It’s been nearly a year and a half since I last shared some statistics about the site and the start of a new year seems a good time to look back, so here are the latest stats…

Diary, Encyclopedia and annotations

The Diary section of the site currently has 2,557 entries (not all of them published yet) and 49,008 annotations (this figure doesn’t include spam annotations), so that’s an average of about 19 annotations per diary entry (it was 20 last time). The main software used to catch spam annotations has caught 50,125 of them since it was first used around 18 months ago.

Here’s a graph from Movable Type showing the number of annotations posted each day on Diary entries over the past four months:

Graph showing recent annotations on the Diary

The Encyclopedia section features 3,589 topics (again, not all published), 2,037 of them people, and 711 of them featuring information from Wikipedia. A total of 7,351 annotations have been posted in the Encyclopedia, and here’s the graph of activity over the past four months:

Graph showing recent annotations on the Encyclopedia

The In-Depth Articles and the Site News sections of the site have received 212 and 1021 comments respectively making for a grand total of 57,592 across the whole site (8236 more than last time).

Every link from a Diary entry to an Encyclopedia topic creates a reference back to the Diary entry and there have been 39,174 of these to date.

Visitors, page views, etc.

According to Google Analytics, over the past month (4th December to 3rd January) the site has had 33,823 Absolute Unique Visitors (ie, different people) visiting a total of 63,963 times for a total of 151,565 Pageviews. Those figures are up on the same period a year ago: 7.31% for Unique Visitors, 7.30% for Visits and 11.25% for Pageviews.

Here are some graphs of daily statistics from 16th November 2005, the earliest I have Google Analytics data for (click to see larger versions).

Visits graph

Pageviews graph

I think the dip to zero is due to me making a temporary mistake with installing the Google Analytics script.

And here’s a map indicating where Visits came from during 2009 (813,143 visits from 209 countries/territories):
Map of visits

And data for the top 25 countries (according to number of Visits), also for 2009:
Table of visits by country

UPDATE: I’ve added the table below, from Google Analytics, which represents “Visitor Loyalty” for 7 Dec 2009 to 6 Jan 2010. While a large number of people have only visited once or twice, it’s interesting to see that around a third of Visitors visited an average of at least once a day or more. Chart of visitor loyalty

For those of a technical bent, here’s a breakdown of which web browsers and operating systems are most popular here:

Chart of web browsers

And this is an indication of where traffic comes from:
Table of visits by country
(“Direct Traffic” is people who have bookmarked the site or type the URL in; “Search engines” is visits that came from someone searching on Google etc; and “Referring Sites” is visits that occurred by someone following a link from any other site to get here.)

Here are the top 25 things people searched for on search engines to get here (numbers in brackets are the number of visits for that search term during 2009):

  1. samuel pepys (23,386)
  2. pepys diary (18,404)
  3. samuel pepys diary (12,808)
  4. pepys (11,276)
  5. diary (2,811)
  6. the diary of samuel pepys (1,886)
  7. diary of samuel pepys (1,701)
  8. diary entries (1,582)
  9. pepysdiary (1,242)
  10. pepys diary online (1,142)
  11. noise of fiddlers (1,109)
  12. (1,072)
  13. peeps diary (1,044)
  14. (928)
  15. whitehall palace (898)
  16. seething lane (866)
  17. diary entry (858)
  18. elizabeth pepys (769)
  19. creechurch lane, synagogue (731)
  20. diaries (715)
  21. lady castlemaine (710)
  22. pepys blog (707)
  23. diary samuel pepys (639)
  24. shipbuilder anthony deane (566)
  25. samuel peeps (550)

RSS feeds and email

Next, a summary of how many people read the site via RSS or email (possibly in addition to on the web). The main Diary feed has 3,199 subscribers, the Story So Far feed has 123 subscribers, the Encyclopedia 56 subscribers, Site News 232 and In-Depth Articles 52.

Here’s a graph showing the number of subscribers to the Diary feed since I started using FeedBurner to host the feeds in October 2007:
Graph of subscribers to the Diary feed

And here are the most popular ways to read the RSS feeds over the past month:

  1. Google Reader / iGoogle (1018)
  2. LiveJournal (855)
  3. Bloglines (393)
  4. NewsGator Online (108)
  5. FriendFeed (90)


Since the last statistics post, Samuel has been posting snippets from the diary on Twitter. He’s posted 906 times, currently has 2510 followers, and is featured in 173 lists.


Occasionally people ask how much time it takes to run this website, so in 2009 I kept track of the time I spent on it. It was a relatively quiet year as I didn’t add many new features or re-design anything major.

Here’s the breakdown of the total number of hours spent on various tasks over 2009:

Preparing diary entries (including Twitter posts)117.0
Adding pictures to hover “tool tip” links12.0
Dealing with flagged annotations5.0
Fixing truncated comments4.5
Writing a script to automate posting to Twitter3.5
General fixing of broken things3.0
Publishing Story So Far summaries1.5
Writing Site News1.0
Publishing In-Depth Articles0.5
Miscellaneous other tasks2.5

There were probably lots of little bits here and there I forgot to time but that’s about it for a quiet twelve months: 150.5 hours, or nearly four working weeks per year.


Finally, as this is sort of a wrap-up of the past year I’d like to thank everyone for reading the site and to everyone who’s posted an annotation.

I’d also like to offer special thanks to three people:

  • Terry Foreman, who has offered many corrections and suggestions to make the Encyclopedia and linking to it better.
  • Jeannine Kerwin, who has continued to write the monthly Story So Far summaries.
  • Max Wainer, who has been diligently alerting me to hundreds of annotations which were truncated by an old database move, only a fraction of which I’ve had time to fix so far.

Thanks again to everyone, and I hope 2010 (and 1667) is a good year for you all!


First Reading

Andrew Hamilton  •  Link

I'd like to offer especially special thanks to you, Phil. Happy New Year.

Harvey Lockie  •  Link

Well done Phil, clearly a labour of love.



Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

Phil -- thank you so much for everything you do. You should be very proud of the site, and community, that you've built here through your vision, skill and persistence.

Australian Susan  •  Link

Happy New Year, Phil! many, many thanks! For those of us who work mostly from home (and often get lonely!), this site and the community (referred to by Todd) are wonderful! Here's to a great 1667!

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Phil! Happy New Year to you and Mary.

Many thanks for this imaginative, serious resource you have created for early-modern history/ lit. studies and a diversion for thousands globally.
(Thanks also for the H/T. You do go above and beyond.)

Bradford  •  Link

"General fixing of broken things": hear, hear, Phil. At the start of the seventh twelvemonth of the site, it richly merits the old Japanese enconium, "Years have been added to life."

Louise H  •  Link

Many thanks, Phil! This site is a daily source of pleasure. Any idea how many regulars you've got?

Phil Gyford  •  Link

Louise - it's hard to know what to count as a "regular". But I found an interesting table in Google Analytics, which I've added to the post now (search for "UPDATE" on the page). It shows that a third of visitors to the site over the past month have visited 26 times or more, which sounds good!

CGS  •  Link

Many Thanks to you for the great idea and work,
Happy new year and a prosperous one too.

Susan Scott  •  Link

Phi, Terry, and the rest of the Pepys crew:
I've been reading (and mostly lurking) on the Diary for years. However, I've only now found this place to THANK YOU for this blog, and the endless pleasure it has given me. Few people would make so sizable a commitment –– a true labor of love –– and I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate the gift of Sam and your time & knowledge with him. I start my day at the keyboard with the diary, and even though I've read the whole Diary in print, seeing it again, day by day, is an unending delight.

As a tiny thank you, I've linked to it several times in my own blog, including today:

A happy, healthy new year to you, too!

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