Welcome to 2011! We hope you all have a great year this year, and had a good holiday season.
To usher in the New Year, here are some interesting stats, figures and general information about the happenings here on MTS the past year.
Here are some statistics from the past year:
New members: 1,080,521
New upload threads: 4,613
Files attached to new upload threads: 19,941
Downloads on all new upload threads: 20,696,514
New creators: 509
Number of thanks given: 3,159,408
Obviously the number of downloads is only on the *new* threads - up until now I have had no way of tracking just how many downloads the "old" stuff has gotten. Rest assured that will change with 2012's review.
Number of posts (total): 406,910
Number of posts (on downloads): 120,975
Average number of visits that look at the downloads section: 70%
Number of new threads (discussion sections): 7,798
Number of posts (discussion sections): 149,444
As you can see, the discussion sections (Located under the Community menu... if you haven't been there yet, why not?), where the busiest section of the site, and this area encompasses the various Sims 2 and Sims 3 discussion sections, as well as General Discussion and the Debate room.
Number of new threads (creativity): 446
Number of posts (creativity): 15,981
The Creativity section hosts various contests and had a lot posts in relation to the threads, which is to be expected. In 2011, we intend to do some revamping to this area to hopefully draw in more people to participating in the great content and ideas people have!
Number of new threads (help): 9,269
Number of posts (help): 39,161
A lot of people needed help this year, and our help Q&A section rose up to the call with almost 40k posts on all manner of topics. Well done to them all!
Although implemented very late in the year (21st November, to be precise), the Like button has been clicked 6,922 times, which works out to ~170 a day. Not too bad for a new feature!
General Visitor statistics:
Number of visits: 36,170,262
Number of absolute unique visitors: 12,120,340
Number of pageviews: 520,953,250
Number of unique pageviews: 417,589,335
Average pages per visit: 14.40
- Firefox: 40.63%
- Internet Explorer: 35.18%
- Chrome: 14.07%
- Safari: 5.54%
- Opera: 4.09%
This year saw the dominance of Firefox continue, but with Chrome rapidly gaining ground, especially later in the year. The site as a whole had more visits in 2010 than the previous year, which is due to a number of factors, which shall be explained later.
- Number of llamas shaved: 4,387
- Number of gnomes escaped: 50
Some interesting stuff happening...
In 2010, we saw the Custom Content installation landscape change for The Sims 3, with the introduction of various patches which made installing and maintaining your content a breeze, since it's now all in the My Documents folder.
We saw the site be taken over by Serfs in the earlier part of the year (Medieval Challenge), and Moddeth Thine Sims ruled.
We saw The Sims 3 Deluxe released in September, which packages the base game and Ambitions together, as well as the Ambitions EP itself (in June), followed by Late Night (in October), and both Stuff Packs (High-End Loft Stuff; February, and Fast Lane Stuff; September). All in all, thats a lot of new content to go into your Sims 3 game!
We had the Foundations Challenge, which brought together a lot of great houses and showcased some really wonderful ideas from many different creators.
In November we had our first ever official meetup (we've had some unofficial ones too), in Amsterdam, which was a lot of fun, although having it the same day as Sinterklaas made it a little busy.
Finally, your windows stopped windowing, we realized that laundry is just as much of a pain in TS3 as in real life, and we were upset that our vampires didn't sparkle. Well...some more than others.
If you don't like Technical stuff, skip this bit...
In 2010, much of my focus at the beginning of the year was focused on general speed improvements to the site, which essentially means figuring out new and more efficient ways of doing things with the same hardware.
Ongoing through the year was a rewrite of the download.php page to try and use caching more and to become more "modular". This change went live in December, and so far nobody has noticed anything different, which is a Good Thing.
In the same month, I also revamped the Scorecard and added realtime graph tracking for downloads - as well as some other backend changes under the hood that will be revealed shortly. Additionally, the Social Groups page was written to use AJAX more to load in longer lists.
Also in 2010, the Thanks lists and Favourite lists for downloads where revamped to make use of the jQuery UI (added as well that year) and turned into a Tabbed interface, to better see what kind of person is thanking you, or adding you to Favourites.
The Download browser filter section was moved from the left of the browse pages, and made into a Tabbed interface, to allow more data to be presented without making the sidebar huge.
The default view for Guests viewing the download browsing pages was changed to Dual Column, since it presents more data than the Thumbnail view. Members obviously can set whichever view they want.
Also changed for Guests was using memcache and nginx's ability to talk to each other, which, in combination with some very nifty rewriting, made it so that members no longer have to be served all the time from PHP and MySQL.
Regarding MySQL, we also switched to using MariaDB, and upgrading this a couple times during the year. So far it's proved very stable, and has some very interesting features that may be used in the upcoming months. The database server itself also had a RAM upgrade, which made things even faster.
On a slightly less hardware level, I started using CSS Sprites for some of the "badges" (the icons that appear below the names in posts and on downloads), and also consolidated some of the CSS files, to make it less to download.
Additionally, using the jQuery Tablesorter plugin, I added the ability for sortable tables to be put in posts or threads, and this is used extensively on the new revamped Scorecard.
In terms of style, perhaps one of the biggest changes is in getting rid of some of the "older" styles (italic yellow anybody?) and using more rounded corners, plus various toolbars and "slide out" sections (see the front page for an example).
In February, I added the jQuery LazyLoad plugin, which basically means that images aren't loaded until you scroll down, which makes the page (and your browser) faster to respond.
I also added the "Love buttons" in May, which are the little buttons you see under posts in non-download sections. So now, if you really don't want to post a reply, but still want to make your opinion known, you can click "I agree" and have it register.
Private Messages changed in 2010, now popping up when you got a new PM, and also having a dropdown with the last 5 PMs appearing in it. With some changes to the "Buddy" system (which are ongoing), the New PM screen now has quick access to insert your friends into the Send box, which makes it easier and quicker to do send to people you like.
Also in 2010, thanks to whiterider and HP, we added more Achievements, and more will come in 2011, as well as a better way to tell you when you have just earned one!
In September, we switched from using Apache 2.0 to serve the pages on the main webservers, to using Nginx instead.
Additionally, I also set up a clustered memcache instead (using Membase), to better spread the load of the caching layer that MTS uses. I also switched to PHP 5.3.3 with php-fpm, and updated some of the code to be more efficient. I also added xcache support, for much faster retrieval of extremely common cached values (since getting stuff from local RAM is much much faster than retrieval through a TCP/IP link).
2010 also saw the upload section change, with the addition of a new flash uploader, to help people upload files and images, as well as improving the feedback for speeds.
Also in September we added the @modthesimsinfo Twitter feed, which is a way of keeping up with all the downloads that get added to the site. So far it's had 882 tweets! The bit.ly links aren't just clicked on from tweets though and we've had approx ~1,000 clicks a month going to the site from twitter and elsewhere.
I also, in December, switched from using both jQuery Lightbox and Facebox to the new Colorbox system, which means less stuff to download and hopefully a better all round user experience.
To sum up...
Overall, 2010 was a great year for the site. We kept growing, and although the number of creations uploaded went down from 2009, this is probably becuase a lot of people moved on from the Sims 2 game, and didn't pick up Sims 3 enough to start modding it. We added a lot of user experience features, and sped things up enough so that nowadays, a staff member can be browsing the "normal" www.modthesims.info site, and it's so fast that it's not noticable from the "special" staff only server. This compares to last year when it was almost a chore to have to use www.
In 2011, I intend to finish up a lot of the code changes and improvements I started this year. A more robust friends interface, the return of "My Downloads", as well as a brand new Contests system are all the ones I can talk about right now - but rest assured that I and the staff are constantly working to improve the site not just in terms of technical mumbo jumbo, but also in terms of rewriting announcements, working on more Help FAQs, and generally making this what it is - one of the biggest and best free Sims sites in the whole world!
We hope your 2011 is going to be as good or better than 2010 - we know ours here on MTS will!
Thanks for a great year!
The MTS Staff
PS. If you remember something awesome that happened on the site in 2010, please let us know in comments!
Wow I can't believe I read all that! Especially the technical bit, I didn't even understand most of it but I read it anyway I've loved the changes over the last year, there has been a real user-friendly changeover in a lot of features which has been great I look forward to more challenges in 2011!
It's ok, we all laugh-snort occasionally!
Check out some of my other stuff here.
While I do love many of the improvements, and am quite pleased we lead Sims sites in llama shaving, I must say my favorite bit of 2010 was the non-death of Sims2. Glad to see so many Sims2 creators still active here, and continued full support for Sims2 stuff at MTS. It's good it's not been relegated to the back burner. Looking forward to more Delphy gubbins fiddling, more HP and whiterider achievements, and more stuff for me to download from creators in 2011.
This is one of the best sites on the inter net, and I'm not talking about Sims now (even that this IS a Sims site)... I mean, there are a lot of other things that you could do here expect Simming... (I'm telling from my point of view, cause I almost stopped playing the game)... There are those community areas where you can discuss about everything, then each member has it's own profile, where he/she can write things about him/herself, so that we could better met each other, and find other people who are interested in the same things as we are... And there are creativity section and social groups...
So, for me, this is much, much more than a 'The largest free Sims site' (but it's also that)...
Believe me, MTS is much more
Love you all
The end of magical Pegasaus's era through the world of sims
Great job guys! 2010 was a great year indeed! I love the improvements, they're great!
I hope MTS will continue with this site for many many years. Even when EA Games stops with making new Sims-games (it just has to happen sometime :s...), I hope MTS will not cease to exist.
I am very grateful for all the work and time Delphy, HP and moderators and site helpers have share with us here. I have always felt that MTS is on the list as one of the "BEST" sims site on the net.
I agree with "CatOfEvilGenius" about keeping Sims 2 alive, and creators who are still creating for sims 2, all and all I think things can only just get better on MTS for 2011. Whatever Delphy and staff want to add or take away is fine with me. ( I guess lol ) As long as the sims 2 "Do Not" go on the back burner. If that happen I may really turn into a Real Nut. So now that we are all in the year 2011 around the world I say "Carry On."
"Nothing in life is a Surprise it just happen to come your way at the time".
There have been TONNES of changes! So many behind the scenes stuff, and so many radical changes that have improved the site so much, so awesome!
Over the course of the year, I'd love to help out and be a more active member, Submitting more Sims and Content, and generally be around a bit more than I have been in the past
I am loving the ideas of new features to the Creative Sections of the site; there used to be so much activity there that It saddens me to know that less people visit those areas - I'm confident with a new feature or two, loads will check it out, join new contests, judge, and get that place booming again!
That was a good year, as for the browser statistics, last year I used Internet Explorer for ages, and now this year I am using Firefox to keep uo with everyone else And I sometimes use Opera when on my Wii (As I think they use Opera, of course I don't download with it though).
Let's hope next year's even BETTER! (How many other people have said that now?)
"Never take life seriously... No one gets out alive..." - My own quote! :P
Call me TrivialSim, that's who I am on YouTube :)
I have to say that I am really pleased that stuff for the Sims 2 has not gone anywhere, thank you all so much for this site, it has something for everyone. I also like the agree/disagree buttons at the bottom of the posts now, that's excellent!