web analytics

Has moving from self-hosted WordPress back to WordPress.com cost me much web traffic?

I suspect it has.

The site moved in December. My assumption was a move at this time would minimise disruption. Perhaps it did.

Yet January’s traffic is 10% to 25% less than expected.

Predicting site traffic isn’t easy. January is the height of summer here in New Zealand and a quiet time for web traffic. Historically this site’s January traffic is around half the monthly average.

There are also fewer fresh posts during the Christmas break.

At the time of writing, traffic is tracking around 25% lower than the normal January level. It could be simple statistical fluctuation, less interesting material posted this month or a direct result of the move.

My gut feeling says the move had an effect. Even the evergreen content is getting less traffic than normal.

One of the best tools for digging out more information and finding out exactly where the problem lies is Google Analytics – which doesn’t work with a WordPress.com site.

The site was off-line for a few hours in December, but January has seen fewer than usual disruptions – another benefit of moving back to WordPress.com.

3 thoughts on “Does moving from WordPress.org to WordPress.com affect traffic?

  1. I’m moving a few blogs that I manage for other people over to WordPress.com so that they can do their own content updates and I don’t have to worry about security and patching any more (not on my server!). I expect that the changes in traffic reporting are just to do with the way Analytics and WordPress’s own tools track traffic. I don’t think you will have lost any traffic you actually wanted. I remember back in the day when I got traffic stats from other packages, there was always a discrepancy from one system to another.

    • @Matthew

      That’s a good point. I’ve found Google Analytics always reports about 10 to 15% higher than WordPress, so the difference I’m seeing is quite likely within the margin of error of the various measuring tools.

      I’ve learnt a few lessons during in the move, which I’ll be sharing in a day or so.

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