Every year since the start of Blog.SpoonGraphics in April 2007 I have created a special anniversary post celebrating the growth and success of my little blog. Despite being a pretty big milestone this year I had forgotten all about my little tradition. Thankfully I remembered just in time to bring you my 5 years of Blog.SpoonGraphics overview on the last day of April. Let’s take a look at changes in stats and figures over the past year.

To see how things have changed over the years head back and check out 2011’s 4 year post, 2010’s 3 year post, 2009’s 2 year post, 2008’s 1 year post or 2007’s six months post.

Design wise as you can see I’m still rocking the same old theme design from 2007. As documented in previous anniversary post there’s been little changes here and there with just the header being the only section of the design that has remained pretty much the same. 2009 saw the last major overhaul of the design, since then the site has remained unchanged. Maybe it’s time for another refresh?

Average stats of late

Average visits per day: 21000 (up 3.5k from 2011)
Average pageviews per day: 40,000 (up 6k from 2011)
Top Content: 50 Illustrator Tutorials Every Designer Should See & Huge Collection of T-Shirt Design Mockup Templates
RSS Subscribers: 57,000 (down 1k from 2011)
Highest Traffic Peak: Thursday November 4th 2010 – 32,658 visitors (How To Give Your Photos a Dark Processed Lomo Effect)

It’s great to see the number of daily visitors and pageviews steadily increasing as more and more content is archived into the search engines. My top content is still two roundups of resources. These two posts in particular have 1st place Google positions for their relative topics so I don’t expect to knock them off the top spot anytime soon.

RSS subscriber count has actually dropped since last year. I noted in past overview posts that Feedburner stats on both my blogs suddenly plateaued from October 2010, so whether this is a Feedburner issue or whether people just don’t use RSS anymore I don’t know! Another strange Feedburner stat is that my ‘Reach’ suddenly dropped from over 7000 to less than 150 in the space of one day back in July 2011, and has remained this low ever since (blue line in the above graph).

Technical stats

Powered by: WordPress
Hosted on: 4GB VPS (Frontend) + 1GB VPS (Databases)
Server location: Chicago
Thanks to the W3 Total Cache plugin and some server tweaking from @crouchy, @cleatsandcode and @davidsilburn the average load is around 0.3 and memory usage is around 20%. I could afford to downsize my servers but the extra resources are handy to have should my site experience a large traffic influx.
A recent update to the W3 Total Cache plugin greatly improved my site’s response time too, from around 3000ms down to a snappy 400ms.

Blogging related achievements

In previous anniversary posts I’ve shown how the increased exposure I received from my blog has led to features on design websites and magazines, but I never really talked about how my blog has helped with my overall career.
The first big milestone was back in 2009 when my blog initially reached a stage where it was bringing in freelance projects that allowed me to go self employed. In 2010 I mentioned how my blog had grown enough to allow me to cut down on freelance work, and now I’m running my blogs as my full time job alongside my YouTube gaming channel, which as of late 2011 became partnered with IGN Entertainment.

Creating fun designs tutorials to help people learn new techniques and sharing tips from my favourite video games is by far the best job I could have ever imagined, so thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my content over the years.

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  1. Great job! It’s always great to hear about blogs becoming someone’s full-time job, especially when it’s something love.

  2. Congrats, Chris! It’s been awesome seeing your work over the years. You’ve been quite the inspiration! I couldn’t be any happier for your success! :)

  3. Congratulations, I only follow your blog for a few months now but I must say it is great. How about you show us some pictures on how the layout changed through the years?

  4. 1) facebook
    2) Spoongraphics
    3) Gmail,
    that’s the order of my everyday access to the online world. Thanks to Spoongraphics, I learned a load of stuffs and my skills are what they are, owing most parts to Spoongraphics. And *Big Bows* to you, Chris Spooner, for making full-time out of the love and passion for this world.

    Thank you again for creating Spoongraphics.

  5. Congratulations and thank you very much Chris for running this fantastic blog where I learned so much!
    Keep up the good work!

  6. Congratulations on another year! I’m a relatively new subscriber, having just discovered your site a little over a month ago. I’ve found it amazingly helpful for tutorials and an inspiration as I’ve recently started my own design blog, but it’s very much in the rough right now.

    Thank you for your efforts and work.

  7. Congrats! I think it’s been almost 2 1/2 years since I discovered and started following this blog. :) Thank you for consistently posting all these great posts and resources.

  8. Congratulations for me is big inspiration your work, I have been learning here so much here thanks .
    from ECuador

  9. Chris, congrats mate! You’ve earned it.
    Pitty about that RSS. I’m getting strange results as well. Are people letting it go? Hmm…

  10. Happy b-day chris! Keep up the awesome work we all follow! Cheers!

  11. Congrats on the 5th birthday of your blog Chris, you deserve every bit of your success.

  12. great work all the years
    thank you chris – you are the best..
    best wishes for years ahead

  13. Hi Chris. I go to your web from time to time but last year (or half a year, I don’t know exactly) it feels to me that you’re not doing your blog much. You used to make incredible photoshop tutorials which was the reason why I enjoyed this blog, but it feels to me that now you’re more making either illustrator or just posting the “inspiration” posts. Please don’t take this in a bad way, I still think your tutorials are great (one of the best on internet!) but the main reason why I visited was photoshop tutorials like the planets, the glossy raven and so on, is beginning to vanish, at least for me. I understand that this blog is not named “Chris Spooner’s photoshop adventures” but ..I’d really appreciate if you made some more stuff that you used to do. Like the triangular poster on some previous anniversary, that was unbelievable!

    And please pardon my bad english.


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