Data and details on using the same WordPress theme for four years [] 3.4.13 0
by in Case Study


Four years after first launching a simple WordPress theme (thanks Woothemes for Typebased from 2008!) to serve as the home of, we are launching a rebrand as, 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 domain, we wanted to share some lessons from using the same theme for that time.


Monthly page views for Technically Philly, peaking in January 2013 with 93k and staying strong in February with 85k. Click to enlarge

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 site-wide traffic.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

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.

Monthly average load time in seconds for Click to enlarge.

Monthly average load time in seconds for Click to enlarge.


Referral traffic to, in which BLUE represents Google search results, GREEN represents direct visits, yellow and light blue represent Twitter, orange represents Twitter and GRAY represents OTHER.

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, 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.


Depicting the browsers used to visit from January 2012 through February 2013. Click to enlarge.


Christopher Wink is the cofounder of publishing consultancy firm Technically Media and its technology news network Technically Philly. Wink has reported for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Metro, Philadelphia CityPaper, and other publications. The journalist lives in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia. He maintains a personal blog here and tweets from @christopherwink.

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