Jump to content


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


Ad Astra State of the Site 2013

Recommended Posts

As we come to the end of another year here at Ad Astra, I thought it would be a good idea to review how the site's been doing and provide a modicum of transparency to our users, so they know where their donation funds are actually going.


Monthly Costs


Ad Astra's monthly costs expand and contract based on usage, since we're in a virtual environment, but we tend to average out at around $150-200 a month.  This pays for the main web server (Washu), which is responsible for running the archive, blogs, support, and other secondary applications that we rely on to maintain/backup the site.  This also pays for our mail server (Mihoshi), which runs trekfics.net and also other vanity email domains for our users.  Our forums, chat server, and donation store are hosted by the IPB cloud server, as we couldn't get the demo software to integrate with the website.


One year of service for the entire site costs us around $2,200, give or take a $20 or two.


Annual Costs


Our domain registration runs us roughly $70 a year.  This includes adastrafanfic.com/net/org, also aafic.me (for short URLs), and trekfics.net.  We also have some ancillary domains that we pay for (boldlyreading, etc).


So What Happened to the Site in 2013?


We went through a number of large upgrades this year:



  • Washu: Added hard drive, memory, and new cpu.
  • Mihoshi: Added hard drive, memory, and new cpu.


  • Archive: no changes.
  • Blogs: WordPress upgraded to version 3.8
  • Support: HESK upgraded to version 1.5.2
  • Forums/Chat/Store: IPB upgraded to 3.4.6


Support Issues:


We had a grand total of 25 tickets for the year, with September being the busiest month.  The most often reported issue was "Blog Creation Request."  The most often used category all year was Blogs (go figure).   Total number of hours spent on tickets this year was 157.3 hours.


Analytics and Fun Facts:


According to our analytics, Ad Astra received 62,123 visits with 19,905 unique visitors this year (1 January - 28 December), and a total of 372,723 page views overall.  Here are some interesting facts:

Our biggest external referral site is TrekBBS, who've sent 1,373 unique visitors.  A majority of our users are organically obtained (Google/Yahoo searches lead the pack with 23,710 referrals), which is incredible for a site this size.  For those who've asked about social media clicks?  FB and Twitter combined net us a paltry 22 unique visitors for the entire year.  I was as surprised as you were.


The most popular browser used by visitors is Firefox, followed by Safari, then Chrome.  Least popular browser was the PS Vita Browser, followed by SeaMonkey :)




If you have any questions about the above information, or you want more information on site work done, please let me know in reply, or you can send me an email using the IPB email system (click on my profile).


Happy New Year, and here's to an awesome 2014!




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Social media clicks - we can probably do better if we update the FB page with links a lot more often, say, by updating not only to show that there's a new story but also new blog posts or even new topics if they're in the public spaces. The FB page isn't used really at all; it's more like a place to say that we're members. 


Similar with Twitter; we have the automatic updates (yay) but other posts, even just to link to an author's name (e. g. Have you read Nerys Ghemor's work lately? {link}, something like that).


Thank you for this - stuff to think about, and for Boldly Reading to think about. Onward to 2014! Huzzah!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To be fair, none of the above information includes any of the individual blogs.  The analytics I was reporting on was strictly for the Archive only.  Because adastrafanfic.net has separate reporting, and on top of that, each of you tends to have their own Analytics account running (Google or WP Jetpack), so I don't rightly have access to that information.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

True. Here's a contrast.


For Boldly Reading, we get more referrals from Twitter and FB. Searches include 

complex writing prompts

write evil character


Most of our referrals come from Ad Astra or from other Ad Astra blogs. 


For Barking Up the Muse Tree, most of my referrals come from Jespah.com (about 3 times as many as from the Ad Astra forums). Searches include

empress hoshi sato fanfiction

bambi woods (from a post on Broken Seal)


I also get a lot of referrals from Facebook, and from Wikia (I contribute to the Expanded Universe Wiki, at http://stexpanded.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page . For my character and story pages, I always link back to the blog). Plus there are some referrals from Twitter and even Deviant Art.

Link to comment
Share on other sites