WordPress: New stats plugin

You may have noticed a change to your stat charts a couple of weeks ago. We ditched Flash in place of a more robust charting library called Flot. If you didn’t notice, go check it out because you can view all of the new charts with modern browsers including mobile devices such as iPhone and iPad. Sooo sexy! Today we updated the charts to use bars instead of points and lines. We’ve also made the stats page super sexy.

Each module can be opened and closed, moved, or hidden completely. If you don’t want to see a module, minimize it with one click or use the Screen Options to keep it out of sight. Customize everything and view stats the way you want to.

As you hover over each bar in the chart it changes color and displays a tooltip, giving you more information about the data. If the chart is showing data by day, Saturdays and Sundays have a light gray background to make it easier to see weekly patterns. Under the chart you’ll notice a new area, called “fortune cookies,” where we’ll highlight key stats.

During the redesign we went with bar charts because the end of one day and the beginning of another shouldn’t be connected. Each day starts at zero and we think bar charts work much better for this type of data. We hope you’ll agree once you get used to the change.

In this first phase of the stats redesign we’ve focused on the main page. This will allow us to collect feedback from you so we can tweak everything as we go. We’ve only mentioned a few of the highlights here, so take your stats for a drive around town to get used to the feel. Let us know what you like and what you might change. As we gather feedback we’ll apply a bit of sexy to the other stat pages.

Sites using our Stats plugin on a self-hosted blog will see an update after we iterate on the new design.

WordPress.com Outage Takes Us And 10,199,999 Other Blogs Down

As you may have noticed, TheUnical Blog was down for an extended period of time this afternoon. In case you haven’t read about why yet, it’s because WordPress.com suffered through some 110 minutes of downtime, as WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg has explained just now on the company’s blog.

Unical Blog is one of the millions of blogs hosted on WordPress.com (not to be confused with sites that run the WordPress software but are hosted elsewhere). All told, some 10.2 million blogs went down — wiping out some 5.5 million pageviews, WordPress estimates. This was their worst outage in 4 years.

So what happened?

Mullenweg says WordPress is still gathering details but their initial diagnosis is that “an unscheduled change to a core router by one of our datacenter providers messed up our network in a way we haven’t experienced before, and broke the site.” He notes that this also tripped up all the mechanisms to prevent a total failure, so that occurred. Luckily, no data was lost in the outage, it just simply could not be sent out.

Mullenweg ends with, “I hope it will be much longer than four years before we face a problem like this again.” So say we all.

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