2021 in review
December 15, 2021
Now that 2021 is nearly on its way out and winter vacation is just about upon us, I thought I'd look back at the year on the site to see how far we've come. I asked the database for some stats from December 15 of last year to this morning, and here's what it had to say:
Users posted 473 new activities this year. That's more than one every day, as you can calculate!
Users gave 1290 thumbs up this year, which is actually the majority of thumbs up over the site's history.
Speaking of which, the most thumbs-upped (sorry) activities of the year were, in order, MRI Quiz, Super Mario Christmas Blast, Phonics Survival Game - Fall Guys theme, Foods from Around the World, New Crown 2 - Lesson 1 Get Part 1, Magic Quiz, and Animal Crossing Animal Quiz.
The most visited pages, according to the analytics, were the front page, the JHS page, the ES page, the tag for Infinitive grammar (general), New Horizon 1 (2021), and New Horizon 2 (2021). I'm guessing that they must rank fairly high on some common search engine queries.
372 new users signed up this year, and 55 of them posted at least one activity.
678 comments were posted, and similar to the thumbs up, this represents over 50% of the total comments on the site.
The number of daily visitors has almost doubled over the course of the year.
Looking at the numbers, it's been awesome to see that a lot of people are finding the site, liking it enough to stick around, and often contributing activities, comments, and suggestions.
This was also the year that the revised site interface debuted. It's certainly not perfect and will require more tinkering as time goes on, but I still haven't heard from anyone who liked the clunky old interface better.
There's been some other new features as well. Colin enhanced the site a lot with the new Tag Search system, the much easier-to-use Activity Link selector, the tag addition/deletion selector on activity pages, and a bunch of other fixes. There's also the new system linking individual textbook pages to activities, but it hasn't really caught on yet so I need to make it more apparent and easier to use. Also, thanks to a lot of kind users, I was able to add the new JHS textbook listings for this year in addition to a few ES textbooks.
The other side of the increase in activity is that the hosting costs have gone up as well. Last year the monthly costs were about $80-100 US but they've steadily risen over this year and November 2021 came to $150. The Patreon is ongoing and I'm grateful to everyone who's contributing, but I haven't been doing enough to make it seem like a worthwhile proposition.
To be honest, development on the site has slowed down a lot in the summer and fall. I started a new web development job in July and most of my time and attention has gone to the new job. I think I could've been more disciplined about carving out an hour here or there instead of playing Apex Legends or goofing off in other ways, but I think I'm a little more comfortable in the new gig now and can spend a bit more time on ALTopedia. My day job is working on a site that's vastly larger and more complex than ALTopedia, so I'm learning a lot that can help me in my personal development time.
I've got a number of new features on the horizon, some of which I hope to be rolling out early next year. I'm in the process of finishing up an Article system, where users can write longer blog-style posts about things like teaching methodology. I'll talk more about that soon. I'd also like to smooth out some of the rough edges with things like managing attached files on an activity. Based on the survey results from last summer, I'm hoping I can improve searching and categorizing everything on the site.
Thanks for helping to make this the best year for the site yet! Good luck with the last push to winter vacation, and see you in 2022!