As the owner australiancrosswords.com.au, I am provided tools to manage and monitor my website as part of the service. As a person with an IT background, I am very familiar with such stuff and enjoy looking over what’s happening from a technical point-of-view, including the mountain of statistics that measure everything from response time to bandwidth used. I can see how many people visit particular pages and which countries they are from. I can also see those that prefer PDF to online, and those who tap into the clue hints. I can’t see exactly who the people are, just numbers really. One set of stats that always catches my eye reports on how people come to the site. There are three ways – individual bookmarks (which accounts for about 76%), results of using a search engine like Google (22%), and external links that exist on other websites (2%). This means most people are regulars, some come across my website as the result of a search (whether it’s what they want is another matter) and very few come through links from (normally) other puzzle sites. Any real increase in traffic to my site will require a hefty lift in the last stat, that is, I need many more links to my site from other related sites.
The website stats also tell which sites people have been redirected from, and as there aren’t many, I recognise the regulars and hope for new ones to appear. Over the last few months, a new website has topped the list, funtrivia.com, but my efforts to find exactly where the link is on the site have been thwarted. Sometimes, through the nature of how webpages are constructed, content is “hidden” unintentionally, and pinning down what’s happening or whether the site actually has a proper link can be difficult.
It turns out, there’s a thread on the funtrivia site that basically posts a link to the latest Stickler every week (and has done so since mid-2017) and a bunch of people work through the crossword together. It would be great if all that activity took place here, but I’m very happy that it’s happening at all. There is a different philosophy on this site, with finding and sharing the answers a priority over just general query which happens here. Spoilers abound, which I don’t think would suit the folk here. Here’s hoping more such sites come into the fold.