I always feel a huge, hearty “THANK YOU” is in order at the end of the year. Especially this year, since this is the first year I’ve been able to go out “on my own” entirely thanks to you and the support you’ve shown the site. The highest of fives to you.
And now for the annual goal review and statistics dump. We’ve done this in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 if you’re interested in a trip down memory lane.
I wrote 291 posts in 2012, a 10% increase in volume from last year. 160 (55%) of those were link posts compared to 45% last year, so probably roughly the same amount of full blog posts.
There is now a total of 1,312 blog posts, 1,046 pages (includes public screencasts, snippets, and almanac), and 352 gallery screenshots.
Akismet has blocked 196,782 spam comments from this site. That mark was at 102,977 last year, meaning in just one year there were nearly as many spam comments blocked as in the first four years combined. That’s kind of disturbing. There have been 54,420 legit comments posted, so about 3 out of 4 comments is spam.
RSS subscribers peaked out at 100,699. That means we gained about 17,800 this year compared to a growth of 18,000 last year. Very slight slowing in growth, but still, 18% growth is pretty damn good.
I have received 11,472 messages from the contact form on this site. 3,097 of them were from this year (27% of them, 8.5/day). The most common choice for “Regarding” (a required choice on the form) is “Something Awesome” which… is awesome.
I get around 100 emails a day, which I find manageable most of the time.
I only did 9 videos this year, which is way too few and rather embarrassing. I’ll make that a goal for next year to do more. However, if you factor in that I did 158 videos for The Lodge, I actually more than doubled the inventory.
There are 19,178 threads in the forums this year, 5,945 from this year (although if I paginate back I only see 4,180, not sure what’s up with that, perhaps deleted spam threads factor in). Anecdotally, the forums seem more active than they have ever been. Big thanks to the moderators there. Great work as always, team!
There were 53 million pageviews in 2012 compared to 38.4 last year, a 38% increase in traffic.
It’s rather amazing how identical traffic was year over year. Returning vs. New was exactly the same as last year at 51% vs 49% respectively. 55% of traffic came from search again. The top three referral sites were again 1) 1stwebdesigner, 2) Smashing Magazine, 3) Web Design Ledger.
Twitter sends 46% more traffic to the site than Facebook. I’m surprised it’s not more really, since I’m quite active on Twitter and barely at all on Facebook.
Chrome was the most popular browser with 47% of traffic which is up from 34% last year. Firefox was in second at 33% (42% last year). Safari and Opera stayed steady at 11% and 2% respectively. Internet Explorer dropped 2% to 6% (93% 8+, same as last year). 1% Misc.
Mobile (phones and tablets) went up from 2% last year to 3% this year.
The most significant CSS-Tricks milestone was doing the Kickstarter and then launching v10 of the site including The Lodge.
This year I also started doing Chronicle posts which give me a place to talk about all kinds of different stuff that doesn’t really deserve entire blog posts but are still all good things to mention on this site.
There is now an always-open merchandise store on CSS-Tricks thanks to the amazing Sara Cope – the closest thing I have to an employee around here.
The very first ShopTalk episode was January 9th, 2012, so that has been a huge thing for this year. We plan to keep that going strong all next year.
Perhaps my biggest milestone this year was launching CodePen. Our first commit to that project was also in January, so it was also a child of 2012.
Actually design more things, become better designer
I feel good about this one. I don’t think my design skill is where I want it to be (I feel like the best place to be is when you can design things that match your own level of taste) but it’s gotten much better. Thanks in no small part to being the sole designer on CodePen and the big redesign of this site.
Almost… still some outliers I need to finish.
Release a book or have serious progress on one
Not even close. Didn’t even start one really. Some good ideas came and went. Another book is in my future I’d bet, but I’d be surprised if that happened in 2013.
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.
Little light on snippets but otherwise good here too.
- Grow traffic on this site.
I’m a bit bummed by the stagnation of traffic.I hope to grow it by producing more and better content in every area of the site.
- Average one free screencast every two weeks.
- Release at least one new complete series to The Lodge. Hopefully in the first third of the year.
- 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.
- Keep on keeping on at ShopTalk releasing a new show every week.
- Be a better web community member all around, participating in more discussions on this site and elsewhere, and bringing more community to CodePen
These feel like very reasonable goals especially considering this will be the first complete year where all my time is my own. Plus, I’ve purposefully kept my speaking schedule light, only doing a few ones that look amazing and a few others that are always my favorite.
So again, THANK YOU for being a reader of CSS-Tricks and here’s to a fantastic 2013 for all of us!
Would like to give a massive thank you to you and the CSS tricks website. I have been to your site for resources, tips and tricks throughout the whole year. I’ve learnt so much from what you have put out to us all in the industry, so thank you very much and have a great new year and 2013!
Thanks for providing such great content! Good luck in ’13. :)
Thank YOU for taking the time to spread the knowledge you’ve acquired over the years. I love the site and would’ve certainly contributed to the kickstarted campaign had I known about it. I’d say asking for twitter RT’s could certainly increase your traffic. Thanks again Chris and happy new year.
Chris, I think the pleasure has been all ours this year. It’s been amazing and inspirational to see the site change and grow – The Lodge was absolutely worth investing in on Kickstarter and I wear my hoodie with pride around the office!
You’ve created an awesome place for web developers, new, experienced and all points in between to come and gather, discuss best practice and learn from each other.
Make no mistake, CSS Tricks supports a massive amount of users in their learning – I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be in business were it not for the awesome learning potential available here.
Thanks for the last few years, a terrific 2012 and I’m sure that 2013 is going to absolutely rock!
Thanks Andy, I hope 2013 rocks for all of us.
Keep up the great work. You are one of my heroes.
Thanks for sharing those the stats Chris. Wish u all luck for 2013 ^
This is AMAZING. You must be one of the most diligent and creative persons in this industry.
May 2013 bring even higher numbers, and great success!
I’m really Bartemius Crouch (no, not the Harry Potter character). Just wanted to mention the grammatical mistakes you made in haste, quite unintentional though, I’m sure Mister Coyier.
“… I’ve purposefully KEEP…”
“… and HERES to a …”
Better fix them, or SEO-lord the Mighty Google-bot will take notice.
Nice year, by the way. My heartiest congratulations to you, Sire.
The Lodge videos were a great highlight this year. I really enjoyed watching you work on the re-build and I learned a lot in the process. So, thanks for that.
I’m also a regular listener to the Shop Talk Show now and look forward to a new one every Thursday.
It was also great getting to see you speak at MinneBar in Minneapolis earlier this year. I hope you get to make it out here again.
Here’s to 2013! Thanks, Chris!
Awesome stuff, Chris, love seeing the year end stats.
The screencast every two weeks might be a bit difficult. I’d suggest not worrying about 30min long videos. If you have something that is only 7-10min long I think that’s perfect. Those short videos are fantastic for quick little breaks while working, would love to see more of them!
Good luck in 2013, you deserve it!
Congratulations on a successful year, and cheers to many more…I can not tell you how many of your blog posts I have used as reference material for some of my HTML/CSS classes that I have taught to students. Truly amazing that you have shared so much knowledge over the years. Your success is well deserved.
May you continue to keep doing what you are doing…your good at it…
Congrats on a great 2012! Looking forward to more great stuff in 2013.
P.S. Are you sure you calculated your page views correctly for the year? I have a site that had 183 million page views this year and it’s nowhere near as popular as CSS Tricks (at least, according to Alexa).
On a similar subject, I’m looking to move to a new host and I noticed you’re hosted by Media Temple. Are you on the (dv) plan? Does it scale well for your level of traffic?
That’s a seriously high number Scott! Literally five times bigger than CSS-Tricks. Not even kidding, you should be making half a million dollars a year off traffic like that. Just a little poking around BuySellAds you can see sites that get 2-5 million pageviews a month can easily earn 15k a month and you’re looking at more than 3 times that. You might have a little trouble finding enough high-end advertisers, but it won’t be that bad. You might have to diversify and so some different types of advertising but it’s doable.
I’m getting a decent return :)
But I still don’t believe your figures for CSS Tricks are right. Alexa isn’t known for its reliability but it should be a good gauge. My site is ranked around 24,000 whereas yours is at 1,500, something is way off here ;)
Are you sure you’re looking at Visits instead of Pageviews (either one of you). On one of the sites I run, we regularly get 3-500,000 ‘pageviews’ a month, but only about 75,000 ‘visits’ a month. That might be where someone is not looking at the right numbers… or trying to compare apples to oranges, lol!
As an avid reader and watcher of this site, I’d really like to say thank you to you. I don’t think you know how influential and educational you’ve been in my career. Thanks for doing what you do and for being the person you are. I appreciate it immensely .
This site is my goto site for learning. I feel as though the investment in the lodge provided a degree in HTML/CSS/Web development. Keep doing your thing, it is beneficial to me for sure and this is your making a dent in the universe.
Happy New Year to you and your team and all the readers!
What they all are saying!!!!!!! ^^^ Happy New Year, as a matter of fact Happy Lotsa Years!!!
Happy New Year to you, too, Chris. I liked seeing all the stats in this post. I wouldn’t worry about the lack of growth. You don’t want to become a McDonald’s of web development. Your articles are one of the best of their kind. I don’t know how many times, over the past year, I’ve revisited your site again and again and perused your articles for help on how to do this or that. Also, you have a wonderful community here, with great contributors posting informative comments, so it’s a win no matter what. Thanks for all the tips, tricks and how-tos, and for saving my butt (or at least my time) on my own projects.
Thanks Chris – It’s all about the content for me, so keep up the great work!
Thank you too Chris, thank you too css tricks :)
Chris, thanks for share your knowledge with us. You are a inspiration for me. Thank you and waiting for more and more.
Regards from Portugal.
I am very benefited from your resources. I am learned from your all resources…
Happy new year…, Chris and CSS-Tricks also..
I hoping the same resources from your website..
Thanks Chris for your contribution.
Thanks Chris., You are truly a CSS legend.
Great job Chris! I am a huge fan of your work! May you be as successful in this next year as you were in this one! :D
thanks for chris
Congrats on a fantastic 2012 Chris, The Lodge, CodePen, ShopTalk Show and of course CSS-Tricks have been invaluable tools to not only me but the entire web community. It was great to hear you speak at InCtrl in Hawaii and spewin’ I didn’t get a chance to say hi, might catch ya at Webstock instead in 2013.
Well done and thanks for inspiring me to push myself to another level. Here’s to another awesome year!
Thank you for doing an amazing job with the site – it’s such a valuable resource and I look forward to whatever you have in store for 2013 :D
Heh, if you can manage that in less than one lifetime, you’re doing better than the vast majority of people on this planet ;-)
Chris, HNY and big thanx for all you do.
thanks to you man! you’re the definition of awesome! been following your works and always will! oh and a special thank you for the codepen! :)
THANK YOU and HAPPY NEW YEAR to Chris and all CSS-TRICKS readers! (seems a little late for it’s already 2nd in China…:D) This is a GREAT website and a GREAT community! and it’s getting even BETTER!
My 2013 resolution:
add css-tricks to my rss reader
watch more screencasts from Chris.
Accomplished the first. #2 is on you.
Great overview about the website and its growth =)
But I think the (free) service of cloudflare.com is much better than Akismet.
Great that you also use git, I love it =)
I’m not so sure those things are related. Akismet is a spam blocker for web comments. CloudFlare is a fancy cloud-y thing that sits between your sites and visitors that does CDN stuff, some resource optimization, and security.
I wonder though… does CloudFlare block a good amount of spam just by virtue that they block bad bot traffic? Could be the case, despite not specifically analyzing spam.
Much more than that.
Cloudflare uses many sources like google honeypot and identifies visitors by some information related to the ip, ip neighborhood …
There is also a plugin for wordpress http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/cloudflare/
See also the comments here: http://blog.cloudflare.com/using-the-cloudflare-api-to-report-spam-on-yo
This might be also interesting:
They said they work with Akismet too and so the spammer could not visit your website or post a comment according to the settings level.
Forgot it: http://www.cloudflare.com/hosting-partners
Your hosting plan has maybe already cloudflare integrated, you just need to activate it.
Just my last two cents, hope it is ok =)
from me too a huge thank-you. I love your community spirit and of course your “blog” here.
I would love to hear how you manage all your work and how a chris-week looks like. I would guess that you spent a lot of time to work on “non-profit” project.
Maybe it would be interesting to more people how you manage your time, projects and if you save special amount of time every month earn money.
Wish you a great 2013 and keep on the good work!
Happy New Year and congrats on the achievements Chris.
Also, nice one on the Joe Dirt quote – even if unintended… stupid but classic film…
Yeah. Congrats on all of your achievements, if everybody would be like you, well, there wouldn’t be suck slaking off in the world and things would get done. People like you are truly an inspiration.
Congrats and thank you. I have to say I am pretty surprised by the browser stats, specifically with how high firefox is. Most people I know jumped that ship for Chrome. One thing I was curious about was Mac vs Windows and Safari over IE. Also curios about your most common screen resolution, or the top few.
Congratulations and thank you for providing the great tips on CSS..
Happy new year 2013
Really It’s useful information tips for CSS .I have read your total article and I have gotten more knowledge about CSS.before I have taken idea about CSS from web uae.I think that your tropic is best for CSS.
You should share your ad / revenue numbers. I know it’s sort of a “don’t ask don’t tell” subject, but it would be very interesting.
I go over all that in the redesign videos in the Lodge =)
But, we that aren’t members have inquiring minds. . . :)
I visit this site everyday and its always useful. Thanks Chris!
I’m an avid lurker and don’t tend to comment. However, I had to come out of my hidey-hole to give you a big thanks. The information on this site has been invaluable to me as a front-end developer.
Congratulations on a great year and thank you again!!
Thanks Chris, enjoying your site for years,
tnx to you, chris! you are our hero.
i actually might get a job out of being a good student of yours.
you’ve helped me tons and tons with your screencasts and blogs.
as a late xmas gift i’ll probably sign up for The Lodge and start digging into those vids of yours.
all the best,
a swedish bassplayer in belgium.
Thanks for all the great content Chris! That was a massive effort you put into the redesign and all of the Lodge videos, I’m embarrassed to say I haven’t really watched any of them yet and I’m sure I’m missing out on a lot of expertise by not doing so. Your blog is an example of something we should all be striving towards.
thanks for the great content, been really helpful!
Kim here. Long time reader, first time poster. Your end of year post reminded me I’ve never publicly thanked YOU.
I couldn’t begin to count the number of times in the past year that I’ve casually clicked around this site and gleaned the perfect tidbit of information. Or more importantly, how often I have searched for an explanation about something I don’t understand and landed here at CSS-Tricks.
You have a gift for breaking a process down to manageable and understandable pieces. Your sense of fun about web design and development gives me confidence to tackle new things. I feel like I always have a resource for when I get stuck.
So, here is a hearty thanks to you Chris, for being out there in cyber world. Hope 2013 brings many good things your way.
–KE, experienced graphic designer & branny new at web dev
Thanks for such nice content. Hope to see more great articles in this year :)
Awesome to see how things have grown. I think the first time I visited the site was back in 2009, so to see how you’ve grown and done different things as well as all the different people who are involved in this site is pretty amazing.
One note I thought was weird was the mobile traffic statistic. Even though mobile is always referred to as “exploding”, I rarely see any stats that are above 5%. I thought for sure this would be one of the sites that attracts bigger mobile numbers.
I’ve subscribed to css-tricks for some years now and I’ve learn some seriously important stuff since then!! (..and still)
In addition, I truly appreciate the honesty that underlies this post with information that I think to be very interesting, but above all, proves the quality of your work around here! Congratulations and… keep on ;)
Dude, you rock. Simply put.
I have been working as a web designer/front-end developer for 2 years now and your site has been a huge help in my learning process. You have been a huge inspiration and as a self taught developer, this site is essential to my professional growth. I just want to say thanks for all of your hard work and dedication to the industry.
Also thanks for your candid tone and approach in your videos. I have laughed many times over. Personal Favorite: “Let’s Suck at Github Together”.
All the best for your new goals, and I wish you a happy new year. Eagerly waiting for some more new tutorials.
Your site has always been, and will always be my go-to resource. The redesign videos have proved especially indispensable and I look forward to more in 2013..
Also, do you have any plans on speaking in the UK this year? It would be great to see you at a conference on our shores..
Thanks for all the great articles Chris. Excited to see what’s in store for CSS-Tricks in 2013.
Thanks for doing the kickstarter project. I credit you and those videos for really teaching me the workflow behind creating a responsive website. Good luck in 2013!
I luv css-tricks – very nice touch. It’s mostly just thank you for sharing information content with us!
Thanks for sharing your knowledge with your great articles.
A huge thank you from me, this site has been a huge help to me, I must visit nearly every day.
Also, I bought one of the CSS-Tricks t-shirts and it is lovely !
Pretty awesome list of milestones and accomplishments throughout 2012.
Out of all those, I would say the Kickstarter was revolutionary.
Redesigning a site and letting us see how it was done? Sweet.
Plus adding some sweet merch. Sweeter.
Thanks for everything in 2012.
Let 2013 be even bigger.