Whereas for the modernist English poet T.S. Eliot April was the “cruellest month,” it was the first month during which Wonderful Machine has been completely on the WordPress platform, with all of its new bells and whistles. So not “cruel” at all (memory and desire notwithstanding). Although the site saw a small drop in users in comparison to the months of February and March, this is not unprecedented in relation to previous years. What’s more, in other metrics the new site is performing much better than the old.
During the month of April, the total number of users arriving at Wonderful Machine’s new site dropped slightly from March levels. Only 9,865 users visited in April compared to 11,065 during the previous 30-day period, a -10.9% decrease. In comparison to April 2020, however, when we had 10,486 users, our numbers only dropped by -5.9%. Similarly, new users and sessions took a hit: new users dropped from 10,349 in March to 9,283 in April (-10.3% decrease), and sessions went from 15,338 in March to 14,230 in April (-7.2%). To be clear, a session denotes when a big-time client sits down and browses the site without exiting, during which they will likely views a number of different pages — pageviews, no less. If the client then opens up the site later on (after 30 or more minutes of inactivity) it is considered a different session.
Yet these disappointments were offset by dramatic increases in other numbers. Pageviews increased from 47,382 in March to 48,532 in April, a modest +2.4% increase. In comparison to April of 2020, when the site had 39,866 pageviews, this is an increase of +21.7%! Sessions per user and pageviews per session also increased; the former from 1.39 in March to 1.44 in April (+4.1%) and the latter from 3.09 in March to 3.41 in April (+10.4%).
Another note on those dramatic increases: wonderfulmachine.com’s average session duration increased from 2:31 in March to 4:03 in April, a stunning +60.9% increase. Further, in comparison to April 2020, average session duration increased by +42.6%! Yet those triumphs are probably not as significant as the bounce rate, which dropped from 61.6% in March to 50.7% in April, an improvement of -17.9%. Recall that the bounce rate — when a user enters and then immediately leaves the site — should be lower rather than higher. Tout au fait incroyable!
We’re pretty stoked here.
Because of the changes with the site, we no longer have “profile views” to count. But we count searches according to specialty, location, date, and name. We’ll also be tracking the external links from the site to our photographers’ sites.
The number of searches for photographers increased significantly this month, from 4,945 in March to 10,710 in April, which is a +217% increase. Yet as much as we’d like to take credit for that dramatic increase, it is likely an effect of the new site’s new style of presenting our photographer profiles.
Visitors performed 2,611 searches according to specialty in April, which is a modest increase over the 2,536 performed in March (+3%). Users sought photographers by location 4,247 times in April but only 3,971 times in March, good for an increase of +19%. Users search photographers by date 108 times during April and by name 1,376 times.
Wonderful Machine has two different blogs. One is devoted to bragging about our photographers and the cool projects they’re working on — we used to call this the “client blog,” but on the new site it’s called Published. The other houses articles germane to the business of being a professional photographer, formerly the “member blog” but now Intel.
The most popular articles on the Published blog were:
On the “Intel” blog, the most popular articles were:
Check in again next month to learn how the site did in May.
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