With the exception of April when the site experienced some major technical problems at an inopportune time, spring was a good season for The Spearhead in terms of traffic and subscription numbers. Even April, with its security foibles, had a silver lining; I hired a security firm to give the site an overhaul and pull out useless code, then went over the plugins one by one to see which might be causing slowdowns and security loopholes.
The results have been promising. Not only has the site sped up a bit, but traffic from new readers is up substantially, which has caused Alexa stats to rebound. At best, Alexa is a rough assessment of a sites traffic, because it is demographically skewed toward those who go to the trouble to install the toolbar on their browsers. However, I was a bit puzzled by the Alexa decline last year and early this year, because real traffic measured by on-site tracking software showed a clear, substantial increase from last summer. What I suspect happened is that some malware had been redirecting new readers or search hits for some time, screwing up the numbers. After installing security firewalls and file monitors on the site, I was surprised to see how regularly self-hosted WordPress sites are attacked, primarily to steal traffic.
Security definitely must be taken seriously if you run a self-hosted site! This is one of the advantages of having a wordpress.com or blogger site, as the big companies handle the security themselves. However, they have an even bigger drawback, in that they own your web space and can pull the plug at any time. I believe they even reserve the right to use your content, which undermines the concept of copyright.
RSS subscriptions are up to about 2,100 (2,093 yesterday), and about a third of these subscribers check the site daily on a feed reader, with an unknown number (probably about 200-300) checking email subscriptions on a regular basis. This comes out to about a thousand daily readers through subscriptions alone. In addition to that, weekdays see about 3,500 unique visitors per day directly to the site, about 60% of whom are return visitors. Therefore, a conservative estimate for regular readers would be around 2,000-3,000 per day. Monthly uniques are running around 70,000 at the moment and page views 280,000, although I hope to see both numbers rise this month.
Summers are usually slow, as people spend more time outside. In fact, I hope readers get plenty of sunshine and enjoy themselves when possible — too much time in front of the screen isn’t healthy. However, if I can expand the site’s reach a bit everyone can relax, take it easy and take a vacation, and traffic may yet grow through September, and then we’ll hit the high traffic months from mid fall through winter.
Whatever the case, the important thing is that the site is still going strong, and our ideas are making a difference. I’m glad to see we’ve added some perspective to the national (and international — I do get letters from abroad on a frequent basis), debate on how our civilization will handle family, sex roles and marriage in a world that has changed profoundly over a short period of time. It’s as important an issue as any, and we have to take it by the horns if we’re going to leave a better world for generations to come. The nightmare of a repressive feminist dystopia is unfortunately a real possibility, and already here in many respects, so this is a fight we can’t afford to sit out.
So, on that note, I’d like to ask for support so I can keep the site running through the next quarter, and keep dedicating hour after hour of work to producing content and protecting our space online. One thing I can assure supporters of is that every dollar you put into keeping The Spearhead online will go as far as just about any donation you could make — it is an extraordinarily efficient operation. This site has not only produced an enormous amount of content, but helped create a network of other blogs through links, exposure and a steady, unflagging presence online. I am pleased to note that teenage boys have been reading the site, and have used our ideas to articulate the visceral revulsion they feel for feminist indoctrination. Feminists read it, too, and although many of them hate it with a passion, our ideas have clearly served to cause them to rethink some of their rhetoric.
Over time, words and ideas make a difference. Like water falling on stone, the effect may be innocuous at first, but eventually the water shapes the stone, and we are at the point where we’ve already made an impression. My goal is to make an even bigger one, and I’d like your help in doing so.
Thanks to all those who have contributed content and money to the site, it’s still here. I’d like to extend a special thank you to the donors who saved my bacon this year — without them I’d be living like a hippie (but not by choice). All in all, I’ve had a great time running the site, but it certainly isn’t making me rich, so I truly appreciate every donation readers make.
Thanks again for the generosity — every time someone offers support it strengthens my resolve and keeps me marching along, taking the fight right through the lines.
Donations can be made through PayPal (upper right sidebar) or by check or money order to:
PO Box 28282
Seattle, WA 98118
-W.F. Price (AKA Welmer)