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Opus in Numbers (2021 Edition)

Opus continues to grow slowly but surely over 2020.
A white Opus logo on a black square background

I try not to pay too much attention to my site’s analytics, and indeed, have often thought about removing them altogether for performance and privacy reasons. But the fact is, I do like to occasionally look at numbers, if only to get some indication of how the site’s performing. (And yes, to get some validation that other people are actually reading the site.)

Analytics can also provide some good technical guidance as I think about how to further evolve and improve the site’s design and even content management workflow.

So with all that in mind, here’s how Opus fared in 2021, numbers-wise:

  • I published 168 posts in 2021, or roughly one every 2.17 days. This is a slight dip from 2021, where I published 181 posts. January was 2021’s most productive month, with 19 posts.
  • February was 2021’s busiest month, with 12,467 sessions and almost 13,985 pageviews. January was the second busiest month, with 12,365 sessions and 13,624 pageviews. I suspect this is because these were the months when I posted my Cornerstone photos. By comparison, the site’s busiest month in 2020 was April (11,951 sessions, 13,161 pageviews).
  • 2021’s slowest month was October, with 8,768 sessions and 9,707 pageviews.
  • Overall, sessions and pageviews increased by 11.4% and 10.4% respectively, over 2020.
  • Not surprisingly, Chrome continues to be the most common browser, accounting for 46.1% of the site’s 2021 traffic. Safari was second with 33.4%.
  • What is surprising is that Internet Explorer came in third, with 8.6% of the site’s traffic. And the vast majority of IE traffic (98.7%) came from IE9, of all things. This was a considerable jump from 2020, where IE only account for 2.1% of the site’s traffic. In fact, it’s such a huge increase that I’m inclined to think it’s due largely to increased bot traffic rather than actual user traffic. I’ve taken steps to filter that out for future analytics, so we’ll see.
  • As was the case with 2020, over half of Opus visitors (57.6%) accessed the site via phone or tablet. And like 2020, iPhones and iPads were the dominant mobile devices, accounting for 54% of mobile traffic. The next most popular device was the Samsung Galaxy S9, which accounted for a whopping 0.7% of mobile traffic.
  • Down at the bottom of the browser and device list were things like Opera (1.13%) and Amazon Silk (0.15%), and exactly one person viewed Opus via their Nintendo Switch in 2021.
  • Over half of all Opus traffic (57.4%) came from the United States, which increased over both 2020 (49.5%) and 2019 (56%). The next countries were the United Kingdom (7.7%), Canada (4.4%), Australia (2.6%), Indonesia (2.3%), and Germany (1.9%).
  • Facebook became slightly less responsible for Opus’ social traffic, dropping from 74% to 65.2%. Meanwhile, Twitter traffic rose from 22.3% to 27.6%. 3.6% of Opus’ social traffic came from Reddit, and like in 2020, negligible amounts came from Pinterest, Instagram, etc.

These were Opus’ five most popular posts from 2021, traffic-wise:

Looking to Facebook, these posts received the most activity (e.g., views, reactions, comments) in 2021:

As for Twitter, these were some of the most popular posts in 2021:

I’m not sure what lessons to glean from these rankings, if only because of the broad diversity of posts. But I think that’s always been one of Opus’ greatest strengths, i.e., I write passionately about the stuff that actually interests me — be it indie bands, fantasy RPGs, or content management systems — rather than stuff written solely to earn clicks.

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