About this site...
Martin's Marine Engineering Page - www.dieselduck.net
Milestones for www.dieselduck.net
Many milestones have come and gone and they have provided me with much to be proud of. In May 2007 I signed on my first official sponsor, Faststream Recruitment, which has given me the capital to move the site - yet again - to some very serious servers. For those who speak "internese" let me throw some numbers at you. The new site is hosted with DreamHost based at the Los Angeles Airport in the US, the statistic are just amazing considering where the site first started. The new site can occupy an unlimited amount of hard disc space, and the monthly traffic (bandwidth), well, it is also unlimited.
In May 2011, the site occupied about 4.6 gigabytes of server space, and the (almost) 25,000 visits per month, used up about 95 gigabytes of bandwidth.
To put it in perspective, when I patch together the first version of the site back in 1999, the main content (writing) occupied about 4 megabytes of space. The picture area occupied about 17 megabytes. At the time I was using my ISP's servers; they offered 5 separate web spaces of 5 megabytes, that's why the site was always so barebones, pictures ate up so much room. The picture archive was a disaster to maintain, because of the different web spaces that had to be coordinated. Every time I made one change, I would have to change a quadzillion links and such. It was all very frightening. Over time, I stole some web space from some of my buddies, each time the site grew by 5 megabytes and a ton of headaches. My ISP eventually raised the web space quota to 20 megabytes per email address, I thought I had won the lottery - wow I had 100 megabytes! The site grew accordingly and I breathed a little easier.
A couple of years after that, my friend, who ran his own internet business, offered some space on his servers at a reasonable price. I jumped at the offer and that's when the site really grew. I could finally put the whole site under "one roof" which made my life easier. Since then the site has more graphics and I am no longer constrained on the size and types of files I put up.
Traffic grew and that became a bit of problem for my friend's servers, that, and the fact that he sold his business, it was only a matter of time before I had outgrown my server welcome. With the move to new servers in 2007, the horizon was far, far away; the worries of space and traffic were quite done. Since then you have hopefully noticed some subtle changes, all the "bells and whistles" ie. the Job Board, Galley Wireless etc came under the "one roof" that is www.dieselduck.net.
Since space is no longer an issue I though it would be nice to see how the site has grown in pictures, you can find out what happened and when on the "Whats New" page, but below is how the site has graphically morphed into what it is today.
I seem to have long ago deleted the first versions of the site when they first came out in late 1999. But I cried Eureka! in July 2008 when I found the whole site, archived on the Way Back Machine. Its actually kind of scary that the website is archived, pretty much every edition. You can check out previous version by visiting the waybackmachine.com. The picture below is from August 2001, not quite the first version I put out, this was somewhat refined from my original design, believe it or not. But basically that was the style from 1999 - 2002.
Back in the late 90's, allot of people used dial up internet service, including myself, so I had to make sure the site was very small and quick to load. Lots of content but few graphics was the ideas. I like visually stimulating web site, so I had to come up with the KISS page for bandwidth challenged visitors (Keep It Simple Stupid - pictured above), when I switch to broadband internet service and added more graphics to the site.
This was the look of the site from 2002 - 2004. I liked this look, it was small easy to navigate and functional. It was my Google inspiration. I spent considerable time and drew up various ways I wanted the site to look and then I had my "Focus Group" (our ship's cadets) review the options I presented them, and they suggested some changes and the look above was born.
This was my favourite look, and probably my favourite version, the picture at the top is a great shot of Hubbard Glacier, and I love that picture of my son too. I tweak the new format after 2004 to be a bit more advertising friendly and more inline with other website's layout ("professional"). This is much the same format that it is now, in May 2011. This format allows me to make some changes with high visual impact without having to spend 2 weeks doing it. I have a system now where the picture at the top can be easily changed to give the site a fresh look. With this version I started using CSS which helped unify the look of the site. Unfortunately my web skills are at their max, so to do what I wanted to do I had to resort to frames, which irritates me. But oh well, its a hobby...
Below is the first version of the "new look" (above) I later changed the graphics around and menu too to be easier to navigate. With this new look came the new servers at Catapult and I registered the www.dieselduck.ca domain. I have recently registered the www.dieselduck.info as well, to go with the new web servers.
One of the most satisfying milestone is Martin's Marine Engineering Page - www.dieselduck.net's ranking by the search engines. Google has revolutionized the internet with it's search engine in relation to your search. Another words if you are looking for something, they devised a way that gives you the most content rich, relevant site to your search based on various proprietary factors, not just the most aggressively marketed website to sell you stuff or whatever.
In Summer 2006, www.dieselduck.net ranked #2 on Google, occasionally #1, and #1 on Yahoo as well. Not bad for a hobby site with almost no marketing done, just word of mouth, great content, great visitors and their contributions ! Even with over 80,000,000 documents Google searches it continues to rank very high in both benchmark setting search engines.
Traffic is always growing at www.dieselduck.net, below is my basic counter I used to use in the "old days". The monthly visitor tally ending on Nov 22, 2002 was 3703. Shortly after, the site passed the 50,000 visitor mark, in May 2007, sat around 700,000 visitors - roughly 30,000 sessions every month. I can remember getting gitty when I had 5 visitors a day on the site. The breakdown of area your are coming from remains pretty steady though, with the majority from Canada at about 40%.
December 2009 update
In 2007, I switched website statistic tracker to Google Analytics. They kinda know everything about everything online, so I though I would find out some stuff about my own website, below are selected excerpts of the data. Pretty neat. The website has had visitors from all but a handful of the world's countries, even one visitor from Antarctica !
These are snapshots of the data compiled from Oct 2007 to Dec 2009, showing some of the progress the site has had. I don't do any advertising or marketing so all this growth is organic, if you will. Its pretty neat !
Google is the dominant source of traffic to the website, but even those visitors particularly search for keywords closely associated with the site, suggesting a good word of mouth or a loyal following (I think both are the case - thanks!).
"Referring" site statistic, 26%, are bit skewed, because when you type the .net or .ca, amongst others, the visitor is "referred" to the actual website which resides at www.dieselduck.info.
The number of referring sites is growing all the time, for instance www.stumbleupon.com must have featured the site for the day, resulting in almost 921 visitors in one day, in mid November 2009, the highest one day traffic yet.
Visitors of Canadians and US origins continue to be the most numerous. On another map, not shown, you can see just two countries bordering on the seas, where no visitors have visited the site.
Check out the list of countries where visitors come from...
Where are Martin's Marine Engineering Page's 288,522 visitors from ? Everywhere
Country/Territory Visits (Oct 2007 - Dec 2009)
United States 48673
United Kingdom 16787
United Arab Emirates 2548
New Zealand 1489
South Korea 1415
Sri Lanka 1184
South Africa 1147
Hong Kong 852
(not set) 630
Myanmar [Burma] 607
Saudi Arabia 585
Trinidad and Tobago 481
Czech Republic 316
Dominican Republic 113
Puerto Rico 109
Costa Rica 92
Côte d’Ivoire 89
Netherlands Antilles 83
Serbia and Montenegro 69
Macedonia [FYROM] 62
Åland Islands 49
Isle of Man 41
Faroe Islands 40
Palestinian Territories 35
Bosnia and Herzegovina 28
Papua New Guinea 24
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 23
Antigua and Barbuda 23
British Virgin Islands 23
U.S. Virgin Islands 22
El Salvador 22
Cayman Islands 20
Saint Lucia 19
New Caledonia 17
Northern Mariana Islands 13
Turks and Caicos Islands 12
Burkina Faso 9
Saint Kitts and Nevis 5
Congo [DRC] 4
French Guiana 4
French Polynesia 4
Saint Helena 3
Congo [Republic] 3
Falkland Islands [Islas Malvinas] 3
British Indian Ocean Territory 3
Sierra Leone 3
San Marino 1
Cook Islands 1
American Samoa 1
Cape Verde 1
Norfolk Island 1
... by General World Regions Northern America 143155
Northern Europe 33078
Southern Asia 20121
South-Eastern Asia 18579
Eastern Europe 13511
Western Europe 12704
Southern Europe 11740
Western Asia 8512
Australia and New Zealand 7727
Eastern Asia 5273
South America 3943
Northern Africa 2697
Western Africa 1347
Central America 1333
Southern Africa 1194
(not set) 630
Eastern Africa 622
Central Asia 106
Middle Africa 92
Micronesian Region 57
Outlying Oceania 4
... by Continents Americas 150328 - 52.1 %
Europe 71033 - 24.6 %
Asia 52591 - 18.2 %
Oceania 7988 - 2.8 %
Africa 5952 - 2.1 %
(not set) 630 - 0.2 %
Dec 2009, the website occupied 4.1 gigabytes of cyber space. The average monthly bandwidth use was up to almost 70 gigabytes. On The Common Rail, 430 of our peer have registered and regularly contribute to the forum discussions.
Google Analytics serves easy to digest data, the server stats though, seem to be even more busy for some reason...
Figures refer to the 7-day period ending Dec 09 2009
Successful requests: 248,108
Average successful requests per day: 35,443
Successful requests for pages: 74,417
Average successful requests for pages per day: 10,630
Failed requests: 396
Redirected requests: 6
Distinct files requested: 8,819
Distinct hosts served: 1,316
Data transferred: 18.16 gigabytes
Average data transferred per day: 2.59 gigabytes
The Monitor - our maritime blog
The above figures are only for the main website and the forum area, one other area of continued growth is The Monitor, the blog area. Long time contributor, JK, and myself, post news bites and commentary on matters in the commercial maritime world. That website also gets an additional 1800 visitors on average per month, although its predominately from North America.
Onward and upward ! The story will continue to unfold. Thanks for being a part of it.
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