Potential Downtime and Redesign

Since I’m not sure exactly what percentage of my readers actually visit the site (averaging about 100 visits a day) and what percentage read from an RSS reader (no idea what this number would be like), I’m not sure if you’ve noticed that my blog site here has become extremely cluttered. It’s not unlike my real-life spaces, to be honest! I guess I carry my clutter everywhere with me. ;)

My front page has my twitter feed, random polls I put up from time to time, achievement feeds, category links, links to other blogs, armory links, all kinds of stuff. It’s feeling a little much and it certainly could be organized better. So, at some point in the next week or so, expect the layout to change significantly. Expect me to break something at some point. Expect the blog to be inaccessible sometime. I’m not sure anything will break, nor am I sure it’ll be inaccessible, but whenever I’m confident that I won’t break something, I do. :P

I’m also planning on putting in some code for some Google text ads, primarily to help defray hosting costs, but also because I’m interested in building up the site a bit more and if I’m going to put in more energy than I currently do, I’d kind of like to see if I can get any returns on it. I rather suspect that advertising on a personal kind of blog is kind of frowned upon in the blogging community, because I don’t see a lot of it. That said, I thought I’d throw in some very simple advertisements while doing the redesign and if my traffic drops substantially because of it, I’ll remove it. My overall goal is to share information about World of Warcraft from a variety of perspectives (but obviously the Holy Paladin perspective tends to be the main one these days) and to share my raiding experiences. That does include random daily frustrations, annoyances and the like, but also the awesomeness of progression. When we get LK heroic down on 25-man, I’ll be posting about it, that’s for sure. I plan to write about Ruby Sanctum. I plan to write about Cataclysm.

I plan to write about a lot of things and for quite some time, so if advertisements will prevent a significant amount of people from coming here and reading all the stuff I’ve written or plan to write, I’ll drop them from the site.

In the month of April, I had 4532 pageviews from 2729 visits, for an average of 1.66 pages per visit. Average time on site was 2m22s. So we’ll see if any of that drops for June or so, eh?

Anyways, thanks to everyone for reading and I hope you’ll be reading for quite some time. :)

19 Replies to “Potential Downtime and Redesign”

  1. I’m a loyal reader and I really couldn’t care less if you had advertisements on your site or not. Unless they get annoying, like pop-ups and the like. As long as that doesn’t happen, at least I’ll keep returning ;)

  2. As long as ads aren’t invasive or annoying, I have no problems with them. Good luck with the re-design :)

  3. As long as the adds aren’t flashy and annoying, and they don’t pop up windows that lock the rest of the site down until we either click it or close it then it’s fine.

    Ads aren’t necessarily frowned upon unless they’re excessive. When I see a WoW blog with adds I do question the value of the content. If I see adds and then I see posts with no value, then I’m never coming back. If I see adds on a blog with actual information within the blog itself then I don’t care a bit.

    Positioning is pretty key as well. If they’re at the top of the blog or always in my way, then I know your focus isn’t on providing reader-worthy content, it’s on making money from the ads.

    I’d say the main reason why you don’t see ads on a lot of blogs is more often related to what the ads can contain and how they can conflict with your stance on certain subjects. For instance, if you post about how much you hate gold sellers and then Google pops up an ad that’s selling gold, then you just let Google shoot you in the face. A lot of adds are real good at directly contradicting something you say in your blog because it’s keyword typically based.

  4. On a site we had created we used some google ads and its easy to integrate them in and use colours to match your site so they aren’t intrusive or out of place.

    I look forward to seeing the new look.

  5. I read through Google Reader so I doubt I’ll even notice the ads – if you do decide to put them up.

    Good luck on the redesign. Choosing a new blog template is so fun.

  6. Wow, comments!

    Kaboomski – I hate popups with a passion. I don’t even really like graphical ads, although I used to work as a content producer back in the day and recognize that ad revenue is very important, blah, blah. Text ads are all I plan on! :)

    Glad you find the site useful, or at least enjoyable. :)

    Tam – text text text. :) I promise!

    thansal – thank you!

    Psynister – I used to be a web designer and before that, a content producer, so believe me, usability is huge. I would never want to impact any site’s user-friendliness by all kinds of javascript/flash-rich ads with sound or popups or anything ridiculous like that. :)

    You bring up a good point, re: gold sellers and, I’d imagine, levelling services. I certainly bitch enough about levelling that I’d get those ads targetted at me, I’m sure. In fact, I just went to the AdSense forums looking for help on this — thanks for bringing it up. :)

    Cathy – Yeah, I use google ads on another site of mine and love how you can make it blend in nicely with the rest of the site so it’s not overly obvious (yet still clearly marked as an ad!). :)

    By the way, love the name of your site and am pleased to find another person who enjoys RankWatch as much as I do! :)

    Cassandri – Aha, one of the elusive feed readers! :) I always tend to actually go to the sites, myself. I think it dates back to when I was actively blogging about RL stuff back when Blogger was always crashing and RSS probably hadn’t been invented yet! :)

    I think I’ve found a new template and have set it up on a test URL and am customizing it to my taste now. :) I don’t get to do a lot of web design anymore, so it’s definitely fun to play with a template and edit colours, resave new versions of graphics and such.

    Man, why am I such a geek? ;)

    Thanks for chiming in!

    R – No forums! …yet. (That’s your cue for “so you’re saying there’s a CHANCE!”) I honestly don’t know what people would say in a forum here that can’t be discussed in the comments. Being all online-community-oriented and such, I try not to add to the clutter of never-used forums and the like.

    Of course, you wouldn’t exactly post your questionable video links in the comments a propos of nothing, so I see why YOU want them. ;)

  7. Honestly, I don’t even notice ads, text or graphic. I get so used to site layouts that I just kind of ignore anything that isn’t vital to said site’s content. So I say go for it. ;)

    You better keep writing, fool. Otherwise, I’ll be down to checking two things religiously while waiting for some ICC PUG to fail out at Marrowgar.

  8. One of the reasons I like the idea of a forums is that you have so many well written articles, but they get lost once they go “below the fold”. A few stickies wouldn’t hurt for articles that have more life than your typical 48 hour run.

    Also my personal experience with my own website showed me that people generally feel less comfortable commenting on the “front page” then on the forums. I know it seems weird but people are more talkative when its being done in the “lobby” rather then when its done on the “center stage”.

    Overall I think you have a tremendous opportunity to build your community of readers, having forums just seemed like a logical place to expand that readership and potentially do a little crowdsourcing at the same time.

    Overall I like the site and find it informative, but how much you can take on and what you’re ultimate goal is for this site only you can answer.

  9. X – Oh good to have your green light. ;) And I don’t think I could STOP writing entirely. Although life gets a lot busier as a guild master, so we’ll see how Cataclysm goes. Still, I’ve learned to use this blog constructively — I sort of unwind by blogging about the raids and such. Maybe I’ll be able to maintain a pretty good pace.

    R – I agree about the below the fold bit, which is one reason I’m redesigning. I’d really like to have some of my better posts up-front-and-center, all the guides, all the holy how-tos, maybe the Q&As. I’ve been looking at my google analytics info and the category listings down the side don’t get very much traffic at all. I’m thinking of highlighting some of the categories up top and then having a full list available further down the page.

    Your lobby/center stage argument has merit as well, but moving discussions from one place to another is kind of problem. I’d probably end up writing a post, then going to the forum, creating the thread, then edit the thread URL into the post so people can still just click to be taken to the discussion area, but even then, I’m sure we’d end up having split discussions. I have no doubt I could get some kind of community going on a forum, but until the blog reaches that tipping point and has the momentum to help grow forums without detracting from the blog, well… I’m not sure it’d work out too well at this point. Perhaps as we approach Cataclysm?

    Ah, how I miss building communities…

  10. Pointless comment just to say that I read (mostly via RSS, I’ll go to the post if I want to check out comments on the post) and love the blog! Hopefully your changes make it better for you and friendlier for readers :-)

  11. If you are game, I would love to know what you find out about Adsense and filtering out undesirable adds. More out of general curiosity than any personal use, but still.

  12. Geez, considering I didn’t expect any comments, this is kind of hilarious.

    Aloix – that’s not a pointless comment at all! Glad to know you’re reading. :)

    X – of course, how can I ever get anything done without your approval? ;)

    thansal – As it turns out, you have to block the ad’s web address specifically. I’m going to add a page that tells people how to submit an ad for me to get it blocked.

  13. I don’t know. You should just be happy that I’m so efficient that I can consider your requests in a timely fashion. ;)

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