happy 4th anniversaryI can hardly believe that it has been 4 years since I wrote the very first post on this site.  What’s most amazing to me is that even though I have posted at least 3 times per week, for a total of 759 published posts to date, I still have a long list of topics to write about.  We’ve always known that hardware is complicated, but who knew I could write about it 759 times and still have something to say?

Even 6 months after I began (when I started recording statistics), most days saw less than 100 visitors.  But I can see the search terms people use to find the site, and I could already tell that people were searching for help on doors, hardware, and particularly code requirements – exactly what I wanted to help them with.  Some of the most common search terms, other than various versions of the website name or my name, are: UL 1784, NFPA 80, astragal, and “when is panic hardware required”.  And if I could help 500 visitors per week, that was pretty good compared to how many people I could speak with one-on-one, right?

IDH Visitors

Fast-forward to 2013.  In January, there were over 12,000 visits from 8,000 people – well over 400 hours spent finding information on the site.  In addition, more than 1,000 people received the blog posts by email or RSS feed each day, and tens of thousands receive one of my posts in their issue of Doors & Hardware every month.  I still speak (or email) directly with a lot of people, but technology has allowed me to provide a resource that I would never be able to manage otherwise.  So far, there have been visitors from 176 countries!  After the U.S., the top-ten visitors are Canada, Israel, the UK, India, Australia, Germany, the UAE, the Philippines, and South Korea.

In honor of iDigHardware’s anniversary, I’ve been doing some spring cleaning.  Along with some behind-the-scenes updating, I added the new red buttons in the sidebar:

  • Ask an AHJ – This will connect you to the Building Codes Forum, where you can ask code questions and usually get multiple responses from real, live, code officials!  The site has been an extremely valuable tool for me, and we sponsor the door & hardware forum there.
  • Submit a Photo – You can use this page to submit photos of interesting or beautiful doors and hardware, or code problems that you’ve run into.  It makes my day when someone says, “I saw this [blocked exit, ugly door, broken hardware] and thought of you.”   🙂
  • Articles – My monthly column in Doors & Hardware magazine has run for more than 2 years, so there’s a good collection of articles on this page.  The magazine provides reprints of the articles that you can download using the link in the blog post to use for training or share with someone who’s looking for the information.  I have also written articles for the Locksmith Ledger, Life Safety Digest, Security Technology Executive, and I have 2 articles coming out soon in Construction Specifier.  When acceptable to the publisher, I also include these articles on my blog, so you can just type the publication name in the search box and you should find it.
  • Image Search – There are over 3,000 images on this site, so I thought it would be handy to have a search feature that would help you find the particular image that you’re looking for.  Unfortunately, it takes FOREVER to tag 3,000 images with the applicable search terms, but I’m making a BETA version of the image search available so that hopefully it will inspire me to work on the tags.
  • Visit IRST Website – This is the main site for Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies, where you can find product information, browse available products, or visit the sections of the site dedicated to architects and security consultants.
  • IRST Careers – If you’ve ever thought about a career with Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies, this link will take you to our Careers page, including available job postings.

My question for you is this (keeping in mind that I’m only one person so it may take me a while to get through the list)…what would you like to see added to the site?  What tools would help you – whether they are handouts, videos, links to more resources, or something else?  Are there topics that you’d like me to write about?  Is there something about the site that you don’t like, or that I could improve?  I’d really appreciate your feedback!!

Very soon, I will be changing the subscription feature because we have outgrown the current plug-in.  If you are not already a subscriber and you’re interested in receiving email notifications when I publish a new post or a weekly digest of what I’ve posted, subscribe now so you will be included when I convert everyone over to the new service.  If you know someone who would benefit from the information on this site, tell them about it!

Thank you for visiting iDigHardware / iHateHardware!  Without you, I’d be talking to myself!!

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