The impact of comments on website traffic

Many people have asked about the effect on the traffic at the FM website of turning off comments on February 25.  Here are the numbers, showing no impact.  The totals underestimate recent traffic, since much of the traffic has moved to syndications during the past 3 months.  The syndicated traffic for a new post typically ranges from 40% to 100% of the on-site traffic.

Here are the number of visitors from Sitemeter.  They do not include syndicated readers, so far as I can tell.

  • December:  36,246
  • January:     37,332
  • February:   36,718
  • March:        40,276

Here are the WordPress counts of page views, which do not include syndicated traffic (and hence understate traffic during the past few months).  WordPress shows both syndicated and on-site traffic for individual posts, but reports only on-site totals for the traffic of the website.

  • December:   61,733
  • January:       60,149
  • February:     60,565
  • March:           60,980

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