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A little housekeeping

By: 16 May 2010 No Comment

As you might imagine, starting a new site presents its share of unforeseen challenges.

I got a bit concerned about things here at First Arkansas News when I noticed that our number of visitors appeared to be going up every week (according to Google Analytics and another tool I use to measure traffic), but the number of post views reported on the site appeared to be dropping.

I got some time to hunt around and figure out what the problem might be and discovered a cache I installed was the culprit. The cache, simply put, generated a static page that was accessed whenever visitors came to the site — rather than generating all the files with each visit, a snapshot was shown and refreshed once an hour.

The problem with the cache is that it didn’t capture all the page views, meaning posts were showing about 20 views when, in fact, they might have received 80 visits. The cache has been disabled, so the site should now report an accurate number of visits from this point forward.

Meanwhile, we’re now receiving over 1,000 unique visits a week to the site. Not bad for the first month. Hopefully, we’ll see that traffic improve to 2,000 uniques per week within the next month. That’s a healthy amount of traffic and a good short term goal to have.

Oh, and for those that lament the fact that they don’t receive regular updates so they can easily check out the newest posts here, fear not — you can subscribe to the site through Facebook, Twitter, the RSS feed or email updates. I personally like the email updates as those show up to subscribers the first thing in the morning and show only the newest posts. That, I do believe, is the most convenient way to keep up with what’s going on here.

To subscribe through one of those aforementioned methods, just look in that right sidebar and click the icon that corresponds with what works best for you.

By the way, I’d like to deliver a long overdue “thank you” to the writers who have signed up here and the people who follow this site regularly. None of us involved in this project are making a dime off of this site (yet!), but some of the kind comments I’ve received from readers have been encouraging, to say the least.

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.

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