Opening the Kimono and November Wrap-up

November was slow. No, really, the site was waaayyyy slow and we hated that. That’s why in November we really only launched two things:

Compared to our usual rate of 5-15 new features a month, this was glacial, but we made the decision to focus entirely on fixing bugs and making the service as fast as humanly possible. To that end we’ve added over 30 new web servers, are testing out a new acceleration service called Netli, and most importantly found the bug in MySQL that was causing our site to slow to a halt randomly every few hours. (For the geeks: MySQL uses a really innefficient way of clearing out the query cache, ours was at 1GB so when it filled up it would lock the DB server for 1-2 minutes while clearing it out.)

Now that things are screaming fast again and we’re breaking traffic records every day, we’re ready to get back to fun stuff in December, as evidenced by the new themes we’ve been doing this week. :)

Also the friend surfer has been really successful, over 20,000 blogs have been added to the service!

Here’s what you were waiting for — November stats: 65k blogs, 69k users, switched themes 277k times (even though we didn’t add any new themes!), 1.59 million posts, 256k pages, 855k comments, 4,323 support requests, 365k file uploads, and around 82 million (!) pageviews. (Not counting admin section, images, CSS, RSS feeds, etc.)

Finally, we’ve decided to make many of the stats that we’ve been tracking internally for private use available to you, the general public. Far too many companies and services speak of their numbers in vague terms and toss around stats with no real meaning. We’re not the biggest website in the world, but I think by putting our stats out there now hopefully we’ll start a trend of real transparancy into how larger sites grow and are run.

The stats aren’t always flattering, for example you can see our huge drop in pageviews a few months ago or when signups tanked because things were broken, but I think having the information out there is more important than having it make us look good all the time. I’d be really curious to hear what you think of the different graphs, and which things you think we should be tracking that we aren’t currently.

Without further blabbering, check out WordPress.com’s public stats.


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Matt

72 Comments

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  1. Xeos Celeres

    If only more companies was as transparent – WordPress will be highly successful. All the best to the team and the investors. Note: We could use a little more black/gray themes, and more widgets. Adjust the Flick image to sort horizontally perhaps ? :) Have a wonderful holiday season. Cheers!

  2. thefly

    Stats galore! Thanks for your efforts

  3. Michael Sync

    Great. Thanks a lot for sharing public stats.

    but why we need to have stats for switching theme??

  4. Matt

    To show you guys how much you switch themes, it’s a pretty amazing number!

  5. hools

    Looking forward to a freakin’ fast December for you guys!

  6. bullish1974

    i love stats.

  7. Chris Poteet

    Matt,

    The work you and your team do is amazing. It’s inspiring to see someone love what they do and do it well.

    Chris Poteet

  8. axewielderx

    Oh goodies!

  9. dragonmommie

    Thanks for that chart showing the pros and cons of themes. I am not sure whose post it was from… guess I should check.

  10. Shirley

    Matt, I love the your frankness and the new stats information.

    Thank you again for all you do, and for letting me be a part of wonderful WordPress.

    Joy!

    Shirley Buxton
    http://www.writenow.wordpress.com

  11. Zeezat

    Hi,

    I think digits are getting higher and higher!

    Keep growing! Best of luck for the transparency!!

    Best Smile,
    Zeezat

  12. carocat

    That is very nice, I do love stats.

    Keep up the good work. :)

  13. Sai

    Cool effort guys! Keep up the great work! And yeah, the theme switching stats would be fun to see. I remember I switched about ten times back then before I settled on my current one now. Cheers!

  14. Elaine

    One of the reasons why I like WordPress.com is because of the transparency you say. So, I agree with Xeos Celeres. WordPress keeps getting cooler everytime. Congratulations for rocking the scenes and hope you keep it up. :D Take care everyone and, yeah, happy holidays!

  15. Elaine

    Oh, and perhaps there should also be a feature in which we can choose the blog fonts. I think that’s quite safe and nice. Okay, see ya ’round.

  16. alamster

    “To show you guys how much you switch themes, it’s a pretty amazing number!”

    Yes, I like switch my theme, feel something new each day while making future post till Desember 15 :-)

    Thumbs up for wordpress server, I never see mysql error for large cluster environment.

    By the way, who win 10G space :-)

  17. David W. Boles

    Well done, Matt!

    Blog page loads are screamingly fast!

    All that hard work and sweat and money spent is as visible and potent as your keen public stats!

  18. dawnerd

    I am glad to say I help contribute to the amount of pageviews wordpress gets. My blog’s traffic has been on the climb. I haven’t done any advertising at all. In fact, most traffic comes from Google. Seems I am one of the few places where you can find support for Need For Speed Carbon. How sad.

    One feature I would love to see if the ability to use our own analytics accounts, or include all the information analytics includes in the stats page.

  19. Crash

    So, Matt, do you have a rank order of the themes that in use at some given moment? I think that would be interesting…

  20. Sean

    Awesome! Way to stay on the ball!

    Now if there was only IP logging for visitor stats so I could see where my readers are from…. :)

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  22. engtech

    Great stuff. Any chance we could get a list of “most popular themes”? I think that would be a great public stat to have.

    (I’m biased :) )

  23. cmerry

    Yeah I switched a few times but always come back to the one I have its the cutest (to me). I would love to see top keywords searched on WordPress, from outside hits not tags from within. Just curious, if there is a way to see this sorry :) But just wondering what the biggest searches here were across all of WordPress..

  24. disembedded

    Hi Matt,

    Thanks to you and your co-workers. You’ve done so much to make WordPress absolutely wonderful!

  25. helgeduelbek

    Wow… really opening the kimono.
    BTW, can wp.com let me know number of blogger per country base on language. It may be show on WordPress.com Blogs of the Day.

  26. disembedded

    Hi Matt,

    And may your holidays bring a sense of peace to you!!

    http://disembedded.wordpress.com/2006/11/06/a-sense-of-peace/

  27. neath

    Great work and much appreciated!

    Neath

  28. Cem Basman

    I just wanted to say to you guys of WP.com: Thank you! I’ve been blogging continuously since around 2002 on different hosted sites, but WP.com is from the features, technicals and support far the best. And the templates and their customization possibilities (as a hosted service) are really tasteful and cool. Real great job, Matt & Company!

  29. saniroy

    Thanks WordPress for the data transparency. I love it. Anyhow, what do you mean with “opening the kimono”? :-).

  30. Chittaranjan

    Err..why the “kimono” :mrgreen:

    And the stats are (as usual) awesome! A suggestion – why not make Demographic stats available? As in M:F ratio of signups, geographic markup, users who have private blogs vs. public blogs etc

  31. Steph

    Do you have stats somewhere about how many private blogs there are on WP.com? What percentage?

  32. Χρήστος Μόρφος

    What about a stats page with the number of blogs in each different of the 78 languages you are supporting?

  33. blayde

    Now this is great, no one around gives this much to it’s users for nothing, thanks!

  34. bigcrow

    Yeeeah, my 4-5 Support requests are in the stats too :D:D:D
    I like Friend surfer a lot, It’s veeeery usefull, i even don’t need to visit the blogs, to read the posts, everything is under my hands :)

    But i’d never use post stats at this time… I hope sometimes it’ll become usefull 4 me, but for now, I don’t think it’s nessesary…

  35. macdavid

    Awesome… I joined you just over a month ago, the request for data was one of my requests… it seems to confirm my choice day after day.

    its impossible to manage without information… this confirms the truism, transparency will not just endgender trust and community but enable all users to understand better what they are doing, how to play the game, no doubt supported by an analyst who will pop up to translate the stats.

    Keep it up… no doubt increasing detail of stats to a level where real amateurs like myself can benefit will go a long way to supporting not just your clients but the broader blogging community and as services develop… new media in general!

  36. blaze

    You guys are still doing good in my books Matt :p

    By the way, with all these servers, how do you plan to support so many free users? I know automattic is backing everything up on the corporate side of things but surely at some point it will get too much and you may be forced to place ads on free blogs. Is this ever going to happen?

    I’m a little bit worried about this, I have been here since (practically) the start & it just worries me that my blog may face the possibility of having ads on it in the future. Do you have a policy or a vision for the future in regards to this? I’d be very interested to know.

    As much as I love to see the continued rising success of WordPress, it just worries me thinking about things like this.

    Cheers

  37. maique

    amazing work.
    you’re always rising and it’s easy to see why.

    have a great december and i can only dream what you’ll have in store for us in 2007.

  38. Christoph Wagner

    Well, theme switching:)
    Probably many new blogs try out all sort of themes right after the beginning:) At least i did^^

    And I agree with Xeos Celeres, we need more gray/black themes:)

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  40. tobeme

    Love it! Keep up the great work!

  41. icedmocha

    I have noticed the increase in speed. Much appreciated!

  42. Mike Ratliff

    Being a Microsoft SQL Server DBA I would like to suggest to you that you would get much higher performance on your Databases with an enterprise database system rather than using MySQL. Just an idea. I support SQL Server, Oracle as well as MySQL and there really is no comparison to infrastructure reliability between the Enterprise type DBs and MySQL. :-)

  43. TheShortFatKid

    I’m probably responsible for a large percentage of the theme switch stats. I change themes like underware.

  44. dorai

    You know, I am getting to love this product. It is one of the coolest product teams I have seen. Continuous updates and you may soon be my choice for building websites and content management systems.

    Would you allow your users to invest? Think about 1000 users putting in 1000 dollars each? What happens if 10K or 100K users want to put in that money.

    To me you guys seem like good investment. We would love to help in whatever way we can.

  45. Lee Kelleher

    Hurray for stats transparency!

  46. jcastaneyra

    Amazing stats Matt, I could imagine the web traffic and all the stuff for wordpress, but seeing these stats now I see what the reality is, it is awesome.

    Good job, I like wordpress more and more every day :D

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  48. Shae

    That stats was interesting to look at :) thanks for sharing!

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  50. defrostindoors

    You guys are the best, and I’ve been recommending you to everyone who’ll listen.

    http://defrostindoors.wordpress.com

  51. torchwolf

    Thanks for making the stats available.

    Any idea why there are (weekly?) cycles in almost all the stats? It seems odd that people would regularly be posting more on certain days of the week than others.

    I didn’t check the theme switching stats, and I don’t know what exactly you’re counting, but when you’re new on here, the only way you can choose a theme is to apply each of the ones you might like and then view the site. That might explain quite a lot of theme switching.

  52. torchwolf

    Yep… there are around 2,000 new signups every day. So if everyone tried about 5 themes before settling on what they like, it would explain the volume of switches.

    The spikes are likely when you announce a new theme, some people give it a try out, and then switch back to their old favourite, or not. That’s what I do anyway.

  53. Matt

    Are you using a custom flash graph or something you bought? Those are some nice looking graphs!

  54. Chelsea

    Something that I would really like to see is a page on the dashboard that shows each post and the total amount of views of each. Its a feature that I would find really handy so i could determine which of my posts is the most popular over all and not just the top post during that time period.
    Cheers

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  56. David Raho

    Transparency is to be welcomed in all things. Everything seems to be working swimmingly so knuckle down and put some nice plain themes with customisable backgrounds please. Thanks

    daraho.wordpress.com

  57. Nita

    Its great to know that you are all working hard to make WordPress better and better. No wonder you are getting so many new signups everyday.
    I wonder if you have a country wise stats info about the sign-ups? It would be interesting. And deletions too. See if there is a trend?

  58. Nita

    Its great to know that you are all working hard to make WordPress better and better. No wonder you are getting so many new signups everyday.
    I wonder if you have a country wise stats info about the sign-ups? It would be interesting. And deletions too. See if there is a trend? This is not strictly a question…just a suggestion and I hope this is the right place for that.

  59. Nita

    Its great to know that you are all working hard to make WordPress better and better. No wonder you are getting so many new signups everyday.
    I wonder if you have a country wise stats info about the sign-ups? It would be interesting. And deletions too. To see if there is a trend. This is not strictly a question…

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  61. vinu

    a widget for slideshare.net – would be really cool! I have started using them and I find it really good for powerpoints! I am sure with powerpoints + odeo + youtube + flickr – you guys should be rocking!!

  62. belindaschneider

    i was never into stats, but thanks to you guys i check them out now and think they are indeed interesting. thanks for the hard work, noticed the slow times, but they were slow everywhere. don’t sweat it! already have used almost half of my free allowance, but will be happy to upgrade in due time.

  63. Devesh

    thanx Matt

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  65. paralleldivergence

    To Matt and the whole Team:

    Many thanks for a fantastic service. WordPress.com is the Greatest! Have a great Xmas and New Year.

  66. bluno

    Do you plan to release any information on RSS feed use? Popular feed readers etc? That could be interesting stuff.

  67. khudari

    Here is another idea for when you have nothing to do: what about showing the median per blog page views on the stats graph (for comparison)? I like looking at my own stats, but I always wonder how I am doing compared to the average.

  68. ctomkins

    I agree with Khudari. I would like to be able to see how my blog compares with others. It would be great if I could see the ranking of my blog based on stats such as posts, page views, comments, etc.

  69. leon

    In terms of stats what I’d like to see would be a breakdown of how many WP blogs each different theme. It’d cool to see the top 10 (or 20) WP themes and watch how they change. Yeah I know very geeky but I want it dammit!;)

  70. nelanah

    Some very interesting statistics that would be great to see here are demographics.
    Livejournal has a list of these:

    http://www.livejournal.com/stats.bml

    It really would be neat to see what the average age is here at wordpress, gender, country (or first language).

  71. secondchancetolive

    All I can say is, YOU ALL ROCK!!!

  72. Peter Cruickshank

    I love the stats pages – it’s great to see how the blogging community is growin. There are always going to be people who decide that blogging is not (or no longer) for them: to track that, I have a suggestion:

    As well as tracking the number of deleted blogs, how about also showing the number of blogs which haven’t had a new entry for (say) 6 weeks? That way we’ll have an idea of the number of zombies out there!

    I know it sounds a bit negative, but it’s a way of getting a picture of the real level of growth in WP and the blogging community generally (and would probably generate some news coverage for you too).

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