OGRE web demographics, revisited

· by Steve · Read in about 5 min · (892 Words)

Almost exactly three years ago, I posted an analysis of the traffic on ogre3d.org and the rough country breakdown of our users, which is always fascinating to me. I hadn’t actually been collecting web stats on the site for about a year (the previous set-up was lost when I had to recreate the server in a hurry, and somehow reinstating it never seemed to rise to the top of my TODO list), but a month ago I finally got around to adding Google Analytics to the site. The results have been very interesting, particularly when compared to 3 years ago, so I thought I’d share some factoids with you.

Visitors still increasing

In 2007, log analysis indicated we were getting a little over 100,000 unique visitors per month; obviously this is not 100% accurate due to shared & dynamic IP addresses, people logging in from multiple sites, etc, but it’s a reasonable order of magnitude indicator. Analytics is typically more conservative in its figures, since it excludes bots better as well as non-Javascript browsers, but still in the past month (actually only 28 days) we’ve had over 120,000 unique visitors to the site - and 1.2M page views - so we’ve sustained and slightly improved our user traffic. And all without any Slashdot posts 😉 Also, this doesn’t count visits to Sourceforge, BitBucket or ome static generated HTML like our online documentation pages.

The Meteoric Rise of China

In 2007, China ranked 15th in our league table of visitors. Three years on and they’ve risen to the number two spot, comfortably surpassing Germany - at first I wondered if that was down to users there using fewer proxies, but since the figures for other countries have remained fairly stable I think the majority of this is genuinely a vast increase in the number of Chinese visitors to OGRE’s site. Here’s the top 10 countries (figures are for the number of visits):

The range of countries is demonstrated by how many are in the grey ‘others’ section (38.73%). Except for the massive change in China’s share, most of the other countries have stayed approximately in their relative positions & shares of the user population since 2007.

Region View - Europe still dominates, Asia challenges the Americas

The country view is, however, quite misleading if your aim is to decide where to locate a web server for example, because it naturally biases the figures towards large unified countries (like the USA and China), and doesn’t really show a true regional picture. For that, we have to examine the numbers (again, number of visits) by continent:

Now, even though the continent view includes Russia in Europe which screws up the locality principle a bit, even if you exclude that Europe dominates our community, with close to 1 in every 2 visitors to the site being from Europe. The Americas  and Asia share most of the rest almost equally now, which is a change from 2007 when the Americas were more dominant, and everyone else shares the scraps (3.5%). The Americas figure is made up of about 86% North America and 14% South America, and Asia is predominantly (60%) the Eastern Asia countries (mostly China, but South Korea holds its own too), with South-East and Southern Asia sharing the rest - particular hotspots there are India, Indonesia, Malasia, Turkey and Vietnam.

City Clusters

One thing I like about Analytics is the ability to drill down into countries and look at the local clustering. There are the expected clusters around cities - in the USA, the top 2 cities are unsurprisingly New York and Los Angeles, although Columbus OH takes the number 3 spot, and in the UK the clustering around London is massive - but they typically represent only about 25-30% of the audience, with the rest being scattered pretty much uniformly across most areas of the country in question. It’s fun to be able to point at almost anywhere in Europe, North America and the southern and eastern parts of Asia and to have a pretty good chance of being quite near to someone who has used the OGRE site.

The Monday morning OGRE fix

With OGRE obviously used by a lot of people in their spare time, you might expect that the weekends would be the busiest times for the site, but the opposite is in fact true - Mondays are consistently the busiest days (particularly 6-9am PST), with Saturday being the least busy. Whether this is because people are working with OGRE, or just cheekily surfing in their work time rather than face the Monday workload, is hard to verify!

Final Thought

I get a kick out of looking at these stats so I hope you find them interesting too. It’s really cool to think that there are only a very small number of countries (such as North Korea and Laos) from which we don’t get any (non-proxy) visitors from in a typical month, and it’s very interesting to see how the visitor base is gradually spreading out and diversifying, something which I’m sure every site witnesses but it’s interesting to see it in your own data. The question is - will China keep the current trajectory? At this rate, they’ll take the number one spot from the USA in only a few more years and put Asia second in the regional rankings!