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Thank You (2013 Edition)

Published by Chris Coyier

GROUP HUG! It's that time of year I give ya'll the biggest warmest THANKS I can. CSS-Tricks is the foundation of my career and makes my life possible. And thus it is to you, dear reader, that I owe everything.

As we've done in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, we'll look at the year by the numbers, milestones, and goals.

Statistics

Traffic wise, there were 65 million pageviews. That's a 22% rise over last year, but the growth rate was 38% last year so the rate of growth has slowed. This was from 16.5 million visits. I feel like unique visitors is kinda useless on a developer site. Unique visitors is cookie-based and web developers are the most likely people in world to mess with cookies, use different browsers, etc.

There were very few big spikes in which to mine for information on what makes for a big-traffic day. That's my style anyway: growth through stubborn persistence.

Mobile (i.e. non-desktop) traffic doubled. Although to just 6% from 3% last year. Again, understandably low for a developer site that most people come to when writing code, which is still a desktop-y activity. But the growth rate matches the web at large.

Social media dominated the referrals. The top four social (and top) sources: 1) Twitter (6% of all traffic) 2) StumbleUpon 3) Reddit 4) Facebook. The top four (so happened to be the next four) non-social-media referrals were: 1) Stack Overflow 2) Codrops 3) Smashing Magazine 4) David Walsh.

RSS subscribers plummeted from 100k last year to 30k this year, directly related to Google Reader shutting down, which still makes me sad. I'm using Feedly which I'm pretty happy with despite some weird missteps. I don't put much stock in Feedburner stats anymore though, as it's clearly an abandoned project. If FeedBurner shuts down, I'll probably move RSS back in-house and figure out some analytics for it I can trust.

There were 11,000 comments this year from the 65,300 ever posted on this site. That's 1/6 of them, and the site has been around 6 years, so that's kinda fun.

I received 2,500 emails from the contact form on this site, down from 3,000 last year. Maybe being chatty on social media is bringing that down? Interesting to see incoming email go down like that, especially with general traffic being up. I still think email is a great system and don't have any particular problems managing it.

I only did 13 free videos this year, about half of what I wanted to do, but at least that's better than one a month.

I wrote 278 posts this year. 171 one of them were regular length articles (almost one every other day) and 107 were link posts (usually accompanied by minimal commentary).

Milestones

I got the Store moved over to Shopify, which made for a real shopping cart system, easier fullfillment, and a generally better and more flexible system.

I got the Forums moved over to bbPress, which feels great to have more of the site under one roof. I'm still very happy with the move. Shoutout to all the moderators who help on the forums and keep it a clean, useful place.

I (along with the help of several contributors) finished the Alamanc. There is more that can be done there though in fleshing it out more and updating content, so if you enjoy very specific web tech writing and could use a little freelance work, get in touch.

I published two new complete courses in the Lodge. One on building a mobile-first artist's website in WordPress and one on learning jQuery from scratch.

I wrote once a month all year for The Pastry Box Project. My favorites were my post about introversion, working in public, and UX, although I enjoyed writing them all. I also wrote on 24 Ways this year about Grunt.

My favorite posts here on CSS-Tricks are the ones that are indicative of important sea changes in front end:

I spoke at Webstock early in the year which took me to New Zealand. I had a grand time. The only other time I left the United States was to visit Scotland for fun with friends. I did a fair bit of traveling around the US the rest of the year, mostly for conferences.

On the personal side, I lost a good bit of weight this year but I have a long way to go to be at an actually healthy weight. I really need to get on track again after these blasted holidays. I also moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin this year in April, which was also symbolic of a move into full-time CodePen work.

Goal Review

Grow traffic on this site.

While the rate of growth slowed, I'm happy with a traffic increase of 22%. If that happened again in 2014 I'd be just as happy.

Average one free screencast every two weeks.

Nope, only did about half that. I'm not overly upset about the rate though. If I do 12 in 2014 I'll call that good. I really like doing them, but I think creating more content for The Lodge is more important.

Release at least one new complete series to The Lodge. Hopefully in the first third of the year.

Did it! Two courses, actually. I'd like to do at least one more in 2014 too. I think a course straight up on CSS is a possibility, but I have several ideas. I actually have a couple of bigish ideas that could theoretically be books, but I don't think I want to make a book a specific goal.

Keep growing and expanding CodePen. We have a huge internal list of things we want to do and I'd like to see everything on that list (as of now) done.

I wish I could look at what that list exactly was. I bet we did the vast majority of it but not every bit of it. I can think of at least one thing that I bet was on it that we haven't gotten to but will in 2014. I'm going to give this a check though. We did pretty well. My biggest 2014 goals will all be CodePen related.

Keep on keeping on at ShopTalk releasing a new show every week.

Pretty close! I'm giving it a check because the only weeks we took off we discussed and decided to on purpose. Not because we failed to get it done.

Be a better web community member all around, participating in more discussions on this site and elsewhere, and bringing more community to CodePen.

This is hard to measure but I think I did OK. Probably about as much as I ever have done. I like it as a goal though. This year I don't want to limit it to where I'm being a good community member, I just want to think of it as one big web community.

New Goals

Professionally, I'm more and more happy that I've trimmed down my responsibilities to just CSS-Tricks, CodePen, and ShopTalk. So my rather generic set of goals around those are:

  1. Continue my pace of writing here on CSS-Tricks. Don't ever be afraid to write about very small ideas. I'm also going to release an iterative new design here on CSS-Tricks. I have some simple ideas already so I'd like to see that out by Summer at the latest.
  2. Continue building CodePen. That means adding features large and small, but just as importantly, refining what is there. I'd like to see us have four major releases this year and I'd really love to see us take on at least one new employee.
  3. Continue to record and release episodes of ShopTalk all year with Dave and guests. I'd like to do 50 shows, keeping us a reliably-weekly show. I'd also like to solicit some serious listener feedback this year and make adjustments based on what they think would make for a better show.

I also need to create a new talk for 2014, and my generic goal for that is make it a talk that I really enjoy giving. I need to watch it on going to conferences. While I love them, the lost time can wear on me. I'm not going to set a goal on them. I know I felt I did too many last year and have lightened it up this year so far. If I feel better about it this year, I'll keep it the same. If I still feel like it was too many. I'll count them and do it by the numbers next year.

Personally, I'd like to:

  1. Get down to 210lbs.
  2. Organize my finances better. Have a system that separates all the things I do more clearly.
  3. Save enough money so that in about 18 months I'll have a decent down payment on the actual loan I'll need to get when my land contract on my house is up.

Here we go

I hope you all had a good 2013, but much more importantly, I hope we all have an amazing 2014!

Comments

  1. Permalink to comment#

    Awesome work mate, I’m inspired to write a milestone post for our site and set some new goals. Keep it up! :)

  2. No Chris, Thank You!

    We, the readers of your blog, are better web professionals because of you and all the stuff that happens here in CSS-Tricks.

    Mil Gracias amigo.

  3. Lukas
    Permalink to comment#

    Why are you thanking us Chris? You’re the genius who makes all this stuff! Have a great year.

  4. I’ll echo the comments above–THANK YOU. I think this may be my first-ever CSS-Tricks.com comment, but it’s hardly the first time I’ve visited and benefited from the site. It’s an awesome and inspiring resource, and it’s exciting to hear about your successes and drive to continue to grow the site and improve the community.

    Once more, cheers and happy new year =)

  5. Vishnudas Tekale
    Permalink to comment#

    Hay Chris, Thanks for creating this awesome app…!!! You have done a great job of helping web developers…!!!

  6. Permalink to comment#

    Great year! Keep up the great work. Thank you for everything you do.

  7. nitesh
    Permalink to comment#

    thank you very much ..
    i really need such kind of platform to get assistance and informed with these things

  8. Victor Rueda
    Permalink to comment#

    Thank you very much Chris for all the hard work you put into this site and all the work you take part of. Without a doubt you have helped many web developers one way or another. May the Universe and the Force be with you throughout this new year. Keep up the excellent as you have so far and the world, the world wide web, will be a much better place for all. Success on all your goals, personal and professional; from Venezuela. By the way, you are bad as* dude.

  9. joyce
    Permalink to comment#

    thank you Chris,I love your fantastic tuts,they really helped me a lot.Best wishes:)

  10. What an awesome post. 65 million pageviews?! That’s amazing. I didn’t even know about the Lodge, about to go check that out. Happy 2014!

  11. Permalink to comment#

    Thanks for all the great ideas. : )

  12. Thank you for CSS-Tricks, CodePen, ShopTalk and all you share with the developer community! Have an awesome 2014, Chris!

  13. Thank you for everything you have done this (now last) year. You have a wonderful balance of things a developer should know, things a developer might want to know and things a developer can only dream of doing when he doesn’t need to support really old browsers (NHS grrrrrr).

  14. Thank you for what you did Chris !

  15. Happy New Year to you Chris and everyone else out there in Internet-land. Thanks once again Chris for all of your invaluable tips …

  16. Permalink to comment#

    Thank you very much Chris, I’ve learnt a lot from your screencasts. :)

  17. paulob
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks for a great site Chris, best wishes for the new year and hope you reach all your goals personal and otherwise. :)

  18. Simply putting it… “You sir are a blessing to humanity.”

    :)

  19. Permalink to comment#

    Good luck getting down to 210 Chris.

    Kidding aside, I want to let you know how much I appreciate all the help you have given. Have a good 2014 and more power :)

  20. joshuadmesser@gmail.com
    Permalink to comment#

    Reading these comments has brought a tear to my eye. All of this love and thanks to a man that I personally have admired for many years. I have to admit that without Chris Coyer and CSS-Tricks I probably wouldn’t have the career that I do today. Chris you have inspired me to become a better developer, even a better person. I’ve learned so much from your works, not only this site but ShopTalk and watching many of your videos and talks. You have helped greatly to shape me into the developer that I am today, and yet we’ve never met. That is the power of the internet, the beauty of our community. There is no other job in the world that has such a powerful community as working for the web. We get to change peoples lives everyday from the products that we create, it may not be a big global change like the ones that Facebook and Twitter have created, but a change nonetheless. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. May all your hopes and dreams come true this new year, because you are a legend and you deserve it.

  21. Aaron
    Permalink to comment#

    Simple.com, man. It has helped me save a ton of money in the last year.

  22. Permalink to comment#

    Good luck to you for the year ahead Chris!

    On the Lodge front, how bout a course in Flexbox? Might help increase the uptake. That, and a deep dive into Sass would be super sweet!

    Cheers for all your efforts – I owe you many beers

  23. Thanks Chris, great job accomplishing and pushing things forward!!!

    BTW I’m from Miltown too, we should have a beer sometime.

    //zeek

  24. thanks for your thanks email – all the best for 2014 and keep up the good work.

    cheers
    mike

  25. Permalink to comment#

    Thank you Chris!
    You make us getting better and better at what we do and keeping interest in new stuff.
    I always like to learn new things with the screencasts or revisit some snippets.
    I really love the Grunt article in the 24ways site, very useful and time saver.
    Keep it up!

  26. Chris Ray
    Permalink to comment#

    One of my regular go-to resources. Put simply…top bloke.
    Here’s to you Chris

  27. Permalink to comment#

    Thank YOU Chris. CSS-Tricks is such a great resource for those of us that love to dive into code on a day-to-day basis. Thank you for all your hard work and your vision for the site. I’m looking forward to where you take this in the next year. Best of luck on your personal goals as well!

  28. Permalink to comment#

    css-tricks.com will be betterrr in 2014!

  29. Crystal
    Permalink to comment#

    A big THANKS to YOU! I discovered this site just in the last year and now visit faithfully. I’ve learned a lot (and share what I’ve learned too!) and love that you visit subjects that we might be a little sheepish about asking about. The tut on What is the DOM comes to mind, especially.
    Keep up the good work!

  30. Rick H
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks for all you do here, Chris. You’re quite an inspiration and I can truthfully say that your videos and articles have dramatically improved my game as a web designer.

    Keep up the good work and best wishes to you in 2014!

  31. Ryan Boone
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks for the update, Chris! This year I hope to launch my digital portfolio and finally start my blog. A couple of suggestions for financially related stuff:

    YNAB – this is the cleanest, easiest way I’ve ever organized my finances/budget. It doesn’t track dividends from an investment portfolio, but what it does, it does well (and with style to boot).

    Betterment – Investing app that uses an algorithm to grow the money you invest. You set particular goals, like “Home Down Payment,” and dial in the level of risk you are comfortable with. The algorithm tracks the value of your stocks and bonds and automatically sells once it hits a certain price, then reinvests it.

    Cheers! And congrats on the weight loss. I know it’s tough to unlearn old habits and learn new ones. It’s worth it, though!

  32. Chris,

    Thank you for all that you do to help us web developers, develop better! CSS Tricks is THE place I go to for that nit picky information I cannot seem to keep in my head. Good luck in the new year!

    All the best,
    Fred Shequine

  33. Mike K
    Permalink to comment#

    Awesome job Chris! Excited to see what you have in store for CodePen in 2014.

  34. Yours is my favorite blog. Thanks for all the lessons, ideas, and humor.

  35. Why ying
    Permalink to comment#

    Thank you!I love your site!

  36. arnold
    Permalink to comment#

    Wish you the best for 2014 !
    Im an avid follower of shoptalkshow, anything new coming up?

  37. joe
    Permalink to comment#

    I love this site. Please keep it up forever. Thank you.

  38. …And thank you for this awesome site and I love your podcast -Shoptalk!

  39. Awesome job Chris! Keep up the good work in both your personal life and your work on CSS-Tricks/CodePen!

  40. Your valuable articles and videos help me and all my students a lot and we visit your site mostly for any css trick while developing our client sites. Many Thanks Chris and keep it up.

  41. Provene
    Permalink to comment#

    Thank you Chris, and also thanks to all those on here who help me when I’m tearing my hair out! This really is a place where beginners like me can come and get help without worrying about trolls jumping on us! It’s a team effort, but thanks to Chris for starting it all and making it possible.

  42. Xander
    Permalink to comment#

    Aren’t you affraid that software like Macaw will replace the need to have css skills?

  43. deedee
    Permalink to comment#

    Thank YOU for your job!

  44. Chris,
    Thank you for keeping up such a great and useful site!
    Finances was a huge goal of mine for 2013, and I used YNAB (You Need a Budget) to get it done. It’s a different sort of mindset, takes a bit of getting used to, but is very worth it! ynab.com

    Happy New Year!

    -Heather

  45. Permalink to comment#

    Your work is awesome. I could just sit and learn. And hope one day my blog could be something worth of mention.

  46. Mazurka
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks for many great articles this year, but more importantly for me, many great videos!

  47. Bits
    Permalink to comment#

    You deserve every ‘thank you’ that has been written above mine, Chris. As far as I’m concerned, your goal of being a better member of the web community has already been reached… look how many people you have helped. Many, many more than have commented here, I’d imagine. All the best to you in 2014!

  48. Happy New Year! Your sites are simply the best. It is a pleasure learning from you. Feel like I am attending Coyier University. Wishing you and yours all the best!

  49. Hi Chris

    First of all, thank you and all of the members of this website. I have received a tonne of help from your website, the forums and resources like CodePen, I feel it has made me a better developer and designer.

    I would also like to wish you all the best for trying to get down to 210lbs in bodyweight (and beyond)…I of course don’t know how much free time you have on your hands especially when running your various projects, but please do not hesitate to contact me through my website if you would like some information on workout routines and/or something called ‘flexible dieting’.

    Thanks once again.

  50. Rob
    Permalink to comment#

    Goooo CSS Tricks :D

    Well done Chris – your dedication to the site gives it the success you deserve and we all benefit from it :)

  51. Wow! I bow for you o’ mighty. Great job in ’13! I enjoyed every second of it!

  52. Thanks to Chris and your CSS Tricks. This web is one of my favorit place to get knowledge and inspirations.

  53. Thanks Chris, I use the site frequently and it has made me a better web developer. Congrats on a good year.

  54. Thanks for everything you’ve done in 2013 and I hope 2014 is better still. As a web developer, I’ve always found the site invaluable and thought it was time I passed on my gratitude. Keep up the good work and Happy New Year.

  55. Steve
    Permalink to comment#

    Chris, this site has become one of my favorite sites to visit on the daily. Thanks you for your dedication to helping us noobs out throughout the year. Dam beer, hope I didn;t make a fool of myself. -Firsttimeposter

  56. Love seeing the numbers and reading the thoughts behind them, Chris. Thanks for sharing. Interesting that you chose Shopify over a WP-centric platform like WooCommerce. Any particular reason why?

    • I just kinda knew Shopify would work really well so I went with it. I wouldn’t rule out changing to a WP specific solution in the future though since those are so robust now.

  57. Hey Chris,

    Thanks for just doing what you do. You’re a national treasure. Looking forward to what you produce in 2014.

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