Broadsheet – Entering the Terrible Twos

Broadsheet is two today so it’s time for my yearly round up*.   All the stats have been pulled from Google Analytics so should be pretty reasonable.  You can read my post about last year’s stats if you want some extra context.

Broad strokes 

First off, some year on year details:

  • Visits up 234% (10,378,376 vs. 3,105,424), with an increase of 142% in unique visitors (2,693,084 vs. 1,112,596)
  • Served up 253% more pages (23,128,367 vs. 6,544,165)
  • 75% of our visitors are repeat viewers

It’s been a year of tremendous (and consistent) growth. The addition of Cloudflare to the server setup has really taken the brunt of the increased traffic. There’s still intermittent issues, but certainly not as common as they were in the previous year.

Traffic is still growing so hopefully next year I’ll be commenting on similar growth – something I wouldn’t have expected last year.

Number One With A Bullet

I love lists (the ‘Top 100 x’ shows Channel 4 used to do were complete catnip for me), so of course I’m going to do a couple of Top Tens.

Top Ten Posts

The Garda/horse pictorial was a thing of absolute beauty. The pictures were submitted by a reader, thrown up and within hours had spread all over the internet. It may be crude and gutter humour but people are a sucker for the humiliation of others – especially when a figure of authority is involved.

The flip side of that though is the interest shown in the tragic story of Kate Fitzgerald. While it would be easy to put it down to morbid curiosity, I do think people were genuinely moved by it and annoyed with how the Irish Times handled the situation.

Recycle, Reduce, Reuse

The reason for all our traffic has been the 11,936 posts with 154,748 comments. In the last year, there’s been a few recycled post titles.

Top Ten Search Terms

Once again, Google is the only search engine worth talking about as Yahoo and Bing only accounted for 2% of visits from search terms.

When it comes to the phrases used, the actual top ten is dominated by people lazily typing in ‘broadsheet’ (or some variant thereof – it’s 7 of the top 10) into a search box so I’ve excluded them to get at the more interesting terms.

  • tallafornia
  • kate fitzgerald
  • niamh horan
  • mario balotelli
  • crackbird
  • yootube
  • jean byrne
  • balotelli
  • axl rose
  • eoin mckeogh

Jean Byrne is the only term from last year, so the list is a reasonable approximation of what people’s obsessions were in the last year.

During the Dundrum Shopping Centre flooding last October, there was a huge spike of incoming searches (jumping from about 6K to 15K). While the number of visits have been building we’ve still to beat this with an average of about 11K visits a day at the moment.

Facebook > Twitter > Reddit > Google+

Facebook continues to be the single biggest referrer outside of searches, maintaining the healthy lead on Twitter with more than twice incoming visits (~2.3 million vs. ~1 million).

Twitter on a rare occasion will send more traffic but that’s usually down to someone like Dara O’Brian retweeting a story (a recent case was the prank call to the TV3 psychic).  What’s nice these days is that the extra traffic tends not to cause the site to lock up.

After the two sharing behemoths, the social referrals drop off very quickly.  Reddit comes in a distant third, providing about 80K visits.

Google+ does practically nothing for the site in comparison to the other social networks – so much so the button was removed to save on the extra Javascript it needs.  It barely even scrapes into the top ten social sources. You can understand why it has been called a network for Google employees and Amazon employees who want to Google employees when you see how little traffic it generates.

The top five referrers were:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Google

Browser Battle Royale

Google are claiming Chrome is the most popular browser and it certainly king of the hill for Broadsheet jumping from 3rd to 1st accounting for 30% of visits.  Firefox dropped 6% to 23%, Internet Explorer is down to 19% and Safari stays at 15%. I point blank refuse to talk about Opera.

The IE 6 death match nears the end with only 0.7% of visits from the decrepit browser.  This drop off was helped by the fact that the version of WordPress used doesn’t support it.

Beauty and the Beast

Microsoft might be losing the Browser Wars, it still is the 800 pound gorilla when it comes to what people are running on their machines with 62% of devices running some sort of flavor of Windows. There’s still people using Windows 98! Apple comes in with 20% of devices using some version of OS X.

On the mobile side, iDevices still rule the roost with 11.5% of visitors compared to Android’s 3.7%. I keep on hearing about Android’s supposed dominance of the smart phone market but any time I’ve seen website stats it’s been trailing. Maybe next year but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

One minor thing to note is that the Windows devices include the Windows mobile numbers (albeit in tiny numbers) while the Apple’s doesn’t. I can only assume if there’s a big uptake of Windows Mobile 7 and 8 in the coming year they’ll be separated out.

An oddity that surprised me is that there are the people out there still using OS/2 and SunOS.  I can only assume they’re self-flagellants (or just messing with the user agent field to mess with my head).

And We’re Done

That’s all I’ve to say for another year.  If you’ve any comments or questions, let me know and I’ll try and answer them.


Since people have been asking about a geographical break down, the top 10 visitor locations (with number of visits) are:

  • Ireland (7,551,080)
  • United Kingdom (1,117,594)
  • United States (519,110)
  • (not set) (120,021)
  • Australia (118,150)
  • Germany (101,340)
  • Canada (93,057)
  • France (72,971)
  • Netherlands (72,412)
  • Belgium (65,618)

*If you saw this post a month ago it’s because I can’t tell the difference between a 6 and a 7 in a date…

6 thoughts on “Broadsheet – Entering the Terrible Twos”

    1. Not really as the growth in the last year means that visits from everywhere have gone up. Maybe next year will show something.

  1. On a similar note to the above, any chance of a geographical breakdown of visitors? Would be interesting to see how it breaks down both within Ireland and internationally.

  2. Brilliant brilliant brilliant, brilliant. Two years to become an institution. Well done all. And yay for statporn.

  3. “On the mobile side, iDevices still rule the roost with 11.5% of visitors compared to Android’s 3.7%. I keep on hearing about Android’s supposed dominance of the smart phone market but any time I’ve seen website stats it’s been trailing. ”

    The reason your stats don’t reflect Android’s dominance is because the people who buy Android’s haven’t figured out how they work.
    Just joking.

    Should I own up to being a BSA – BroadSheet Addict?

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