Digital Web Magazine

The web professional's online magazine of choice.

Readership Question: How often do you actually visit?

Nick Finck

November 17, 2004 at 10:53 PM

I have been looking at browser stats on this site in a lot more detail since the launch of Firefox. One thing that caught my eye is the number of sessions recorded from RSS feed reader applications. Seeing as how the majority of you are reading this very post from within your RSS reader, my question to you is this: What percentage of the time do you actually visit this site when reading through the RSS feed? And requests to the RSS file do not count. I want to know what percentage of the time you actually click on the post in your RSS reader and visit the site in it's full design glory. Fire away in the comments.



November 18, 2004 at 12:03 AM

About 20% :-)

Emeric Thoa

November 18, 2004 at 12:14 AM

Hi Nick, I have a looooot of feeds in my reader, but Digital-web is one of the few sites I check in a real browser every day. I feel really better reading your posts with this design... as for Stylegala and some others. Sometimes, I even read the posts two times : one in the reader "oh, there's new on Digital-web, let's see", and if it's interesting, I go on the site and re-read it. Weird I know ^^' However, your question raises another one to me : is there any way to get reliable stats from RSS (as "autocheck" sidestep the issue)? I mean "how much people have subscribed the feed?", "how much visits from the reader to the site, as you ask today?". I have searched a lot but I wasn't able to find anything.

Andrey Stefanenko

November 18, 2004 at 12:48 AM

On daily basis


November 18, 2004 at 12:51 AM

I tried before to read rss feeds, but get bored reading titles, i prefer to go to the website, seeing images and graphical interfaces to read about.


November 18, 2004 at 12:58 AM

Pretty much every time you have a new item... I use firefox for my RSS feeds so I always come straight to the site rather than viewing through a reader.


November 18, 2004 at 1:28 AM

Somewhere between 30% and 50% of the time. I use the feedreader that's built into Thunderbird, so I scan the feed headlines in the morning and then come back to the site for anything that grabs my interest. Though right now I have about ten posts marked for reading that I haven't had time to click through on yet :-)


November 18, 2004 at 2:08 AM

As Firefox is my RSS tool I come straight to the site when I see a headline that interests me.


November 18, 2004 at 2:45 AM

I visit the site each time a RSS headline catch my attention. Sometimes I hover the headline before clicking (Firefox/Sage) - would actually like a summery instead of the whole text..

Donna Maurer

November 18, 2004 at 3:40 AM

I read the whole news item in my feed, and visit the site if I want to see if anyone has commented. I'd say only 5-10% of the time I would visit the site as a result of a feed.

Rob Lewis

November 18, 2004 at 4:07 AM

Currently I check the site out about 50% of the times that I see a new news item. Currently using FeedReader but going to explore Firefox's Live Bookmarks feature.


November 18, 2004 at 4:12 AM

I use bloglines to monitor your news, and I go on your website once per week on average.

Joshua Porter

November 18, 2004 at 4:43 AM

Majority of readers use RSS? How has the trend been going? I come to the site every time if it's something I'm interested in, mostly to read and participate in the comments. Molly has a cool feature: she makes feeds out of the comments. That would be cool... For me, my RSS reader is my new browser of choice.

Jay Jones

November 18, 2004 at 5:26 AM

I only actually visit the site when the RSS feed tells me there is a worthwhile article here to read. And to specifically answer the question, that happens about twice a month... maybe 3 times. Other than that, I enjoy the recaps from my RSS aggregator. Good stuff, though... please keep it up!

Small Paul

November 18, 2004 at 5:45 AM

Firefox, thus every time. By the way, on, the chap who commented and gave a link to Sage forgot the closing link tag. Meaning that I now can't post my comment, as Firefox turns the rest of the page into a link to Sage! Grrr...

Small Paul

November 18, 2004 at 5:45 AM

Firefox, thus every time. By the way, on, the chap who commented and gave a link to Sage forgot the closing link tag. Meaning that I now can't post my comment, as Firefox turns the rest of the page into a link to Sage! Grrr...


November 18, 2004 at 5:53 AM

I divide the sites I visit via bookmarks or RSS based on frequency of publication.Digital Web, being one of the most prolific gets visited via my small dailies group of bookmarks (Open in Tabs ) Less frequent publishers like PlaygroundBlues are visited via Sage RSS notification. So, for me, DW would be visited via bookmarks app. 80% of the time.

Frank Manno

November 18, 2004 at 6:22 AM

I visit on a daily basis... I've got anywhere from 60-80 tabs open on a daily basis in Firefox (I know, it's insane!), and DWM is one of them. I prefer to see the content in a nice visual form as opposed to the RSS (although I do subscribe to the feed as well).


November 18, 2004 at 6:32 AM

Twice daily

Jason G

November 18, 2004 at 6:37 AM

Typically, I always visit sites, very rarley do I read entries from a feed reader. A feed reader for me is just there to tell me that there is something new for me to read. In that regard I am very headline dependant. So use good headlines!

Nick Finck

November 18, 2004 at 7:37 AM

Small Paul: To Tom's defence he actually did close the anchor tag, but not with a </a> after the opening tag, instead it was a single tag like <a href="..." /> ...followed by the URL. Fun :) Anyway, it's fixed now.


November 18, 2004 at 7:56 AM

I read "What's New" throught the RSS feed and only visit the posts when I want to read comments or comment. I read the articles through the website always. Although I check them out to see if I want to read them at all through the feed.

John B

November 18, 2004 at 8:28 AM

Daily. I'm probably the last person on the planet who doesn't user a newsreader to read RSS feeds. But I use bookmark groups in Firefox for my frequently visited sites. I did set up a live bookmark but I keep forgetting it's there.

Dave Marks

November 18, 2004 at 10:02 AM

I always click through. And that goes for all RSS feeds with the exception of a forum feed, where i only click through if it looks worth reading. Why? Well more often that not its just easier to read on the website itself, then you get the comments, any daily links someone might have etc etc etc


November 18, 2004 at 10:38 AM

Always. I love looking at sites and how the stories work with designs. Aggregators are so impersonal.

Kim Krause

November 18, 2004 at 11:08 AM

I check-in between 4 - 5 days a week, and whenever Bloglines indicates something new has been added. I either read from the feed, or if the article sounds interesting, I'll click the link into the web site self. I also get email notifications from DW, but find I use the feed more often because the chances are best I have more time to actually read then, vs. just "checking email".

Yvonne Adams

November 18, 2004 at 3:26 PM

About 50% of the time, if I'm interested in the topic and think there likely are comments. The rest of the time, I read via FeedDemonm


November 18, 2004 at 7:07 PM

From home, I visit every time a new edition of the magazine is released. At work, your site is set as my homepage, so I guess that would count as 5 days a week.

Tim Wouters

November 19, 2004 at 12:13 AM

So many feeds, so little time. So, like others pointed out already in the comments : I scan my feeds in a feed reader (preferably full posts) and only click through when I want to see the comments.


November 19, 2004 at 5:05 AM

I'd say about a third of the time I click through from feed demon.

Stephane Deschamps (

November 19, 2004 at 11:35 AM

I'd say 50%, for this site. Less for many sites I watch through RSS, and much more on specific sites (CSS vault, Dunstan Orchard's blog, and a few others).

Mads Foersom

November 21, 2004 at 5:50 AM

About 60%, I think...

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