Looking back on 2008
the year is coming to an end, so I would like to take the opportunity and look back on what has been a very successful 7 months for highresolutiontextures.com. Since going live in May, the site saw a steady increase in visitors and RSS subscribers. Already in June, the first stone texture pack was being featured on Smashing magazine, which of course is a great start for a young blog. Lots of features on various CSS galleries (see the list in the footer section) and other blogs followed and as a result, the search engine rankings for relevant keywords improved a lot.
Show me the numbers!
Here are some statistics for highresolutiontextures.com from May 2008 until today:
- 50 posts so far
- 221 comments (which means 4.42 comments on average per post)
- 198 high resolution texture images available for free
- currently 943 RSS subscribers
- 221 twitter followers
- a HRT flickr group with 120 members and 90 submitted textures so far
- approx. 70,000 visitors and 165,000 pageviews
- Google Pagerank 5
I was overwhelmed by all the positive reactions, which I received over the entire period. It is very rewarding to see that the content I am offering here, is useful to so many people.
What have I learned so far?
First of all, I learned a thing or two about how to run blog and how to use several social networking services in order to increase the overall popularity of the website. I found out that once you have built up a readership, there is a certain level of expectation with regards to posting frequency or the quality of texture images. It is not always possible to satisfy everybody, but I did my utmost to deliver useful content in the form of texture packs, tutorials or inspirational posts. It is for others to decide, whether I succeeded in doing so, but looking at the numbers and the feedback, I am quite optimistic. Next to that, I gained more knowledge in the field of WordPress theme development, which I am able to apply when designing websites for clients.
Another thing I learned was how great the design community is. I met lots of friendly people (online), who were always willing to help out or give constructive feedback. These people are also a great source of inspiration. There are far to many to mention, but the most important ones being Caleb Kimbrough of LostandTaken.com (which is another great resource for hi-res textures!), Liam McKay of wefunction.com and Max Stanworth of designshard.com.
What’s in store for 2009?
The new year will start with a complete re-design of highresolutiontextures.com. The last few weeks, I have been busy trying to incorporate all your improvement suggestions from the book contest post into a fresh design. You can view a sneak-preview here:
I am aiming for a clean and usable website where I will also offer a better way of browsing through the texture images. And as you can see in the screenshot, the flickr group will be directly visible in order to showcase user submitted textures at all times. Feel free to give me some feedback on the re-design preview shown above. This weekend, I will start coding the WordPress theme and if all goes well, the new design can go live within the next 2 weeks.
Apart from the new look, I will increase posting frequency again, because the last few weeks have been a bit slow. This means lots of texture hunting and planning a few photo safaris.
Finally, I want to express my sincere gratitude to you – the readers! Without your comments, mails and tweets, this site would not be what it is today. With your constructive feedback, you motivate me to push even more valuable content in the future. I love giving something back to the design community, which proved to be helpful for me on so many occasions. Thank you all!
I wish you all the best for 2009!