Page 4: Implementing Site Pinning with Internet Explorer 9 and Windows 7

By Bradley Jones

Time versus Payoff

Overall, the efforts to add all of the above Site Pinning features to the four sites took very little time. Most of the time went to debugging little issues that were mostly unique to the site and not to Site Pinning. The two issues that cost the most time were the missing slash in the start-url that caused erratic behavior, and the use of semicolons in URLs in the links for the dynamic lists. Having worked through those, the developers could now add site pinning to most of its sites in a matter of a few hours each. Most of that time would go to creating the updated graphics for the Favicon.

Did the efforts pay off?

The tracking is still being done. To some extent, the return on investment was expected to be somewhat low because of the installed base of IE 9 and Windows 7 is still minimal. As people continue to adopt the newer browser, the sites should see an equal uptick in the number of people using pinning. Having said that, statistics culled from the sites in question show the number of people using IE 9 continues to increase. A quick comparison of the increase in IE 9 usage can be seen in Figure 7, which shows the relative number in April/May compared to Feb/March.

Image 7

Figure 7: Increase in IE 9 usage (note visitor numbers have been removed)

You can see that the increases are substantial — double to triple the number of visitors. Similar numbers can be seen in IE 9 growth on the other sites as well.

Is this growth a result of Site Pinning?

For the purposes of this case study, it would be nice to say “of course.” The reality is that other sites without pinning are showing similar growth curves for IE 9 adoption as well. As such, it is hard to say that Site Pinning lead to the large percentage increases in adoption.

People are using pinning across the sites. The adoption is starting slow, but picked up. A steady increase as can be seen in Figure 8.

Image 8

Figure 8: Relative number of clicks coming from Site Pinning

Figure 8 shows 12 weeks of site pinning usage. This reflects the relative number of clicks on the static items within the pinned menus. As you can see, there was a big boost in week seven, followed by a smaller boost and then a steady rise. The bumps for weeks three, seven and nine are related to promotions around Site Pinning. The decrease in weeks 10 and 11 on Codeguru are a result of an issue with Site Pinning. Regardless of these anomalies, it can be seen that Site Pinning is being used by some site members, and the overall trending number is increasing.

While it is too early to state the overall success of Site Pinning on HTMLGoodies, Codeguru, and DevX, the early signs show that it is being used. When you take into consideration the amount of time spent applying the functionality, it is easy to determine that even a small increase in engagement is worthy to call a success.

Are these sites seeing the large increases other sites have reported? Not yet, but it is still early.

Related Resources:

The following are related resources and references for this article:


Note that this site, and thus the author, does business with Microsoft, which is a core part of the topic of this article.

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