Low End Mac in 2014

Low End Mac has been through some difficult times since we moved from static HTML pages to WordPress. Site traffic declined by 88% from our peak of 17.1 million pages in 2007, but it is turning around.

Starting in June 2014, every month has had better traffic than the same month in 2013, and the chart below shows how things took an upward turn starting in May and have really improved over the past three months.

Low End Mac site traffic in 2014

Google Analytics reports 2.05 million page views in 2014, with our lowest traffic level (131,876 pages, a number we hadn’t seen since May 1998, a year after Low End Mac launched) in April and our best month (225,598 pages) in October. Things are looking up!

Low End Mac site traffic

Monthly site traffic, 1999-2014. 12 month rolling average.

These are some of our most popular pages, not counting our home page:

  1. Classic Mac OS Downloads and Updates
  2. 11 No Cost Tips for Optimizing Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger Performance
  3. Modernizing the 2006 and 2007 Mac Pro to Go Beyond Lion
  4. Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite First Impressions
  5. whited00r 7: iOS 7 Look & Features on Older iDevices
  6. Unsupported OS X 10.5 Leopard Installation (2007)
  7. How to Get Older Versions of Apps on Older iDevices
  8. Aggressively Stupid: The Story Behind After Dark (2007)
  9. Hack Allows PowerPC Macs to Access Flash 11 Content
  10. Leopard Makes It Easy to Share Your Mac’s Screen Locally and Over the Internet (2008)
  11. iPod History, 2000-2004
  12. Introduction to autofs in Mac OS X (2009)

As you can see, we get a lot of traffic to our legacy content. Here’s our Top 10 for articles first published in 2014:

  1. Modernizing the 2006 and 2007 Mac Pro to Go Beyond Lion, 20,953
  2. Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite First Impressions, 12,801
  3. Mac OS X 10:10: Will You Be Able to Run It?, 8,656
  4. The Late 2014 Mac mini Value Equation, 8,193
  5. 1.4 GHz iMac: What Is Apple Thinking?, 7,070
  6. Late 2014 Mac mini, 6,680
  7. Mac Anti-Virus: Why I’m Trying Out Sophos Home Edition, 5,157
  8. 24 Hours with Linux LXLE, Low End PC, 5,045
  9. How to Connect an Old TV Antenna to Your Digital TV, Low End TV, 4,974
  10. whited00r 7 Updated to 7.1, 4,259

We have over 1,500 pages of content on WordPress with thousands upon thousands more still existing as static HTML files. We continue to convert the more popular pieces to WordPress as time allows.

Site Finances

This year I came to the realization that ad income is not going to keep Low End Mac solvent in the forseeable future, so I’ve acknowledged that we need our readers to keep up with our expenses. We now identify ourselves as a community-based organization, and that community includes those who real Low End Mac online as well as members of our Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus communities, as well as our Google Groups.

Several times this year, starting in late April, we’ve put out requests for financial assistance, as well as doing what we can to trim our budget, which has decreased from $800 per month in early 2014 to just over $700 at present. After accounting for ad income, we hope to see $500 per month.

Three times this year you’ve blessed us by surpassing that goal – once with over twice that much! Twice more it’s been over the $400 mark, which is good. Overall, we’ve received over $3,500 from those who appreciate what Low End Mac is and how it has helped them learn about Macs, sell their aging Macs, acquire newer Macs, make software decisions, etc. We are indebted to each of you, whether you donated $1.00 or $200 and whether you sent support just once or help us out months. Your donations account for over one-third of our income in 2014. Thank you!

We try to repay our debt with our new content and through our busy Facebook group, which recently passed the 2,000 member mark. We’re also broadening our base slightly with Facebook groups and online content for PCs (mostly Linux), Android devices, printers, low-end TV, mobile deals in the US, non-iOS and non-Android smartphones, older cars, aging audio gear, camera equipment, and even bicycles. Still, Macs will remain our primary focus, with iOS devices a close second.

If you would like to help us out financially, please click here. Thanks!

Looking Forward

As I shared before Christmas, things have settled down at work. My schedule had been 6 AM to 6 PM M-F plus a half-day on Saturday for four months, which seriously cut into my ability to find time to write, although I did some work on my Late 2008 MacBook (my newest Mac – I live the low-end philosophy) on my lunch break.

I’ve been talking with a fellow Mac lover in the area. We share a dream of someday opening up a little Mac café where we could upgrade and repair current and aging Macs while also offering a good cup of coffee, tea, or soda for while-you-wait service. It’s probably years off, but we’re casting our vision and laying the ground work.

One way I’ll be funding this shoestring operating is by selling off some of my surplus Apple gear, especially those Extended Keyboards and Extended II Keyboards from the ADB era that so many of you seem to love. I’m also looking at picking up some low-cost accessories for upgrading those old PowerBooks and iBooks. I’m especially interested in products that are easy and inexpensive to ship. More on that later.

We also have a concept for a new product that he’s already tested in the field. The only hint I’ll give at present if that if you use a 680×0 or PowerPC Mac, you’ll probably be interested. More when we nail down the design.

Stick with us. Low End Mac is nearly 18 years old, and our best days are ahead of us.

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