… my last theme would have killed EverydayHDR!

On this site I try to present the most helpful content I can to the HDR/Photography community.  There is a ton of free content, really, there are over 115 video tutorials scattered throughout.  I want visitors to come here and enjoy their experience.  I want them to go from page to page indulging in the content whether they agree or disagree.  The last thing I want is for them to visit one page and leave.

As it turns out, the last theme I had running (from February 7th until March 1st) was doing just that.  There is a service Google provides called “Google Analytics” and it is a great service!  For those who have never heard of it, basically what it does is hangs out in the background of your site and collect valuable data.  Data like how many visitors you receive daily, how many pages they view, what pages they view, how long they stay, even down to the city and IP address they are from.  It does not tell you names of visitors as that would be an invasion of privacy!

It also tracks this small, but very valuable piece of data called Bounce Rate.  What is a Bounce Rate?  Have you ever walked into a restaurant, bar, club, or party and before you even took your jacket off you said, “This place is lame, let’s Bounce?”  That is exactly what Bounce Rate is, it tells you how often people land on one page on your site and then leave.

Bounce-Rate-Increase

With the last them I watched my Bounce Rate go from 3% to 73%.  That is an insane increase and the worst part is, it happened overnight!  I figured I would let it go for the month of February to see if maybe it was just the user getting to know the new theme.  However, it didn’t change, as a matter of fact it just got a bit worse and then maintained a stable 73.79%.  

I thought maybe, just maybe that data was being calculated wrong, so I looked into my Pageviews as well.  On the 6th of February (the day before the theme change) EverydayHDR had 1,315 Pageviews.  The 8th (the first full day with the new theme), only 610 and by the end of the month the average was near 524.  While I expected my Pageviews and Bounce Rate to be similar in nature, I didn’t want to believe it. PageviewsSo I decided to switch back to the old theme, the theme that worked.  The theme that allowed the visitor to enjoy their experience on EverydayHDR.  So, just because something looks better doesn’t mean they are better.  The proof is in the pudding, in the details, on the inside.  Ironic how themes and women can be so much alike!   I have a couple of questions for you.

  1. Do you own a website?
  2. Have you ever looked at it analytically, or do you just post the content without worrying about the details? (I wish I could be the latter!)
  3. Have you ever run a new theme and watched your numbers increase or decrease?

 

Blake Rudis
f.64 Academy and f.64 Elite are the brainchildren of Blake Rudis. While he is a landscape photographer he is most passionate about post-processing images in Photoshop and mentoring others.

For Blake, it is less about the art and more about the process. He dives deep into difficult topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside the box thinking.
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