Blog post

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The first month of my family tree site

On 1st March I set my family tree site,, to “public”.

In the month of March the site had 315 unique visits, and 1201 page loads. There was a definite spike at the start of the month, when I announced the site and again when one of my researcher relatives forwarded on the details to his close relatives. There is also a spike in visits towards the end of the month.

I use Statcounter to check up on my blog and website visits. It’s free to use, but the detailed statistics only cover the last 500 page loads. My detailed statistics date from 22 March, so I am able to dig into that recent spike and see what was happening. It turns out it was one user using an apple device, and each page load that evening was counted as a visit. Something to remember when I look at the stats about the number of visits.

Along those lines… You know how you see those blog posts that say that searches on certain keywords found their blog – but don’t worry because they can’t identify you from it? Well it’s true up to a point but only up to a point.

When I look at my detailed Statcounter log I can see the IP address with service provider and city/state/country, the operating system used, the screen size, and the page by page path taken through the site. I can also click the IP address and check out previous visits (but only if they are with the 500 latest page views). I can often see what page referred you to the site. If you used a search engine I can see the search terms you used. So although I don’t know exactly who visitors to the site are, if it’s someone I already know I can make a pretty good guess. But don’t worry! I’m not interesting in stalking anyone on the site or off. I’m just pleased that they continue to find it interesting.

I can see that pages from the website are showing up in Google searches. In fact I set off a few Google alerts to myself when I made the site public!

Now of course I face the frustration of seeing visits from people using very specific search terms but not knowing exactly who they are. So please, if you find your relatives on the the site through a search (or otherwise) send me a message to say hi!


  1. I had this same frustration recently with my blog, someone searched for my great great grandparents names - first time anyone has done that - but they did not leave a comment :(

  2. Many people just don't understand the communication and collaboration facility in some web applications.

    Like you, Shelley, I chose TNG for my website as it allows people to comment and send messages at the click of a button. I could also allow others to amend my data on TNG but won't be going there.

    Aillin, I share your frustration with blogging. Saying hello in a comment doesn't take much effort and can lead to meaningful connections. Blogging is a two-way street (