Several people have asked me about how popular the site is but I’ve been too busy to write up the statistics (which I first looked at last weekend). You can see a chart showing the number of page views. Here’s how it happened…

The site launched on 26th December 2002 (for some reason data for the first couple of days is missing) by me telling some friends and linking to it from my site. Some of those friends linked to it from their sites and Ben Hammersley also picked it up. Boing Boing found it via Ben and from there so did a large number of other webloggers. BBC News asked me to write about the site on 30th December with the story appearing on 2nd January. The following day, just over a week after the site went live, Slashdot linked to the site and page views peaked at 87,037.

Since then traffic has settled down to around 13,500 page views per day (more on weekdays, less at weekends). To date there have been 1,378 annotations posted across the whole site, around 1,200 more than I anticipated. Thanks everyone!


First Reading

Keith Wright  •  Link

Astonishing statistics!

The accumulation of annotations makes the Search function, to check if a topic's been bruited before, ever more useful. Even if one's read every fact onsite, who could instantly call each one to mind when needed later?

Bravo, dauntless leader.

Paul Diegenbach  •  Link

please don't forget that the web is not forever, so accumulate all useful information to put on a cd for libraries and for my grandchildren

JR  •  Link

Put it in a book, CD's aren't forever.

helena murphy  •  Link

I find the annotations both interesting and informative.Along with pepys, they bring the era alive. This is a splendid idea to popularise a great man and a great literary work.

kevin sheerstone  •  Link

At last, a second reason for logging-on, the first being the BBC News.

Peter  •  Link

Wow, good job! I knew I was hooked but who would have thought that Pepys would be that popular. Thanks again and keep up the good work.

J. Wilson Smith  •  Link

I found out about you at, a site that provides definitions for computer-related words/products/procedures. Their 'word of the day' back in early January was "Pepys' weblog," and the 'definition' was an explanation of the website.

Phil  •  Link

Thanks J - I didn't know they'd written a piece about the site.

Jan  •  Link

Thanks for a wonderful site. Discovered itin a newspaper article. Have enjoyed Pepys foryears but love the annotations for the insight and explanations I would not get in a read.

Glyn  •  Link

When do you expect your millionth hit?

It's a great site but I'm guessing that figures will steadily decline to a smaller plateau as the entries get more routine. I'm basing this on the fact that I know several people who started reading his diary but never got beyond the first volume.

Paddy  •  Link

I have made pepysdiary my home page, so much easier to cope with than the current news.

Glyn  •  Link

What are the stats nowadays?

Phil  •  Link

No idea! I may look at them again at some point and I'll post them if/when I do.

chip  •  Link

I heard about you on NPR in the NYC area. You have done a wonderful thing and I send my compliments and thanks. Do I dare ask if you are in for the duration?

Paul Vinken  •  Link

Dear Mr Gyford,

Reading the Pepys Diary entry of the day has become an important moment among all the other daily routines in my life. Reading Samuel Pepys entry of the day has proven to be as addictive as following a soap like Eastenders on TV. Don't ever stop, I beg you! I have become a real Pepys junkie, thanks again :-)

The day the last entry has gone online, please do every fan an immense favour and start all over again! Many entries from readers will keep the diary interesting and 'immer grün", always fresh like an evergreen.

There exists a specific game of Chess that is always green. Google it, people study it 24/7 to this day. It was played in the 19th century if I am not mistaken.

Several years ago, before I was aware of the existence of the online diary of Mr. Pepys, I have made a serious attempt to read selected fragments of the diary, I lended a library book.

That project ended in a bitter failure. Pepys' diary cannot possible be read and understood and enjoyed without annotationa and geographical backup and all the other thrifty gadgets your sites hosts. I gave up after 35 pages and one month of entries.

I have hardly enjoyed specific education on British monarchs or British history in general. Obviously, the field of Dutch history provides enough material to make ones life quite miserable at Grammar School, I daresay!

Enjoying the Diary online has several advantages: wherever I am in the World, I can follow it - and scrutinize specific information regarding a detail in the text, without losing the passage where I have abandoned the path made by Mr. Pepys. Try doing this with a book!

Your in-text annotations are a genuine bliss: no more tedious leafing through pages! Also: always the London map only a mouseclick away! In-deep articles! Entries from other fans! And finally, the gentle pace of releasing one entry a day and synchronizing this with the actual calendar of 2008 - that is an absolutely brilliant idea.

I remember getting quite bored and depressed after reading a whole month of Pepys' daily ups and downs for a few hours consecutively while traveling. One entry a day is the perfect dose!

Your site has given me a gentle push in the right direction bearing exactly the amount of momentum to enable me to value and enjoy Pepys' Daily observa-tions.

The same diary in the printed version failed to keep me interested. I am simply very grateful for offering me a concept on line that enables difficult literature accessible to a massive audience and reducing difficult English Lit fragments into a comfortable read for anyone interested!


Paul Vinken

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