A year in the Broadsheet

It’s been a year since Broadsheet.ie and launched and it’s been a rather interesting year to see it grow with such limited resources.  I’m going talk here about some of the bits and pieces that have interested me.

Obama > Queen > Stephen Ireland

For the last three months, Broadsheet has done over 1 million pageviews a month, which accounts for about half the total since it started.  Considering the site started off on shared hosting and is now on a vps, it’s pretty good going.  For caching, the site had been using WP Super Cache but it seemed to struggle somewhat (this, in fairness, could be down to being misconfigured).  I switched W3C Total Cache and that seems to have improved things.

The first standout post the site was one about Stephen Ireland’s house.  It was one of those posts that caught people’s imaginations and spread like wildfire across the net.  It reappears every so often on football sites, usually to howls of incredulity.  It remains the second most popular post on the site.

There’s been a couple of outstanding days where there’s been a general surge in traffic, most notably during Obama’s (78,041) and Queen Elizabeth II’s (69,154 64,735 55,199) visits.  The nice thing about days like those is that there’s generally a little extra boost to traffic afterwards.

However, despite all that, the most consistently viewed post is a silly screencap of a Yahoo question.  It ended up on Stumble Upon and people are still coming to the site nine months later for a cheap giggle.

Something that surprised me was the number of people that viewed the previous posts pages.  There’s a huge drop off from those that view the second  compared to the first page and continues to drop off rapidly.  The fifth page has less than 1% of the views of the first.  So the moral of this story is content dies very quickly.

The top five posts of the last year have been:

Facebook > Twitter > Google+

Traffic from Facebook has been pretty consistent, being about 1/3 to 1/2 more referrals than from Twitter.  That said, the site has been taken down via links from Graham Linehan and Charlie Brooker’s twitter streams.  Google+ is yet to have an impact, with barely a trickle of incoming links.  Both Boards.ie and Politics.ie both provide a steady supply of views, usually for the politically charged stuff (and pictures of Irish models, of course).

The top five referrers were:

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Stumbleupon
  • Boards.ie

Dirty Old Goats

The growth in traffic from Google has grown steadily since launch with some notable spikes (Bing and Yahoo provide so little traffic they’re not worth talking about).  Brian Cowen hungover on the radio and then the sketch on Jay Leno was the first example of search traffic spike.  Neil Prendeville and his misadventure though is the king of spikes, adding 4.7K visits to a baseline of under 1K at the time.

But the queen of keywords is Madeline Mulqueen after her appearance in that Rubberbandits video.  Plenty of dirty beggars out there looking for more photos of her and who are we to disappoint?

Six of the top ten searches bringing people to the site involve ‘broadsheet.ie’ (mostly because people are too lazy to switch to the URL bar), so excluding them the top ten is:

  • madeline mulqueen
  • gary busey
  • neil prendeville
  • alison o’riordan
  • jean byrne
  • dominic hyde
  • sarah carey
  • jay leno brian cowen
  • damo and ivor
  • brian cowen drunk

I wonder if Alison is happy with her internet fame?

IE6, why won’t you die?

Firefox rules the roost, with 29.98% of the browser share.  IE follows with 24.70% but Chrome is snapping at its heels with 23%.  Safari lags behind with 15.74% (which would include both desktop and mobile versions).

8.72% of all visitors still came via IE6.  The only glimmer of hope is that this month it’s fallen to 7.88%.  One day, it will be ground into the dust and be forgotten about like a bad dream.  But that day is not today.

Android accounts for about the same amount of traffic as iPads and iPods combined but is still 1/3rd of the traffic from iPhones (and if there wasn’t an app it would only be higher). After that there’s there usual suspects of Blackberry/Nokia/Samsung (in that order).

Half a year of App Store stats

As we enter the second half of the year, it’s as good a time as any to look back at how my apps have been doing in the Apple App Store.

These numbers cover from the 3rd of January to the 3rd of July, 2011.  As I’m a fool, I hadn’t downloaded the stats for the months prior to this, so this post is a record for myself as much as anything else.

Pint of Plain

Downloads: 2,589 (down 1,709 on the previous 26 weeks)
Updates: 4,979
Pint of Plain was my first app and after 18 months on the App Store.  At the start of this year, I released a major update which was essentially a complete rewrite.  One of the changes I made was to include iAds.  It’s not been a huge success for me, with revenue of $4.92 for the last six months.  I’ve not seen a live iAd myself yet so I’m assuming part of the problem is a low fill rate.

The app has a pretty poor rating but I’ve never been sure how much of an impact this has had.  If I do another version, I may abandon the current version in the App Store and essentially relaunch with a rebranded app.


Downloads: 694 (up 417 on the previous 26 weeks)
Updates: 28

TaxCalc.ie is my only paid app.  I was originally selling it at the €1.59 price point, but over Christmas I decided to experiment with dropping the price to 79 cents.  Sales increased by a little more than double which meant I was making a tiny bit more than I was at the old price.

The app is regularly #1 in the Irish Finance apps but this doesn’t translate into huge numbers of downloads.  It has rarely had more than 10 downloads in any one day and there have been times it has taken the top spot on the back of three or four downloads.  Still, I don’t look a gift horse in the mouth and I get a little thrill when I see the app icon used for Finance in the category listings.

The low number of updates isn’t surprising since there hasn’t been an update since early December.


Downloads: 4,330
Updates: 3,045

Broadsheet.ie was the first of two apps I’ve released this year.  It’s based on the first version of TTWordPress (which I originally wrote for the Visionary.ie app).  Of all the apps it certainly gets the most usage and there is a constant stream of reviews and suggestions.  The app certainly wouldn’t be such a success without the content coming from the website since it is rather basic.


Downloads: 1,290
Updates: 320

Visionary.ie is the other app I’ve released this year.  Considering it’s a very niche market (i.e. mostly clients of Darren) I’m very pleased how well the app has done.  There was a huge surge of downloads initially as the app was mentioned in a photography newsletter.  Since then it’s slowed to a trickle but that was fully expected.

Of the four apps, I track usage in three of them via Flurry (TaxCalc.ie being the odd one out as I don’t want people to think I’m sending any of their tax information outside of the app).  The most interesting piece  of information for me is the percentage of users with iOS 4 and the percentage using an iPhone 3G.  Between 66% (for Broadsheet.ie) and 78% (for the other two) of users have a device running iOS 4 and less than 3% still have a 3G.  Considering that there’s been just under 7000 users of the three apps (with very little cross over between them) that gives about 210 3G to 5460 on iPhone 4, iPhone 3Gs and iPad users.  This makes me think it’s getting to the stage where dropping iOS 3 support is not going to hugely impact on downloads.

Overall I’m happy enough with how my apps are doing, especially considering how little I directly promote them.

The executable was signed with invalid entitlements. (0xE8008016)

Update 2014/03/12 This QuickLook plugin is a great way of seeing what’s in your provisioning profiles: https://github.com/chockenberry/Provisioning

The code signing for iPhone apps can drive me batty sometimes.  It rarely works first time for me and the errors you get are completely unhelpful.  It doesn’t help that for a variety of reasons I’ve 3 developer profiles on my work machine.

Today, I’ve been getting the following:

The executable was signed with invalid entitlements.

The entitlements specified in your application’s Code Signing Entitlements file do not match those specified in your provisioning profile.


The very least they could do here is list which entitlements are not matching.  To figure this out, you need to view the provisioning profile and find the Entitlements key.  It’ll look something like this:


You need to make sure the contents of your Entitlements.plist match these exactly.  After you’ve made your change, clean your project and rebuild.  Your app should now install and run on your device.