Retrospective: The Blog 2014

A personally and businesswise successful year has gone by and the new one is still starting slowly. Time to look back how the blog has been doing since I relaunched my site last February and set some new goals for 2015.

Hot topics

Some topics that sticked out in one way or the other:

Unit Testing

My all-time top article from 2011 [PHP] Mocking Built-in Functions Like time() In Unit Tests was still the second most visited in 2014 and I am happy to say that the concept that it introduced got some new attention:

PHP 5.3 Death March

The most controversional, most discussed and most clicked article of 2014 was my announcement to drop PHP 5.3 support wherever possible to force adaption of current PHP versions (5.3 reached its end of life in August 2014 and does not get any security fixes anymore since then).

I feel in good company because soon after, Anthony Ferrara (@ircmaxell) kicked of the same discussion on larger scale on Twitter and elsewhere with his articles about PHP versions:

  1. On PHP Version Requirements
  2. Being A Responsible Developer
  3. PHP Install Statistics


puphpet-vagrant-puppet-magentoI wrote a series on articles on Vagrant, specifically to introduce it for Magento developers, published on Until now it is only available in German but I published an English summary in the Webguys advent calendar that covers everything to get you started: Türchen 19: Kickstart your Magento Dev System with Vagrant. Two of the four teasers on this blog made it into the top ten of 2014 (see numbers below).


I like data, so here are some numbers! The site got 12091 visits in 2014 with a total of 15499 page views. That’s almost three times as much as in 2013 and almost twice as much as my last full year of active blogging 2011. The trend over the months is also upwards. Encouraging!
Visitors Per Month

Posts by Month

My self-set goal after reactivating the blog in February was to publish at least something every month which didn’t work out 100% but it’s close with 24 posts in 2014 and definitely improved over the year.

Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1 2 1 🙁 1 🙁 2 7 5 1 4

I didn’t use the “short message” and “link” post types as much as expected, instead got more active on Twitter (so if you want to read more from me, follow me at @fschmengler)

Most Visited Articles

At least for me it is always interesting which articles get most love, so here is the top ten of 2014 from all articles, including older ones.

# Title English German Total
1 Why I Am Actively Going to Drop PHP 5.3 Compatibility 2586 131 2717
2 PHP: “Mocking” built-in functions like time() in Unit Tests (2011) 2489 126 2615
3 Netzwerkfreigabe zwischen Windows 7 und Debian Linux (2010) 0 491 491
4 Magento Testing: Fill Forms With One Click 66 389 455
5 Magento Development with Vagrant – Part 2: Example Setup with Shell Scripts 15 415 430
6 PHP: Mock header() to Unit Test Controllers 18 401 419
7 Magento: How To use the Secure Base URL for Custom Controllers 4 396 400
8 Magento Development with Vagrant – Part 1: Introduction to Vagrant 4 336 340
9 The Magento buyRequest Object – A Reference 253 82 335
10 Composer Cheat Sheet for developers 4 329 333

Visitors Origin

Most traffic still comes from Google but there is a fair amount of visits without referrer, an indicator for a recurring readership through bookmarks or RSS feeds. I don’t know much about who is behind these numbers but thank you for your loyalty!

# Origin Visitors
1 Google 4371
2 direct 4289
3 Reddit 1357
4 StackOverflow 754
5 175


The Blog

For 2015 the plan is to keep the pace with at least one real blog post every two weeks on average. Also I want to translate some of the old articles that are still requested but only available in one language. I set up a free private Trello board to better organize ideas for the blog in one place and there already are a few things in pipe, amongst others a series on one of my pet peeves, Unit Testing in Magento.

Besides on this blog you should see more from me on other sites like the company blog at


I’ll extend this to some verifiable resolutions for 2015

  • Continue blogging as planned
  • Speak at a conference
  • Contribute more to Open Source Software
  • Launch a new service

That’s it, now it’s public and I’ll have to defend myself in one year. Happy 0b11111011111 everybody!

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