It's been about six weeks since we went live, and thanks to Apache log files and Google Analytics we've got a nice collection of data about the kinds of people who visit. We thought you might like to know just who comes to a Linux news and tutorials site, so let's dive into the numbers and see what we can find...
The headline number is of course unique visits, and we've had 630,000 of them - about 100,000 a week, which is pretty good for a new site. Our policy of posting articles on a single page means that the number of page views isn't a great deal higher: 888,000, meaning that the average person reads 1.41 pages per visit.
Our most popular articles so far have been:
- Linux tips every geek should know
- Benchmarked: Ubuntu vs Vista vs Windows 7
- Benchmarks 2: Even Wine beats Linux Firefox
- From the archives: the best distros of 2000
- How the Linux kernel works
...and yet combined those articles add up to less than half our total page views - the long tail means that articles such as How to fix Linux boot problems, Resurrect your old PC and How to install Linux on a USB flash drive add up to far fewer views, but there are many more of these small articles, so they add up to a lot.
Those big articles largely became popular because of sites such as Digg.com (driving 22.54% of people to our site), StumbleUpon (9.59%) and Slashdot (6.27%), but Google is increasingly directing people our way simply as a result of us having more content online that people might search for.
Now onto the really interesting stuff: what kinds of computers are TuxRadar visitors using. If you thought they'd all be Linux users, you'd be wrong. If you even thought the majority would be Linux users, you'd still be wrong. In fact, over half of all our visitors are running Windows, making up 55.11%. Linux users make up 34.47% and Mac users are 9.19%. Here's the full list:
- Windows: 55.11%
- Linux: 34.47%
- Macintosh: 9.19%
- iPhone: 0.45%
- Unknown: 0.35%
- iPod: 0.14%
- FreeBSD: 0.08%
- SunOS: 0.07%
- Android: 0.05%
- SymbianOS: 0.03%
- OpenBSD: 0.01%
Even if our Linux users increased by 50%, it still wouldn't match that Windows number. As a side note, it's pretty amazing to see that there are five times more iPhone users visiting than FreeBSD users, despite a lot of the stuff we cover working just fine on BSD!
Let's dig a little deeper into those top two numbers: what kind of Windows users were we getting? Well, there were five major Windows versions in our logs:
- Windows XP (66.83%)
- Windows Vista (25.99%)
- Windows NT (4.11%)
- Windows Server 2003 (1.79%)
- Windows 2000 (1.14%)
Windows XP made up 232,145 visits so far, which, by itself, is more than all Linux versions combined, which add up to 217,266 visits. D'oh.
While we'd love to break down which Linux distros people are using, it's just not possible - most Linux distros don't give away that much information. However, Ubuntu does identify itself, and a couple of grep and wc commands later we can tell you that Ubuntu users make up at least 54% of all Linux visitors to our site. Note that we've said "at least", because we can only count Ubuntu users that positively identify themselves as using Ubuntu - any Ubuntu user who installed a custom Firefox, uses a different, non-identifying browser, or just removes that kind of information from their user agent isn't counted.
On the browser front, Firefox leads the way. Here's the breakdown:
- Firefox/Windows (39.21%)
- Firefox/Linux (27.90%)
- Internet Explorer/Windows (8.30%)
- Firefox/Macintosh (5.52%)
- Chrome/Windows (4.13%)
- Mozilla/Linux (3.36%)
- Safari/Macintosh (3.23%)
- Opera/Windows (2.73%)
- Opera/Linux (1.95%)
- Konqueror/Linux (1.02%)
Again, somewhat surprising numbers - we hadn't expected twice as many Opera users than Konqueror users, although to be fair some Konqueror users still change their user agents despite the rise of WebKit making that less important.
Google Analytics tells us that over 92% of visitors use at least 1024x768 (hurray!) with the most popular resolution being 1280x1024, with 21% of visitors. Giving that a great many netbooks use 1024x600 for their screen resolution, we can safely assume they make up nearly all the 1.43% of visitors with that screen resolution.
Another interesting metric is Adobe Flash usage, given its closed-source nature. Well, it looks like most folks just don't care: only 4.26% of all visitors had no Flash installed, with only 0.21% of visitors running the Free Software Gnash replacement. In comparison, a pretty hefty 19.36% percent of visitors didn't have Java support.
On the flip side of all this, there were a few articles we had expected to be popular that just didn't seem to do too well. To give you some examples, 30 Days with Haiku, Group test: Web editors, Banish your daemons!, Hassle-free mobile phone syncing, and Version control with Git all garnered comparatively few visitors.
This raises some questions
Why do so many Windows users come to a Linux site? As far as we can see it, there are four likely reasons:
- They use Windows as well as Linux, either because they dual-boot at home or because they are forced to use Windows at their office/school.
- A lot of the content we cover, such as programming or server stuff, works just fine on Windows, so people come here to learn and just mentally filter out the Linux-specific stuff.
- Some Windows users would like to switch to Linux, or have tried to switch in the past and failed, and are just curious about the state of Linux and Linux distros.
- Our benchmark stories sometimes show Windows in a positive light compared to Linux, so Windows users come here to gloat/flame/troll. NB: we actually had a lot of intelligent discussion from some folks, which was most welcome.
As you're reading this right now, there's a greater than 1/2 chance that you're a Windows user. So tell us, what brought you here? Do you run Linux and Windows on the same computer, or different computers? Does all the free software on Linux make you want to switch, or are you comfortable using free software on a non-free OS?
If you're reading this page from a Windows machine, drop us a comment below and explain yourself!
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