Huddersfield Exposed during Lockdown
29 May 2020 at 11:20 am #284Dave PatternKeymaster
As the saying goes, “may you live in interesting times”. I suspect people are spending more time online during the lockdown than before and this is reflected in the usage of Huddersfield Exposed.
The site uses a locally-hosted instance of Matomo (configured to anonymise tracking data) and you can see the steady increase in visitors and page views since lockdown began in the UK towards the end of March. With a couple of days left in May, we should exceed 75,000 page views for the month, which is 3 times higher than a typical month in 2019.
Google Search Console is also enabled for the site, which provides insights into what searches people are using to find the site and how often they are clicking through to the site from those search results. Again, the steady increase since the start of lockdown is clear to see. There’s also been an increase in the click through rate (CTR) which suggests that people are more interested in searching for local history than they were before — the CTR for the last week is 4.8% compared to the long term average of 3.5%.
Some of the search terms people are using on Google reflect the lockdown. A lot of people are coming to the site for information about Folly Dolly Falls in Meltham — I’m tempted to start a campaign to have its earlier name of Dolly Folly Falls reinstated! Searches for information about reservoirs, woods, local rights of way, and prominent landmarks (viaducts, halls, etc) also stand out. It’s a shame that Kirklees recently changed their Rights of Way site so that it’s no longer possible to link directly to it to find public footpaths near a location, as that would have helped to encourage people to seek out local paths.
The site currently has 45,183 book page scans available to read online. Again, we’ve seen an increase in the number of book pages viewed during lockdown, with items that help with genealogical research (street directories and historic parish registers) being the most popular. You can browse a list of the Top 100 most viewed books (updated daily).
The load on the web server has increased. Rather than upgrade to a more expensive hosting package, I’ve taken some steps to cache content more aggressively than in the past, so that helps to reduce the load and to deliver the page content more quickly.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.