Website Report - May 2005
The last time I reported on the St Peter's website was October 2001, since when the “traffic” of visitors to the site has more or less doubled. It is difficult to know exactly how many people have viewed the site. Some of the requests for webpages are made by search engines like Google as they explore the web, which causes an overestimate in the number of “real” visitors. On the other hand, the “caching” (temporary storage) of pages on other computers may produce an underestimate. But a rough estimate of the total number of visitors in April 2005 (i.e. the number of different computers that requested at least one page) is 15,600. The equivalent figure was 8,650 in October 2001.
Some people only viewed one page, which they will have found by using a search engine. The most popular page on the whole site at present is Jim McLean's article on Oscar Romero, which was requested 2,127 times in April 2005. (In October 2001 it was requested a mere 1,014 times.) The next ten most popular pages in April were (with October 2001 figures in brackets, where applicable):
It is difficult to tell how many pages are found through search engines, and how many by entering the website at the Home Page and then using the lists of contents. Each month the new pages are listed on the Home Page, and the new pages for April received the following number of requests:
This suggests that the number of people reading the site assiduously every month is relatively modest. But because the articles remain on the site, they continue to be read month after month. For example Andrew's 2002 sermon on George Carey received 94 requests in April, with 72 requests for his 2003 sermon “Do I believe in the Bible?”. This is not so very different to the number of people who listened to them when they were preached. The sermons are certainly worthy of this larger audience. Overall, I estimate that about 1,500 requests were made for sermons during April, along with 3,500 for pages in the music section, 3,100 for pages about saints (about 2,100 of which were for Oscar Romero), 2,200 for pages in the history section, 1,900 for pages about “Heroes of the Spirit”, 1,500 for pages about the books of the Bible, and so on. (I have adjusted these figures to try to exclude search engine requests, which I estimate at about 15 per page every month.)
Many of our visitors find our pages by searching through Google or other search engines. The site is now quite complex (with nearly 700 pages) and, although I have tried to make it easy to navigate, I was pleased to be able to add our personal Google search facility. This enables visitors to search our site for the subjects in which they are interested.
Recordings of the choir singing are now very popular, and are available in both MP3 and OGG formats. The following were the most popular downloads in April:
All new articles added to the site are now being published under a “Creative Commons” licence. The idea is to facilitate the free sharing of ideas. Under this licence the author retains the copyright, but allows anyone to copy distribute or display the article provided that the original author is given credit. However, the article may not be used for commercial purposes without the author's permission. If you don't want to allow this, then please let the editor know when you submit your article to the magazine.
There is a lot of strange and sometimes worrying religious material on the web. My hope is that our website will provide a resource of articles promoting what might be called “reasonable belief”, the Anglican “via media”. It can be difficult to judge its success, although we may hope to have a little influence on at least a few of our 15,000 monthly visitors. But we do receive a steady stream of (usually) positive feedback in the Visitors' Book, and I was very pleased to receive the following message from Ed Harris of Hertfordshire last October:
This is most gratifying, and I in turn am grateful to Leslie Morley, Andrew Deuchar (past and present Rectors), Robert Cockcroft (magazine editor) and to all past and present contributors to the magazine (and ipso facto the website) for making it possible.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.