It was a great year for the Elegant Themes blog. In 2015 we published 365 posts, approved 19,335 comments, and saw 12.8 million blog pageviews. Our total post count rose to 919 published posts, our total comments rose to 58,304 approved comments, and our total pageviews rose to a whopping 27.8 million blog pageviews.
We also launched Divi Nation, our new podcast and YouTube show. Each episode received thousands of watches/listens and it more than doubled our YouTube subscriber count in just fifteen weeks.
Additionally, our mailing list grew to over 173,000 after only two years of active building!
With this kind of growth and user engagement we’re extremely excited for 2016. Our goal–as always–is to improve what we’re already doing. But we’re also committed to finding new ways to provide valuable content to this amazing community. Without who, of course, none of what we do would be possible.
So on behalf of everyone at Elegant Themes I’d like to extend our most sincere thank you to everyone who reads, comments, or in any way engages with our content and products. In 2015 we spent every day trying to figure out how to better serve your needs and 2016 will be no different.
But before we move forward into a new year of blogging, let’s take a quick look back at our most popular posts of 2015.
Our 10 Most Popular Posts of 2015
To create this list I used the “pageviews” metric in Google Analytics. Aside from outliers such as theme releases/sneak peeks or posts from pervious years that are still performing well, these are the ten most popular or “high traffic” posts from the Elegant Theme’s blog in 2015.
10. WordPress vs. Drupal: Choosing Between Two Platforms
“Released only a couple of years apart, WordPress and Drupal are big players in the CMS market but WordPress has gained a lot more popularity over the years. Its user base is almost 10 times that of Drupal – but is it 10 times better?”
9. How to Create Column Layouts in WordPress
“Columns are basic website design elements…But creating them can be tricky. It is possible to code them by hand, but that can require lots of adjustments for every single post. You can also create them using one of the many plugins, or even one of the many themes, that give you the ability to create your own layout. This article will discuss all three of these methods.”
8. The Best Free WordPress Themes Available in 2015
“As one of the most successful premium theme shops in the business, Elegant Themes is best known for its top of the line themes and plugins. Even on this blog, we tend to talk about how best to use those themes and plugins (or themes and plugins like them) to get the most out of WordPress. But today, I’m going to do something a little bit different. I’m going to roundup some of my personal favorite, free WordPress themes.”
7. Converting HTML Sites to WordPress Sites
“In the beginning (of the web) all websites were made with nothing but text and static HTML. Now though, over 20 years later, the web is a much different place. Websites are much more complex. They provide richer and more enjoyable experiences for site creators and visitors alike.”
6. 15 of the Most Stunning WooCommerce Themes in 2015
“Just a few years ago, being able to easily build an e-commerce based site with WordPress didn’t really exist. Sure, there were plugins and themes that were made to try and make it easier to accomplish this, but they were still pretty tough for someone a bit less tech-savvy to figure out. Then, back in 2008, three guys got together to start building WordPress themes together and somewhere along the way, the WooCommerce Plugin was born. This plugin was released into the realms of the WordPress market and quickly caught fire when people realized that they could build an e-commerce site easier than ever before.”
5. How to Customize The Style of Contact Form 7 to Match Your Website
“With over a million active installs, Contact Form 7 is by far one of the most popular WordPress plugins ever. It’s popularity probably has a lot to do with the truth behind its description: “Simple but flexible.”…In today’s post I’m going to share a series of tips that will open up a wide variety of Contact Form 7 styling possibilities for anyone, using any theme.”
4. 40 Web Design Blogs to Follow in 2015
“Every new year, either towards the end of the previous year or within the first weeks of the new one, I tend to find a few hours to comb through my RSS feeds and refine the list of blogs I read and participate in. This year was no different. In the past I’ve had as many as 60 blogs centered on Web Design, Graphic Design, UX, UI, and the Web in general. However, keeping a high quality blog up and running for years on end is very difficult to do. Many of the blogs I’ve loved and followed in years past have faded away. The list below though, is a result of more than a few years of curating and the inclusion of some new hopefuls. So bust out your preferred RSS reader and start subscribing!”
3. The 15 Best Webinar Software Products from Around the Web
“In the course of running a blog or owning a business, there is probably going to come a time when putting on a webinar is necessary. This could be for any number of reasons: teaching a course, training employees, running a workshop, conducting an online panel discussion, hosting distributed events, or any other reason you might be able to think of. In today’s post we’re going to go over the best software currently available for making all of those things possible.”
2. The 41 Best Free Web Fonts for 2015
“A few simple decisions concerning your WordPress site’s typography can affect your design in a big way. Just change all of your headlines to comic sans if you need to see proof! Or, if you’d like to take things in the opposite direction–which I highly recommend–you could browse the fonts below and choose a few to update your WordPress site’s look and feel in 2015.”
1. The 11 Best Code Editors Available in 2015
“I recently found myself looking for a new text editor for web development. I’m new to development but I wanted to have a tool that I could become familiar with and “grow into” as I improved. Which would doubtless result in my spending a lot more of my time working inside said text editor. The result of my research is that I’ve got a pretty good lay of the land as to which code editors are the best at the moment and I wanted to share my findings with the community here at Elegant Themes.”
A Few Closing Thoughts & Observations
As any content expert will tell you, pageviews can be a bit of a vanity metric. By itself it doesn’t give you the best picture of which pieces of content your readers value the most. But nevertheless it can still be fun to see which posts brought in the most raw traffic.
Not all, but most of these posts are list posts. The loss leaders of the blogging world. These posts are designed to be search optimized, quickly consumable, and highly shareable. From a strategic perspective (aside from being immediately useful in hyper niche situations) they serve as a gateway into our broader content library.
As a writer it can be frustrating to write a post like The Future of Blogging (which was extremely research intensive and could just as easily be an ebook as a blog post) only to see it get a fraction of the attention of The 11 Best Code Editors Available in 2015.
But as an editor I know that we need a balance of both. We need posts that are immediately useful and get new eyeballs on the blog as well as posts that dive deep into the complex issues web professionals face.
That’s why my favorite addition to the blog in 2015 was Divi Nation. As the creator and host of that podcast I’ve made it my mission to create something deeply meaningful for our community that can’t be captured in any other format. Something that provokes personal/professional growth, solves difficult problems, and something that entertains all at the same time.
To put it mildly, I’m really looking forward to everything we’ve got planned for 2016. But I’d also like to hear more from you!
What would you like to see on our blog in 2016?
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