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Featured Bristol 40s WoodWorking Boat Projects Runabout

October 1, 2012

Wow, it has been a while since I have updated this. Six years and Four million hits later, we now have 28,647 images on the site and still growing. The surge in image count is due in large part to my new DSLR camera, which I love to take pics with. And the fact that I started shooting the Wednesday night races on the Choptank and Thursday Night Races on the Nanticoke. In season, that was adding about 200 images per week.

I've since dropped shooting the Nanticoke races because a former commodore was an ass and I quit the club. But, I still go up and shoot for my friends racing in Cambridge.

IP Count Hit Count Avg Hits / Visitor
207,107 5,999,498 28

November 1, 2006
Time keeps marching on. In the last year, we have added almost 4,000 images for a total of 14,154 photos on the site. With over 700,000 hits in the last year, we had more than 70% of the total hits in the first three years, combined. And still, the delphi powered web application keeps responding flawlessly and is even more swift than ever at her new location in a Minneapolis web site hosting bank leased by my son Sean.

IP Count Hit Count Avg Hits / Visitor
109,071 1,735,000 15

November 1, 2005
It's been three years now, that Writebyte.net has been operating as a Delphi web application accessing a Sql Server database for its content. 86,519 distinct IP addresses have accessed 1,029,035 pages on the site for an average of 22 hits per visitor. That million hit mark is a milestone I have waited anxiously for.

One area that is growing is the Featured Bristol 40s section. Still a favorite of folks who are looking for information on the Bristol 40.

Another milestone I waited for and then it slipped by me without even so much as a how do you do is the Image Count. The site currently has 10,453 images available for display. That's a lot of pictures of boats, kids and workshop stuff. Enjoy.

November 1, 2004.
It's been two years now, that Writebyte.net has been operating as a Delphi web application accessing a Sql Server database for its content. The one big additional feature in the last year has been on the image pages. When you click on an image, the application gets the next and previous image from a sequencing table for your page and assembles the page so that you can see the next image by clicking on the thumbnail or the main pic.

This little feature may not seem like a big deal and it wasn't a big deal to write. But, it immediately halted our falling hits/visitor average. Ever since instituting the change, the hits per visitor average has very slowly been climbing back into the mid teens, down from a low of 10 hits per visitor. Of course, it helped that I volunteered to act as Committee boat for the ESSA races and took photos every week, posting them and the race results. Everybody loves to see pics of their own boat. One member told me, the pics I have on my web site are the best pics he has of his boat. Understandable, since it's a wee hard to take pics of your own boat while underway... So, getting five or six hundred hits per week of ESSA sailors looking at pics of their boats in competition helped boost the hit counts a bit this year. Over the course of this winter, I'll be taking over the official ESSA web site and converting it back to the database, which should give another boost to hit counts. Overall, I just can't tell you how pleased I am with the hit counts. We tripled our total hit count from last year to this. We've gone from an average of 30 hits per day to an average of over 700 hits per day and climbing. The largest daily hit count to date was 2,864! The hard dodger and Nottoway's trip to the Azores are bringing in a lot of hits as are the ever popular Kitchen Cart and Laundry Cabinets. Below is a table with some hit count stats:

Visitors IPs Pages Avg Hits
Harbor Freight 43,062 63,985 1.48
Writebyte 26,501 382,030 14
Total 63,479 445,849 7

The Harbor Freight page is very popular and still getting over 100 hits per day. It's been very gratifying to get so many emails thanking me for warning folks about doing business with HF. One recent email, the writer said she was so inspired that she would begin building a page to tell folks about the problems he'd had with her automobile dealership with a lemon her family had purchased. The web is a powerful thing and I'm grateful for the opportunity to do some good with it. But, the main thrust of the site is images. With the advent of the sailing photography, we took a big leap in image count this year going from just under 3,000 images to almost six thousand images. Whether your interest is sailing, woodworking or just browsing, enjoy your time on the site.

Thanks for Visiting.
Tim.

November 1, 2003.
Writebyte.net has been on the web as a Delphi application for a year, today. It is now over six years since its inception. My son Timothy Sean created it when he was fifteen, while our ISP was still bwave.com. Then it got moved to Earthlink and finally to Sean's server in Minneapolis when we got our own domain name. Sean managed it that first year. I took it over when we made the move to Earthlink and it languished for a while. But then with the birth of Becca, I started adding content again. I didn't do much with it while we lived on the western shore. Life was just too stressful to spend time doing this. But, now back on the eastern shore, "The Land of Pleasant Living", I'm interested in the site again.

Since building the Delphi app, we've been able to track every hit to the site. During this past year, 9,400 visitors viewed 111,508 pages for an average of 11.86 pages per visitor. The Harbor Freight page which went up Dec. 3rd 2002 has had 14,975 visitors viewing the page 22,349 times. Writebyte.net has pages containing a total of 64.7 mb of images. It is driven by the Delphi driven DLL accessing a database holding the content. There isn't a single static page of content in the entire site.

Those numbers work out to an average of 305 hits / day on the regular pages and 61 hits/ day on the Harbor Freight site. The hit rates are accelerating. We're now averaging 650 hits / day on the rest of the site and 150 hits/day on Harbor Freight, have been for the last 7 or 8 weeks. It's very exciting for me, who began this page as a way to celebrate my passion for sailing. The site itself began to evolve when Rebecca was born and I started posting baby pics so our extended family which is scattered all across the country could see her.

Aside from Harbor Freight Tools., which is our most frequently hit page by a long shot, the favorite search engine referrals are Kitchen Cart, Laundry Cabinets and fast coming up as a strong third is the "Stitch and Glue Hard Dodger" page series, Hard Dodger, More Dodger , Dodger Install and Dodger Rehab. The dodger pages´ popularity is due in large part to referrals from cruisenews.net. Cruise News is among other things, a page filled with all sorts of nautical links, maintained by Michigan Sailor, Paul V.

The popularity of the Stitch and Glue Hard Dodger pages is very gratifying, as it brings the site back to its roots. I started this journey because when I was shopping for our boat, there was zero information on the web about the Bristol 40. My first yahoo search on "Bristol 40" returned 4 hits. Two were references to a rugby game in England where Bristol got 40 points and in the other two "Bristol 40" was part of a hotel address. Today, a Google search on "Bristol 40" returns Results 1 - 100 of about 2,590. Search took 0.12 seconds The really cool thing is that we were the first page up and are still listed first on Google after 6 yrs online.

Speaking of Google, I became a big fan of Google four years ago. When I first moved the site to Earthlink from bwave.com, every day I did a MetaCrawler search on "Bristol 40". MetaCrawler, if you're not familiar, submits your search to a half dozen or so popular search engines. Despite having no other sites with links to the site, it only took Google about 8 weeks to have our site show up in the MetaCrawler searches; whereas it was almost six months before any other search engines returned our site. This, despite having submitted my url to Yahoo, Infoseek and a few others the day I uploaded the site to earthlink. (I didn't know about google then, so I didn't submit to google.)

Of the referrals coming from google searches on "Bristol 40", about 80% of the visitors go on to look at all the boats in Featured Bristol 40s, about half look at the Brochure, 40% look at the Interior and about 35% look at the New Sails page. And one or two even bother to look at the Writebyte Logs. Many also get drawn to the WoodWorking or Live Deliberately sections due in large part I think to the Thoreau quote and what is apparently a huge contingent of people who pursue woodworking as a hobby. There are apparently, a lot more woodworkers looking for help than there are sailors. For whatever that's worth...

Tracking the hits has been a fascinating and often puzzling pastime as I try to imagine what attracted a viewer to jump from the featured section to the woodworking section or some other seemingly unrelated jump.

This self congratulatory mood would not be possible without the tremendous support and encouragement of my son Sean who bugged and bugged and bugged me again to convert the site to a Delphi app. Once I did, it was amazing how much easier it was to manage the site which now has almost 2,000 images and nearly two hundred individual pages of content. Plus, since I format all the big pics into a page, there would be another 2,000 pages, just to show the pics, if I were using straight html. I knew this instinctively since I develop with Delphi professionally, but I guess it's like the cobbler's kids. Didn't think it was worth my time to convert the page to the best web programming system out there. Now, it takes about 5 minutes to create a page full of pics, upload the pics to the server and add all the pics and html to the database. Creating that same page would have taken me anywhere from an hour to two and a half hours before going Delphi. Sean has patiently put up with me calling him in the middle of the night when the server was locked up and he's gotten up and gotten it running for me again. What a guy.

And, it wouldn't be possible without the support and patience of my beloved wife Terry, who has spent way too much time wondering when I'm going to be done on the bloody computer and come to bed.

Cheers. And, go sailing.






Unskilled and Unaware

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