How-To Geek

Third Year of How-To Geek: Branching Out and Growing Wild

It’s the end of the year, the time when everybody looks back at the year before and reflects on what happened. It’s navel-gazing time, people!

Yeah, there’s nothing really of value in this article, so you should check out our awesome Lego Wallpapers instead. I’ll try to make it quick…

Pixels and Charts and Numbers and Such!

Last year we ended up a little short of our 30 million pageview goal, but this year we smashed our goal of 40 million with ease, especially after the Windows 7 launch had the XP users scrambling for answers. I’m hoping next year that we have enough pageviews to require a 24-CPU server—really, just give me any excuse to get a server with 24 CPUs in it!


If you zoom in on those numbers you’ll start to see just how much we’ve grown… we went from 2.9 million pageviews / month last year to 4.9 million this month. If you include TinyHacker and now Productive Geek numbers, we’re way over 5mil/month for our network.


The only other interesting stat from Analytics is the number of Google Chrome users, which has hit almost 10% this month, and continues to climb—but it’s not just taking away from Internet Explorer, it’s also taken some points from Firefox as well.


So let’s take a quick tour through what happened this year…

January 2009: The How-To Geek meets Lifehacker

In January of this year, I started working as a staff writer over at Lifehacker, one of the largest blogs anywhere—and quickly realized that my writing skills needed a lot of work! Working with the crew over there has been a tremendous learning experience for me, and I’m very glad I agreed to it. Every Monday you’ll find my feature articles over there, like this week’s article: You Don’t Need to Regularly Reinstall Windows; Here’s Why.

April 2009: Mysticgeek Starts Handling the Editing

It didn’t take very long before I realized that handling a regular day job, How-To Geek, and also writing for Lifehacker was really starting to be too much to handle. Mysticgeek stepped in to take care of the day-to-day editing and much of the other administration, and freeing me up to take care of other stuff. He rocks! (literally).

May 2009: Asian Angel is Awesome!

When we found out that Asian Angel, the former Lifehacker intern, was available to work for us, we grabbed her as quickly as we could—and it’s one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. Before she came along, our readers would always complain that we didn’t cover Firefox enough—and she’s filled that void with loads of great articles about Firefox, Google Chrome, and now she’s started branching out into all sorts of topics.

It’s really more than that—she’s a wonderful, sweet, caring person that we’re just thrilled to be working with.

October 2009: TinyHacker Launched

We’ve never known what to do with all the extra random stuff that we find, so in October we launched TinyHacker, our random geek links site. It’s random! We’ve got some interesting plans for this site in 2010, so stay tuned.


December 2009: Productive Geek (beta) Launched

After a year of being around Lifehacker, I realized that we really need a forum to discuss life, hacking, and Autohotkey. The Productive Geek forum just launched a few days ago, but it’s going to be great.


Fun Logos and a Lazy Geek

We started out the year with a bunch of fun logos, hand-drawn by yours truly. Sadly, the time involved just got out of hand, and I didn’t keep it up all year. In case you missed them, here they are.

Valentine’s Day 2009:


April Fool’s Day 2009:


Mother’s Day 2009:


Easter 2009:


Behind the Scenes

This year we’ve completed some serious milestones—we completely upgraded the platform the server is running on, built loads of new stuff like a better email newsletter system, and created the new Productive Geek platform that we’re actually going to use to launch more new sites. All of this is thanks to Shawn, our awesome programmer. Shawn, if you’re reading this, I’d just like to say: get back to work! =P

What’s Next?

At some point in the next month or two, we’ll be launching another new site geared at IT admin types, hiring a couple of new writers, and really branching out even further.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 12/31/09

Comments (16)

  1. JHubbard92

    Wow, my hat comes off to you Geek. You have done a brilliant job, and those charts show it! Good Job.


    Jordan :-)

  2. Camilo Martin

    I would like to know how many Windows 7 pageviews there are. I have 3 PCs now and the last thing I would install would be Vista/Seven (Note that I tried Vista, but not Seven… I just like to keep good old XP for a Windows box)

  3. Brent

    You mentioned that you want a 24-CPU server. What hardware does it take to run How-To Geek right now?

  4. The Geek

    We’re running on a single quad core 2.4ghz server with 4gb of RAM and 4x250GB drives in RAID 10.

    In another month or so we’re migrating to a dual server setup, faster servers, more RAM, and more drive space.

  5. Phoshi

    @Camilo; I can say this completely honestly: Windows 7 is everything XP was, and more. XP has had it’s time, but like IE6, it must die. It is now running on inefficient technology, doing many things wrong. If you’re staying just because “XP works for you”, you’re the same as those sticking with IE6 for the same reason. Vista had it’s flaws, but 7 fixed them.

    Also, a 24-CPU server would be a lovely thing to have. :3

  6. David Levine

    Congratulations on your success! I began reading your website earlier this year and have been reading it every day ever since. The articles that are written are top notch. It’s nice seeing what new Firefox extensions, tricks, and software is out there.

    Keep up the great work! I look forward to seeing what unfolds in 2010.

  7. mickeyblue

    well done, and may it grow and prosper even more.
    why the interesting fact about chrome users? im a chrome user and will never use another browser!! its the best, period!! ;)

  8. Santo

    I am really proud to be a part of HTG right from its start. It has helped me to understand many things in a very simple way.
    The main attraction of HTG is the way things are explained and the way they are organized. It is easy to navigate within the site and it gives an easy access to its vast technical resources. The active and friendly Forum which has helped many computer users is one of the place where I spend most of my time along with other dedicated members of HTG family.

    I am sure that HTG will reach many more milestones in future!!!

    All the Best to the Man(The Geek) who developed this wonderful site!!

  9. uttaradhaka

    thehowtogeek, lifehacker and makeuseof have collectively pulled me from the depths of computer nubity and onto computer geekery.. Now I am something to people that I never thought I would be.. Tech support.. But those people don’t know that I was just like them a year ago!!! Thanks guys..

  10. ajijicalf

    You’ve been my choice for easy to understand Windows’ info for quite sometime now. Each day, I can hardly wait to see what subjects you’ve tackled. Kudos and keep up the good work.

  11. Ciprian

    Dude… Congrats. These results are proof of a work well done. I just hope our team from get at least 25% of your performance for next year. :)

  12. JonMCC33

    @The Geek
    Only a single quad core 2.4GHz CPU with 4GB RAM? No wonder HTG is so slow! JK

    I’ve never had any issues with page load or search performance on this website but I can understand a geek’s desire for more and faster. :-P

    Great job this year!

  13. edawnedsram

    Just to say thanks for all the help I have found by reading your articles.
    Simply stated and effective.
    Good luck for the new year


  14. vistual

    Bravo! guys….. Bravo!
    and thanks for all the effort.

  15. Jos5ph

    You guys ROCK!… thanks for all your help and invaluable information. You helped me a lot through my migrations to W7……. I too am a Chrome user… Thanks to you guys doing such a bang up review on it…. LOL……….Congrads!

  16. Ali Qayyum

    congts for wonder full achievement

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