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Thank You (2011 Edition)

Published by Chris Coyier

Hey folks! It's that time of year again where I write a post to say thanks to every person visiting this site. CSS-Tricks is part of my career, so just by virtue of you visiting this site directly helps me.

Like families often send holiday letters to their relatives with a review of their year and the notable things family members have done, I like to write this blog post and review the year at CSS-Tricks through the numbers. (See 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)

 

I wrote 264 posts in 2011. 107 of those were "link" posts, which I still count because I do some writing along with them.

I crossed the 1,000 post milestone, now with 1,017 posts. That's an average of 15 posts per month since launch in July 2007.

There have been 41,941 approved comments to the site. Which averages out to about 41 comments per post, which I think is just an amazing level of community involvement. No spam in there either. Akismet has blocked 102,977 spam comments. I am still a big fan of featuring and burying comments as a way of rewarding quality comments and hiding not-spam-but-not-helpful comments, which makes the often-long threads easier to read.

The most ever commented post, with 421 comments, was just this month when I asked about internet connection speed. I've been thinking about doing a week or month where I do all opinion-style article and let the comments roll and this kind of participation encourages that.


Comment graph since launch of site (see)

I had 3 big scares this year:

  • One day I woke up to find the forums offline. Turns out it was a problem with how Vanilla forums does things and I nearly decided to sunset the forums as I didn't have time to deal with another big forum migration. Fortunately I was able to patch Vanilla in such a way that this nasty problem can't happen again, and the forums are alive and well.
  • In June, I had some serious performance problems with the site. After tons of troubleshooting, I was able to track it down to my permalink structure in WordPress. This site has 792 "pages" (that's how I do snippets and screencasts) which comes with a serious perfomance penalty when combined with using the /%postname%/ permalink structure in WordPress. I switched away from that and the site was fine. Now that WordPress 3.3 is out, that issue is fixed, and I've switched back.
  • In December, I found out the domain name css-tricks.com was stolen. Fortunately in about a week I was able to get it back.

In April 2011, SurveyMonkey purchased Wufoo (where I work) for $35m. This purchase meant moving to California to work out of the SurveyMonkey office, which in August 2011 I did and am still there now.

The advertising on the site has seen a bit of a shakeup lately. The block of six 125x125px advertisement in the sidebar are gone and replaced with a single advertisement for Treehouse. They also have the header advertisement. It's essentially a full-site sponsorship, like "CSS-Tricks, brought to you by Treehouse." I worried about removing advertisers that were long-time sponsors and friends to CSS-Tricks, but I think this is the correct move for me. It's a net gain financially and more importantly, the advertisements look better and are more integrated into the responsive nature of the site. I still have some spots on BuySellAds and still quite like their service.

Version 9 of this site rolled out this August and then I release and updated navigation and advertising (calling that v9.2) in November 2011. I'm sure there will be a real v10 in 2012, but that work hasn't started yet in earnest. The more the site grows the harder new versions are. I don't want v10 to be just a re-skin, but a more through audit of the experience of each section of the site. Honestly I bet it's Fall 2012 before that happens, but you never know.

Just this past month has broken some traffic records for the site. I'm now seeing over 1 million uniques per month with over 4 million pageviews. I think traffic will continue to grow. I plan to keep doing everything I always have around here, only in addition, work on the gallery and almanac (new very recently), which is just all the more content for people to find and explore.

Of the 38 million pageviews in the whole of 2011, about 30% of it went to demos. 11% went to the snippets area of the site. 4% went to the forums and another 4% to the screencasts. The most popular article was Perfect Full Page Background Images, which wasn't even written this year.

It's a near draw, 51% vs 49% in Returning Vistors vs New Visitor.

55% of traffic comes from search engines, 29% from referral sites, and 16% direct. The most poplar search term is "css tricks" with 2.5% of search traffic followed by "css shadow" with 1%. The top three referral sites are 1) 1stwebdesigner, 2) Smashing Magazine, 3) Web Design Ledger

The RSS feed hit a peak of 82,888 subscribers. It's still growing in number, but interestingly, growth itself has declined. Where we gained 25,000 new subscribers in 2010, we only gained 18,000 this year. I'm still a huge fan of RSS, but I can see how widespread usage of it is impacted by growth of social media use.

I have received 8,329 messages through the Wufoo contact form on this site, 2,844 were from this year (about 8 a day). I respond to the majority of them, unless they are a request for direct help which I unfortunately don't have the time for and instead recommend the forums.

Speaking of the forums, there are 13,233 forum threads. That's just threads, not total posts which I'm sure is many times that. I have numbers of registered users, but unfortunately it's so mired with spam users that number isn't useful. There are five forum moderators that do great work keeping the forums civil, spam-free, and useful. Thanks to Robskiwarrior, TheDoc, Mottie, jamy_za, and TT_Mark.

Goals

I set pretty loose goals for 2011. One I did mention was wanting to do another book, which I failed at. I'll be more specific this year:

  • Actually design more things, become better designer
  • Finish Almanac
  • Release a book or have serious progress on one
  • Produce at least one new round of CSS-Tricks merchandise
  • Release one web app side project
  • Continue same moderate pace of blogging and shooting screencasts while also posting new things to the gallery and snippets.

 

So thanks again folks! Here's to a fantastic 2012 for all of us!

Comments

  1. I’m still waiting for 1337 posts, that will be reason for celebration :P

    Anyhow, I like your goals. Especially the web app sideproject, any thing in particular that you have in mind or just playing?

    • Permalink to comment#

      Thank you, Chris, dont thank us for commentig, we comment for things we like, and we sure like your blog.

      So big thank, is to you, the creator of this great blog.

  2. Those are some impressive stats, it’s nice to have an inside view on CSS-Tricks. It helps us feel like a part of this great community even more!

    Thank you for your constant hard work Chris, you know it is most appreciated. Here’s to an even better 2012, web-wise ;)

    Cheers!

  3. Hey. First off, I love css-tricks and it’s been a great learning tool for me for months. I could be wrong, but in the picture at the top is it supposed to say “2011″, because it says “2012″, where as the one in the 2010 post says “2010″.

  4. I am thankful for you, your website and it’s resources. Here’s to a great 2012 Chris!

  5. Chris, Thanks for everything you provide on this site.
    Here’s to an even more prosperous 2012.

  6. It was a great year and I was excited to have the privilege to see you speak at several events. Happy to see CSS-Tricks going so strong.

  7. komiska
    Permalink to comment#

    Thank you for being a great teacher, writing a fantastic blog and books !
    Can’t wait for the knowledge goodies in 2012. Have a great one!

  8. Yay! Thank you for your excellent work! Also love the newer ad sponsorship, looks more integrated into the site.

  9. Permalink to comment#

    I’ve learned a lot from CSS-Tricks. Thanks for consistently putting out great content and good luck with 2012.

  10. Permalink to comment#

    Congratulations Chris, I wish you nothing but the best for 2012. It always amazes me how many times I throw something into Google and you have an example and explanation ready and waiting at the top of the search results.

  11. Permalink to comment#

    Chris,
    I, too, would like to join in and say thanks for all your helpful wisdom and very down to earth teaching style. Your screencasts have not only helped me immensely, but have also inspired me. I care about designing for the web again and truly cannot thank you enough. Actually, I think I’ll just go buy something from one if your ads. Happy Holidays from Seattle.

  12. Hey Chris,

    I love all you do here at css-tricks.com and I’m still diggin’ Digging Into WordPress!

    Keep up the amazing work and all the best for the new year… you ROCK!

  13. Permalink to comment#

    Have you thought about allowing others to write for you? It’s just an idea, could help you move to other things too.

    You are an ordinary guy that does extraordinary things Chris. I admire what you have done for the web design community. You have helped and served others and that (even according to Buddhist) is of utter happiness to all.

  14. Permalink to comment#

    Three cheers for CSS-Tricks! Three cheers for Chris!

  15. Permalink to comment#

    Amazing Chris, congrats! I’ve been following for a while and will keep it up, amazing palce to learn new stuff.

  16. Thanks for all the consistent hard work. I read posts on your site daily (search). Hope to see that book soon.

  17. Permalink to comment#

    Great! I use your website as a reference, along with your partnered book. They offer me a lot of simplicity and goodies so that I can continuing learning to be a good designer and developer.

    Congratulations! I hope the New Years serve you well, and hope you fulfill your new goals! You are a true “awesome” person. Thank you for helping the community!

    (My website is down though… for extensive redesign. Trying new things at the lab.)

  18. Permalink to comment#

    No Chris, thank you. Your work is an incredible contribution to our field. Here’s to an awesome 2011 and wishing you best of luck in 2012 as you continue to inspire us all.

  19. Permalink to comment#

    I’ve learned so much from this site. Thank You.

  20. Permalink to comment#

    just another fan of css-tricks here :)
    thanks for a great site

    cant wait for that book…

  21. This website has some great traffic!
    And I believe that the Almanac should bring a big boost to new arrivals, as truly nobody can now exactly what all the selectors, attributes, pseudo-elements, … do
    Thank you Chris!

  22. Congratulations for this awesome year :-)

  23. Ronan
    Permalink to comment#

    Brilliant year Chris. CSS-tricks is easily one of the best resources on the web, one which I am and have been happy to recommend to colleagues and developer friends. All the best for 2012, if this year’s anything to go by, there are exciting times ahead.

  24. Nhyx
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks for teaching me a lot of CSS. Your web page is so helpful that I even had to comment here now and wish you the best for the upcoming year.

  25. I love that you post the stats. As other users mention, it makes me feel like part of the community and site in a whole different way. I’ve been using CSS Tricks for the last couple of months. I’m not a designer or programmer, but have a couple on payroll. CSS Tricks have helped me understand and communicate better with my team. Thanks for that! Looking forward to 2012 and I applaud you for your contribution in 2011!

  26. Permalink to comment#

    These stats are very impressive. You certainly have a very high percentage of Returning Visitors – well done and well deserved.

  27. Thanks Chris for all your hard work I have been frequent visitor to your blog since 2008 and I really enjoy reading your posts and watching you video tutorials so keep up with your work

  28. Sorry I meant keep up with great work :)

  29. robertsky
    Permalink to comment#

    I am always reading your post,thank you for sharing trick with us ,you will be a excellent designer .

  30. Here’s to the good, the bad, and the ugly. Through all the scares you still managed to keep things going smooth, and I’m always excited to come back and read more. Thank you for all your hard work going into this site, cannot wait to see what happens in the new year.

  31. Bhaskar Machcha
    Permalink to comment#

    Hi, Chris I am Thankful to your website which is full of resources for the development of Web

  32. Permalink to comment#

    I ‘m really waiting for the release of Almanac!

    (is my English right?)

  33. artsibelle
    Permalink to comment#

    Great website and resource for web design. Great place to interact with others who have similar passions for design. I love your festive “Thank you card” graphic. Your logo works great in the overall theme; it looks like a snowflake. The cool tones of blue and gray evoke winter. Everything just works, love it!

  34. Permalink to comment#

    Chris,
    thanks for all that you do and have done with CSS-Tricks. I came across the site many moons ago and revisited it here and there. Finally in November, I decided to make CSS-Tricks.com my Home Page. I am always trying to learn new tricks as I self teach myself and your site helps immensely. Thank You.

  35. First of all thank you to you Chris, your articles this year were really awesome (again)! In a poll about two weeks ago into my Blog with 67 participants, I asked the readers for their best CSS ressource at the Web, what they like and visit often – conclusion: your blog has been called the most. I think that says everything about your work! On a successful 2012! And if you have some time, you can even visit my CSS Section. Greetings from Berlin, Germany.

  36. Thanks a lot !! Css-tricks has been an invaluable source for me and my team members here! Best of luck ! Hope this continues in 2012 even better!

  37. Permalink to comment#

    Hi Chris! I visit css-tricks and read your posts on a daily basis, and you’ve taught me a lot of things related to Web Design and Development. Thanks a lot for those brilliant articles, congrats and cheers for the 1000 posts mark!

  38. Permalink to comment#

    I have no doubt contributed to your large proportion of returning visitors!

    I started 2011 with pretty much redundant Flash based web design knowledge. I can now happily build a site in HTML/CSS and will be kick starting 2012 with my first site commission ! Your tuition, advice and enthusiasm is super, and the almanac section is looking set to be one of the best css resources on the web.

    Thank-you, and keep up the awesome work!

  39. Permalink to comment#

    Hey Chris!

    Congratulations on your all you have achieved this year. I want to thank you for all the contributions you’ve made to the web design/development community. As a noob who recently decided to go into web development full time, I owe a lot to your website for my tremendous growth in the field. I still have a lot to learn so I will definitely be one of your many frequent visitors ;)

  40. Permalink to comment#

    Brilliant Chris – CSS Tricks is a tremendous resource and example: up with google as a site I load just about every day.

    The site redesign stand out as an improvement over what was already excellent! I notice more and more “tricks” you’ve employed – CSS and otherwise. The difference with many other sites is that these tricks are actually valuable (e.g. the instant preview showing up as I type) rather than just showing how smart the site creator is.

    Here’s to a great 2012 to you and all.

  41. Permalink to comment#

    Congratulations on such a great year! I started reading your site RSS feed this year and it’s great.

    Thanks for all the content and keep up this awesome website!

  42. Permalink to comment#

    Congrats CSS tricks..what a great achievement…and most of all these stats show us how your content has been useful for many people.

    All the best for your next Goals.

  43. Permalink to comment#

    Thank you so much Chris for your work. I visit daily css-tricks.com and every time I discover something new and useful. Wish you Happy Holidays!!!!

  44. You deserve it Chris, that’s the only thing I can tell.

    Congratulations, buddy!

  45. Permalink to comment#

    I want to say thank you for your hard work, good humor and generous spirit. Probably 90% of what I’ve learned about HTML, CSS and WordPress has come from you. I’m looking forward to learning more from you in 2012. Thank you Chris! I wish you all the best in 2012!

  46. Permalink to comment#

    You give an example of efficiency at a high level of quality. I’m glad I know about your site. Good luck in the new year!

  47. Permalink to comment#

    Long time observer here. Thank you Chris for your hard work! Look forward to the almanac.

  48. Permalink to comment#

    YAY! I’m glad to be part of this thriving community… Thanks for all you do Chris!

    In celebration of one of my favorite videos, I think we should rename this post to “Let’s Suck at Web Development Together!”… errr, ok maybe not the best title ;)

  49. Alex
    Permalink to comment#

    Criss find me a job, please !!!
    Please HELP !!!

  50. Hi Chris,

    At first … thank you, Chris !!!
    You’re a great example and teacher! Your contribution is priceless!!! I’ve learned a lot and I hope I can teach others.

    So, thank you again!

  51. Chris,

    Been following css-tricks.com since college. You’ve taught me how to build websites with WP and have been a huge inspiration for my first one page site, which has recently picked up quite some momentum in the community. You bring humor and simplicity to the web community and I hope that it carries on for years to come. Keep up the awesome work and congratulations on your success.

  52. Alex
    Permalink to comment#

    It sounds really, really silly, but without css-tricks, I don’t think I’d be where I am today. Before discovering the site, I was using tables and didn’t even know the meaning of semantic – but now I’m nothing short of a CSS/HTML expert. Not only has the site made me better at what I currently do, but seeing what you can do with the site itself, it’s inspiring me to leave the static nest and venture into the world of WordPress. Thanks very much Chris.

  53. Kevin
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks for all you do, Chris. I’ve modeled several of my own blogging techniques after css-tricks. It’s funny how every time you release a new theme, I’m disappointed, only to find myself sitting here months later wondering how it’s ever looked any other way. Best wishes for the new year.

  54. DeltaDave
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks for your great Tips and Tricks Chris – though I have to admit I am loathe to share your site with others.

    I dont want the rest of them to discover you too!

    Many thanks.

  55. Yeah..! I love your site!

  56. Thanks for constantly sharing what you know– your passion is a rising tide lifts all boats!

  57. Permalink to comment#

    Thank you Chris!

  58. Permalink to comment#

    Congratulations on a great year!
    Keep up the Awesome work!
    Thanks.

  59. Enrique Moreno
    Permalink to comment#

    Congrats, Chris ;)

  60. Jack Nycz
    Permalink to comment#

    Thank YOU Chris!

  61. Nir
    Permalink to comment#

    Thank you, Chris, and I hope you can keep on going strong!!
    Happy New Year!

  62. Permalink to comment#

    And a ‘Thank You’ to you too sir :)

    Keep the great articles coming!

  63. Jason
    Permalink to comment#

    What about browser stats Chris?

  64. Eddy
    Permalink to comment#

    Thanks Chris!

    By the way, your comments counter in the bubble to the left at the beginning of the posts only shows two digits so when a post passes 99 comments, it doesn’t show the correct number.

  65. Ashish Khivesara
    Permalink to comment#

    Css tricks is the best resource available. Thank you for doing such a brilliant job with it. Congrats and wish you an even better 2012!

  66. Css tricks the best,
    I learned a lot from here, I’m waiting for the next tutorial
    in 2012, I hope as soon as possible :))

  67. Permalink to comment#

    Your site is my primary learning site. Thanks and Happy New Year!

  68. srikanth
    Permalink to comment#

    Thank for sharing your post with us.
    This site is needful to every designer to develop their progressive skill.

    !!!Happy New Year 2012!!!

  69. Thank you for putting in the effort, the website is amazing!
    css-tricks, stackoverflow, smashingmagazine… I’m very gratful to be a webdeveloper in this day and age.

    Keep up this awesomeness!      (8 
  70. Charbs
    Permalink to comment#

    You absolutely amaze me Chris, all the work you do, all the ideas you have, it’s a great inspiration and it’s what keeps me coming back. 90% of what i have had to learn about css comes straight from css tricks no doubt about it! I’m at a position in my young career where i can say i work for a creative agency, which has been a personal goal of mine for a while now, and seriously i owe so much of my experience to learning things off this site.
    Have a great 2012 and i hope we see more and more of your creativity and drive!

    God bless ya!

  71. Permalink to comment#

    Chris, first of all, God bless you. For you are great inspiration to many and let’s pray this year you nor your site have any more predicaments that would inpede you from providing this great service of creative education.. Keep up the excellent work you do and the service you provide.
    From Venezuela, many thanks .

    Have yourself and your loves ones an excellent and prosperous new year 2012!!!

  72. This is an invaluable resource for web designers and I love the website design. Excellent job and keep up the good work.

  73. Ken
    Permalink to comment#

    Chris, I’ve been coming to this site just about everyday since 2008. I feel like I should split my salary with you! :) Your screencasts have been the foundation of my career path. In 2007 I was a starving real estate agent looking for another career. With the help of css-tricks, Lynda and a bunch of books, I’m now the lead front-end designer/coder with 8 back-end programmers at my mercy for a small but profitable software company in Atlanta. Thanks to you for being such a generous person and a great teacher. Happy New Year!

  74. I always enjoy reading your posts. I frequently find your posts helpful when troubleshooting a random HTML/CSS issue. Congrats on another year of great content!

  75. The numbers just compliment your skills. You are a Kick-Ass Web Designer cum Developer. Your blog is always a source of inspiration for me . Have a great year ahead !!

  76. Thank you, Chris ! You’re the best one.

  77. Emily
    Permalink to comment#

    Thank you Chris for an excellent blog. I always know where to come for the best web news and tuts!

    Wishing you all the best in this New Year! :D

  78. Thank you for a great tutorial and tricks… :D

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