly theme and our Baltimore site, a custom theme called StartupBmore from our partner there Mike Brenner.
Consider it a proof of concept that went a little further than a proof of concepts usually go.
Ahead of launching our new site, and a year after we purchased the Technical.ly domain, we wanted to share some lessons from using the same theme for that time.
Traffic growth has been steady but should jump
I wrote a bit about how we moved from about 50,000 page views a month this summer to 95,000 in January and more than 80,000 in February here, but broadly I’d note that we had never focused on audience growth because our revenue has come from events (and consulting before it).
We have a lot of traffic growth to come and the redesign should push us ahead of 100,000 pageviews and more, with 50,000 or more uniques for Philly alone, let along Baltimore and Technical.ly site-wide traffic.
Mobile traffic growth has been explosive and will likely continue
Considering one in five visits to our site in 2013 was on a mobile device, up from as little as six percent in 2011, we were eager to roll with a responsive design in our soon-to-be-launched new site and further increase load time. We have made steady growth on improving the speed with which our site loads, as depicted below, always a sign of better user experience.
Referral traffic hasn’t changed much, which presents an opportunity
What hasn’t changed much over our four years is referral traffic, which might be a sign for movement in traffic.
As depicted to the right, search traffic from Google alone accounts for more than a third of our traffic (blue), a fifth is direct (green) and 12 percent social (yellow and light blue for Twitter and orange from Facebok) and four percent from our RSS feed.
We are drastically underperforming in the email space, in addition to RSS and, relative to our staff time, social media.
Google Chrome is the dominant browser used to visit
Over the life of TechnicallyPhilly.com, Chrome holds a sliver of a lead over Firefox and Internet Explorer represents more than a fifth, but when looking over just the last year, as shown in the graph to the below, Chrome is the big user at nearly 40 percent. Firefox is just below a fifth with 17 percent for Safari, 15 percent for IE and others below it.