The creation of maintenance of consistent site statistics, especially if they span several years, is not always possible. Although the automated analysis of server logs is much more reliable than the use of web-based tools, there may be outages like file size overflows, and at latest with a provider or software change the old statistics become pretty worthless. The following figures should be taken with a grain of salt, also because most pages that are requested remain unread anyway.
68,227 files, 3.14GB total size, 429 folders
1295 HTML, 40 PDF, 21 TIF, 63455 JPG, 2007 GIF, 617 PNG
24,444,248 visitors from 20 Aug 1998 to 31 Dec 2015
Administrator: Bernd Schneider
Federation Starship Datalink
Idea & copyright: Hobbes
Star Trek: The Breen War
Executive producer: Greg MacDonald
Webmaster: Cador Davis "Makaveli"
The traffic graphs of EAS reveal some interesting trends of the site, of the Star Trek franchise and of the internet as a whole.
EAS statistics over time
Visitor statistics for EAS were archived by Nedstat (later Motigo) from August 1998 to May 2009 (light green). However, Nedstat used to count only the visits to the EAS index page. The overall number of visits according to my server logs (available since September 2002 with a few short outages that I had to interpolate) is more than twice as high (yellow). This is obvious, as direct referrals through bookmarks or search engines may easily produce visits that do no include the index page. The third graph is the traffic in gigabytes per month. It is measured since August 2000, initially on the Strato server (light teal).
Looking at the graphs chronologically, we can make out a steady, more than linear increase up to the year 2002. Especially the announcement of the then new series, Enterprise, in early 2001 may have given the site and the whole Trek fandom a boost. From April to June 2002 the Nedstat visitor count dropped drastically, and there is a gap in the traffic records (orange). The reason is that Strato, the web host, untimely ended the contract with wrong assertions against me. The site came back online very soon, as did the counters.
It is interesting to note that up to about March 2003 the traffic and the visits according to Nedstat kept rising almost perfectly proportionally. They belong to two different axes in the diagram, which happen to be scaled in a way that the two curves are nearly congruent. Starting in 2003 the increase of the visitor count was slowed down. I can only speculate about the reasons, but one explanation may be the dwindling interest in Enterprise in its second and third seasons. Also, after a couple of years of steady growth the internet may have reached a first phase of saturation, at least within the "geeky" target group of EAS. The traffic figures carried on rising significantly nonetheless until 2005. Without much speculation I can say that Google is responsible for that development. The ever refined search methods increasingly find pages with lots of content instead of just keywords, and the image search (popular since about 2004) loves descriptive text next to images, as it is commonplace at EAS.
In the first half of 2005 both the Nedstat visitor count and the traffic data dropped drastically. The reason is obvious, as this coincided with the cancellation of Enterprise. The decreasing traffic figure may be partially attributed to my ban on hotlinking though. In March 2005 I disabled the display of images from the EAS server on external sites. The visitor count as recorded by the server quickly rose again two months later for unknown reasons.
While the number of site visitors further decreased from 2005 to 2007, I was glad that at least the traffic did not increase, because I need to pay for the transfer volume. It occasionally came close to 200 gigabytes though. After 2006 had been a rather steady year, 2007 brought another clear decrease, at least of both server-generated figures.
At first, the announcement of the reboot movie didn't have a strong impact on EAS, as it probably rather benefited the sites with frequent news on "Star Trek XI". I could notice two traffic spikes in January 2008 (first teaser trailer) and in November 2008 (first Enterprise picture and full trailer). The release of the movie in May 2009 brought an all-time monthly visitor (>250,000) and traffic (300 gigabytes) high, the best day being May 11th with 14067 visits.
The hype about the first Abramsverse movie was over in 2010, and it was followed by the steepest decline of visitor figures in the site's history. Between 2010 and 2012 the monthly visitor count halved from about 200,000 to no more than 100,000. The reason can't lie with the content of EAS (that got updated as frequently as ever), and I don't think that the slur campaigns against me launched by some Abramsverse fanatics did have a lasting effect on thousands of visitors. Rather than that, I blame the radically changing usage of the internet during that time. An increasing number of people allow themselves to be guided by social networks, which are their principal and often only sources for news and opinions. They don't visit conventional websites on a regular basis any longer, they don't click links unless these promise "news", and they don't watch out for fan sites on Google. For traditionally programmed websites like EAS it is hard to get noticed in social media, and it is nearly impossible without becoming part of the business. It is symptomatic that EAS is very present in the form or links and mentions in traditional forums and blogs, while it is totally ignored by posters on Facebook and Twitter (although there is no technical obstacle to posting links to EAS). The few shares of EAS content to be found there are almost exclusively because of my own efforts to bring EAS to the social media.
At least, the months around release of "Star Trek Into Darkness" brought another increase of the visitor count and the traffic volume by about 25%, with a spike in May 2013. "Star Trek Beyond" brought another visitor and traffic peak in July 2016, albeit not so significantly.
In 2015, I invested over 300 hours in the modernization of the site, to make it ready for a future without font tags and to make it more accessible, especially on mobile devices. Yet, the decline of the visitor numbers continued. Something else to notice since 2015 is that the visitor numbers and the traffic are no longer congruent. The traffic exhibits peaks that are not attributed to more visitors, the reason being that I decided to lift the ban on hotlinking after repeated complaints that people can't show pictures from EAS in their forum. In other words, I tolerate that sites generate traffic on my server although they don't bother showing a link to it. It may be a price I have to pay for, well ...something.
Finally, the traffic as well as the visitor numbers are generally higher in the winter months of the northern hemisphere than in the summer. The exception is Christmas, the only particular day of the year with a visitor count that is systematically 20% lower than the month's average. It is not visible on the chart, but the short-term variation of visitor numbers is otherwise just ±6%, which is unusually stable for a website of this size.
(Date range: 07/07-01/08, www.ex-astris-scientia.org only, excluding index pages and dynamic pages)
1. Galleries - Starfleet Bridge Illustrations: 1.90% of all pageviews
4. Links: 0.83%
5. Fleet Charts: 0.74%
6. Galleries - Various Starship Interiors: 0.67%
8. Starship Gallery - Constitution: 0.59%
9. Starship Database - Earth Ship Classes: 0.56%
10. Starship Gallery - First Contact Vessels: 0.52%
(Date range: 07/07-01/08, www.ex-astris-scientia.org only, by pageviews in the respective directories)
1. Galleries: 11.31% of all pageviews in a directory
2. Starship Gallery: 10.67%
3. Starship Database: 9.79%
4. Starship Articles: 8.79%
5. Investigations: 7.56%
6. EAS Fleet Yards: 3.61%
7. Episode Reviews: 2.64%
8. Treknology Encyclopedia: 1.56%
9. Timeline: <1%
10. Character Bios: <1%
(according to Motigo, 08/98-01/08)
1. United States: 46.4 %
2. Germany: 9.5 %
3. United Kingdom: 9.2 %
4. Canada: 7.8 %
5. Netherlands: 2.3 %
6. Australia: 1.6 %
7. Italy: 1.3 %
8. Austria: 1.2 %
9. Sweden: 1.1 %
10. Japan: 1.1 %
EAS on the Downturn - my thoughts on why EAS has lost half of its visitors and how to preserve what's left
Making a Successful Website - strategies to draw more traffic to a site