EDIT MODE

Time to see what happened in 2017 and play with some numbers!

Website Traffic

The volume of traffic received in 2017 was fairly close to 2016, with a much smaller growth compared to previous years.

  • 1.5 Million Unique Users (4% growth)
  • 20 Million Page Views (7% growth)

Daily Page Views

The number of newly registered users has grown however, from 28,000 new in 2016 to 36,000 new in 2017, bringing the total to 130,000. So I guess I'm doing something right :)

An interesting stat that I'm now tracking is that only about 10% of visitors have accounts and login. However, 50% of the total page views come from those 10% logged in users.

In addition to the web pages, the API provides access to the database for external apps/scripts/websites/etc. I only keep a month's worth of stats for the API calls, but in the last month there were over 1M calls! It gets used quite heavily, although a disturbingly large number of those calls are for the v2 API which is about to be turned off. They've had a year to switch to v3 with monthly email reminders that it's happening. So if you are one of the v2 users, update your app now!

The top 5 countries are:

  1. United States 21%
  2. Germany 9%
  3. United Kingdom 8%
  4. Netherlands 6%
  5. France 5%

Interestingly China and South Korea come in at #6 and #7, mostly from their social media sites and search engines. It makes me wonder if it's worth the effort to add translations for some extra languages, perhaps that will increase the site's usefulness in those countries.

The top 5 Cities by number of visitors are:

  1. London (54,000)
  2. Seoul (53,000)
  3. Hong Kong (36,000)
  4. Budapest (30,000)
  5. Melbourne (29,000)

No real surprise seeing big cities at the top of the list, but Budapest and Melbourne seem a little out of place. I guess there are large LEGO communities there.

Most common browsers:

  1. Chrome 49%
  2. Safari 22%
  3. Firefox 12%
  4. Internet Exploder 5%
  5. Edge 3%

This looks pretty much the same as for 2016. The mobile (29%) and tablet (12%) usage is about the same as 2016 too which is surprising given it was increasing at a steady rate for years.

I like to look at outliers, and some interesting things I noticed:

  • There are still visits from people using Windows 95 and 98, and Internet Explorer 5.0 :(
  • We had visitors from every country in the world except North Korea and Western Sahara

 

2017 Visitors per country

 

Referrals made up about 25% of the total traffic (i.e. coming via a link on an external site). The top 5 referral sites for 2017 were:

  1. Brickset 16%
  2. Youtube 11%
  3. Facebook 10%
  4. Brick Instructions 5%
  5. JK Brickworks 4%

Fairly normal, except for Youtube making an appearance that hasn't been up there in previous years.

 

Social Media

Historically, I haven't made much use of social media for Rebrickable. Mostly because I don't use it for personal stuff either, so it's a bit of a mystery to me :) For the last few months at least, I've put in more of an effort to use them and posted plenty of MOCs and things on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

I'm sure I'm not using it very effectively, but the number of followers continue to grow throughout 2017:

  • Facebook +3,000 to 13,000
  • Twitter +1,000 to 4,900
  • Instagram has 1000
  • Pinterest has 450
  • Google+ has 600 (does anyone really use this?)

The top 5 referring social media sites:

  1. Facebook 42%
  2. Youtube 31%
  3. Reddit 7%
  4. Naver 6%
  5. Blogger 4%

Facebook seems to be the only one that actually directs regular traffic to the Rebrickable website, and I can't tell if that is from my posts or other peoples pages/links. I would guess it's from others more so than mine. Reddit tends to only send massive spikes that kill performance for a few hours, and then nothing for months at a time.

 

Performance

With the introduction of v3's more advanced features, and more frequent build calculations, I've spent a considerable amount of time this year fighting and fixing performance problems. To give you a sense of what that means, I spend a lot of time staring at this every day:

Dashboard (busy but performing ok!)

For those that care, it's a Grafana dashboard using a Prometheus server backend. I collect stats from all servers and then query those stats to display the charts of interest. I can dive deeper into any stat I need. And it's a good way to show off my 4k monitor :)

 

MOCs

There were 2,700 MOCs added during 2017 which is almost double what was added in 2016! I believe this is largely due to the improved submission process that came with Rebrickable v3, making it easier than ever for designers to submit their creations.

We now have over 7,200 MOCs in the database, all of which have building instructions and parts lists, all of which are analyzed when you run a Build Search.

Of the MOCs added in 2017, the ones with the most likes are below.

MOC Likes
MOC-8863 Jeep Wrangler by Madoca1977 508
MOC-9018 Moderately Sized Star Destroyer (w Full Interior) by raskolnikov 455
MOC-6604 Hatchback Type R by Madoca1977 393

 

Around the middle of 2017, I added the ability to upload photos of MOCs you have built. It has proven to be a very popular feature and one that I will probably expand on during 2018.

There were 1,174 MOC photos uploaded and approved.

 

Owned Sets

According to the database of > 8 million owned LEGO sets, the current most owned sets of all time are as follows. I admit there may be a slight bias towards Technic in Rebrickable's user base!

Set Owners
42009 Mobile Crane MK II (2013) 10,200 owners
42030 Remote-Controlled Volvo L350F Wheel Loader (2014) 8,800 owners
42043 Mercedes Benz Arocs 3245 7,700 owners
 

 

If we just look at sets from 2017, the most popular ones are:

Set Owners
21309-1 LEGO Ideas NASA Apollo Saturn V 1775
42065-1 RC Tracked Racer 1681
42063-1 BMW R 1200 GS Adventure 1662

 

If we just look at the new sets added after Christmas day, we can see the most popular presents!

Set Owners
42065-1 RC Tracked Racer 115
21309-1 LEGO Ideas NASA Apollo Saturn V 103
60150-1 Pizza Van 98

 

Levels/Badges

One of the new features introduced with v3 this year are badges. There are currently 77,000 badges awarded to users.

There is a single user leading the pack with 20 out of 25 possible badges with several others close behind on 19. 

These are the badges ranked by the number of users who have them.

Badge Users Awarded
LEGO Sets Collector (Level 1) 23500
LEGO Parts Collector (Level 1) 5600
1 Year 5200
... ...
Modular Expert (Level 2) 5
Mindstorms Expert (Level 2) 2
Technic Master (Level 3) 1

There are currently two badges that no-one has been awarded yet:

Star Wars Jedi Master (Level 3)

Mindstorms Master (Level 3)

Along with Badges, we introduced the concept of Levels. These serve two purposes - to indicate how active a user is on Rebrickable, and to provide a simple threshold for activating certain features which require some familiarity with how Rebrickable runs (e.g. submitting set inventories).

We already have one very active user maxed out at Level 10. I myself am only a 9 :(

Level Users
Level 0 93,818
Level 1 27,929
Level 2 6,548
Level 3 3,063
Level 4 1,386
Level 5 818
Level 6 267
Level 7 68
Level 8 19
Level 9 11
Level 10 1

I am considering re-calculating the Levels system for 2018 and making the maximum 50 or 100 instead of 10, to better show your progress and make getting to the next level a little easier.

 

Database Changes

Everyone has been super busy this year submitting new content, and keeping the admin team even busier approving and handling change requests:

  • 4,000 Change Requests raised and closed (that's an average of more than 10 per day!)
  • 40,000 individual changes made to the catalog by the admin team!

With Rebrickable v3, I introduced the ability for part photos to be used when the usual part rendering isn't available. I was afraid the effort required to get enough photos to be useful was too great, but during 2017 there were a whopping 4,800 photos uploaded.

You can help contribute at your Missing Images page which shows the parts you have in your collection that currently need images.

 

2017 Activities

Some of the main events that took place in 2017 for Rebrickable.

Rebrickable v3 went live. This was a complete rewrite of the entire site and database design which brought many improvements, and of course many of their own issues. We've come a long way this year in getting it to where it is, so thank you for your patience!

Pro/Designer Plans. I implemented the Plans feature in an effort to fund the site a bit better and hopefully one day get rid of the reliance on ads and affiliates to pay the bills. A big thank you to everyone who has upgraded! It is making a difference. While it's not enough to remove ads yet, it has been enough to upgrade the hardware to a level that can support current traffic much better.

MOCPlans shutdown. With the MOCPlans website about to disappear, we rescued thousands of purchases and made them available for download at Rebrickable. At the same time, a new Hosted Premium MOCs feature was introduced which allows MOC designers to sell their instructions directly on Rebrickable, making buying/selling much easier for everyone. In only two months, hundreds of these Premium MOCs have been sold, earning the designers thousands of dollars :) See the blog post for more details.

 

As usual, there were hundreds of other small enhancements and fixes along the way. We will continue to improve Rebrickable throughout 2018 and beyond. If you have any suggestions for improvements, please submit them in the Suggestions Forum so people can vote on them.

 

41 COMMENTS

  • 1 week, 1 day ago diniz (16830)
    Sharing the "inside" information is really nice, and, somehow, makes me feel closer to everyone here. Increases the sense of "community"... 
    Thanks Narhan

    (can you tell me if you consider Macao as a independent entry or is included in China stats?)
  • 2 months, 3 weeks ago jjecl (62)
    My family and I are new users and have enjoyed building multiple MOCs. The problem we run into is viewing lxf files on iPads and chromebooks. Does anyone know of lxf file readers for iPads or chromebooks? Or maybe pdf versions can be provided of the instructions.
    • 2 months, 2 weeks ago Simon (60278) Inventory Admin ADMIN
      It might be good to ask this question in the forum. If you don't get any answers there, you could ask the moc designer to generate a pdf using the comment feature of the moc. If he/she refuses, I am not able to help you, but if don't get any answer, and the moc is public, I'd be happy to do it for you.
      • 2 months, 1 week ago jjecl (62)
        I will try your suggestions . Thank you.
  • 3 months, 2 weeks ago fenix_2k1 (20)
    A few suggestions I have as a new MOC builder this year. Things that would hopefully add real value to moc builders, I'd suggest adding them as pro features to generate more income.

    All these are to do with the Find Your Sets functionality. As useful as it already is, there are obvious time savers.

    Once I've selected all the sets I want to include in my moc build, the following things would be really useful

    A printable per set parts list. Showing which parts to remove from each selected set towards my moc build.

    An option to convert each selected set to a parts list and remove parts used in the moc

    The ability to have a list of all further parts needed and options to export to bricklink etc as with other parts of the site.

    Those items would be real time savers for builders and certainly make Pro a very attractive option as a builder.
  • 3 months, 3 weeks ago stephane85 (3708) MOC Designer
    Slight bias towards Technic in Rebrickable? Ha ha ha. What do you want? It's the best database I (we) will ever know, it has so much potential with the search engine and the calculation tool. You guys keep it up, you're the best!!!
  • 3 months, 3 weeks ago ghost-dioxide (1373)
    I just know that website management was done by yourself from following comments, what a great work! Thanks a lot!As a Chinese player in lego technic, I glad to see two LCS opening in Shanghai and Beijing while a lego factory put into operation in Jiaxing. Lego also adding Chinese into instructions. So it is really sad to know just 96 people in registered members come from China. Actually, many MOCs are well known in China but not everyone know those MOCs published in Rebrickable first. So it is my pleasure to do something if you want to add Chinese to let this platform more famous. I'm sure that Chinese players can add a lot of MOCs, beyond your imagination.Best wish to you and your wife! (•̀ᴗ•́)و ̑̑
    • 3 months, 3 weeks ago Legolijntje (27815) Inventory Admin ADMIN
      Do you think translating the website to Chinese would attract more Chinese users?
      • 3 months, 3 weeks ago ghost-dioxide (1373)
        That's for sure. But it's not easy to deal with the description written by the players. They are always English and constantly updating. I think let non-native English speakers use Theme in their native language maybe a realizable and eclectic method.
        • 3 months, 2 weeks ago Nathan (63967) Site Admin ADMIN
          If we did translations, it would only be for navigation items eg menus and buttons. And perhaps some Help Guides if someone wants to help maintain them.
          • 3 months, 2 weeks ago ghost-dioxide (1373)
            For now it should be sufficient, I look forward to achieving it :)
  • 3 months, 3 weeks ago Batupintar (3470)
    Interesting article. Gauging from the type of MOC shown on Rebrickable over the course of time I can imagine users' collections being skewed towards Technic more than any other theme. The most surprising stats to me are definitely the ones in the Levels/Badges paragraph!

    Would it be possible to make some of the data available to users? I happen to live in Indonesia and I am wondering where it shows up in the stats. Even though few people can afford Lego (which is not only due to lower average wealth, Lego ought to take a good hard look at their pricing. The 42070 6x6 All Terrain Tow Truck costs an extortionate 410 Euros against 175 Euros online in the Netherlands. And this is no exception ....) it's hugely popular with the lucky ones owning often large collections.

    Now I know this post is titled "Year in Review", but what's in store for 2018! What are the plans for adding and/or changing features of Rebrickable?
    • 3 months, 3 weeks ago Nathan (63967) Site Admin ADMIN
      I wanted to add a 2018 section, but I'm so bad at sticking with the plan I decided not to :)
  • 3 months, 3 weeks ago PONPANPINO (3142) MOC Designer
    Interesting statistical information. In particular, I'm very surprised that Seoul is second place in the Top5 cities.

    멍멍이해 1위 가즈아아아아아!!!!
  • 3 months, 3 weeks ago Scratcher (31)
    Very interesting information. Thanks for running this brilliant service.
  • 3 months, 3 weeks ago TimM75 (5360) PRO
    Love this site Nathan. Thanks for all the effort to keep it going. This is one of the few sites I save the tab in chrome, to open automatically and check daily.
  • 3 months, 3 weeks ago NeuroMimetis (895) PRO
    Again and again Nathan, we must thank you for providing us such a service ! I do not know how you can manage a personal life with the maintenance of the site but I'm sure there is very little time left for any other activity.
    Thanks a lot and Long life to Rebrickable !!!
    To support the initiative and effort, I will be switching to "pro" ;-)
    • 3 months, 3 weeks ago Nathan (63967) Site Admin ADMIN
      Thanks! I think I manage the personal life aspect ok, although my wife probably disagrees :D
  • 3 months, 3 weeks ago itoby (116)
    Great post, provided a lot of different stats which gave us all a special kind of inside look at whats going on and where traffic is coming from :) Personally, i came here from youtube.
  • 3 months, 3 weeks ago TobyMac (68162) Inventory Admin ADMIN
    Funny there is a spike every end december/start januari. Is that from people logging their christmas presents?
    • 3 months, 3 weeks ago Nathan (63967) Site Admin ADMIN
      There's that, plus it usually has higher usage on weekends and holidays anyway.
      • 3 months, 2 weeks ago slangivar (17363) PRO
        The forum usage seems to have spiked in the last 2 weeks as well. So not just Christmas presents.
  • 3 months, 3 weeks ago Nico71 (14321) MOC Designer
    Again, a big thanks to you Nathan and the rebrickable team for making rebrickable better and better. I am proud to have the first moc on rebrickable and proud of the path of rebrickable. All features are very good and enables people to add collection, buy instructions, comment, etc. So big thanks !
  • 3 months, 3 weeks ago slfroden (3623) MOC Designer
    Thanks for providing a great site, and wishing you continued success in 2018 and beyond!
  • 3 months, 3 weeks ago Legolijntje (27815) Inventory Admin ADMIN
    This post once again confirms my feeling that the majority of the (active) Rebrickable userbase is mainly Technic oriented, haha.
    • 3 months, 3 weeks ago Nathan (63967) Site Admin ADMIN
      Any theories on why or suggestions for expanding the audience?
      • 3 months, 3 weeks ago Legolijntje (27815) Inventory Admin ADMIN
        I do have a theory why. I think the 'moc-scene' is more active in Technic than in other themes, because the theme is more 'limited' in regards to part selection which means it's easier to build other models. For example set 42069 has the same number of parts as 10251, yet the first one has only 223 different parts  in ~12 colors while the second one has 440 different parts in 22+ colors.

        If you have bought a few Technic sets, chances are high you already have like 80-90% of the required parts for a certain Technic MOC, because there's a limited number of parts (beams, gears, pins etc.) in a limited number of colors. That isn't quite the case with brick-build models: if you buy a few sets chances are very small that you suddenly have 80-90% of the required parts. There are so many more parts in so many more colors.

        What also helps is that Technic models are less color-sensitive than brick-built models. The inside of a model can often be colored however you like and the outside of e.g. a car can be changed to whichever color you already have the most parts for. That often doesn't work very well with brick-built models because they either represent something that has to be a certain color (e.g. you can't make grass red) or parts just don't exist in the right color to be able to change the color.

        And BTW, do I remember correctly that you first posted Rebrickable in the Eurobricks Technic forum years ago?
      • 3 months, 3 weeks ago Snagel (39)
        from my perspective:
        i consider non-technic sets to be "official models i own". they are packed in their box and wait to be (re)built, and i file them in my sets lists, but that's it actually ... i'm totally afraid to part them out into sorters to build other stuff with them – so many different parts to keep in check ... and i realize from the statistics that there are not that many sets i have the parts together to instantly build them  – i'd have to buy many new parts (that's work), organize them (work again), keep track (work).  and if i wanted to re-build one of my original sets, i'd have to get the parts out of the sorters first ...
        for technic, i realized on my very first visit here, that i really own 90-98% of the parts of models i do not own, and that was just "wow" ... parting out the sets was not that hard as the number of different parts/categories are smaller, and it gave me instant reward i could build sets i didn't own. I'm using the site much more intesively in that area, looking for new models to build, adding parts i bought to complete the missing parts, etc. etc.

        So for people who are not into technic at all, the barrier is rather high to get some "reward", and that might stop them using the site intensively. That does not necessarily have to to with the site directly.
  • 3 months, 3 weeks ago BadDan (361) PRO
    " in an effort to fund the site a bit better and hopefully one day get rid of the reliance on ads "

    After reading this, it came to my mind, that I am using Adblock. Deactivated it instantly on this site to give a little support. 
    Keep up the great work.
    • 3 months, 3 weeks ago Nathan (63967) Site Admin ADMIN
      Thanks, but ads are not shown when you are logged in anyway - only for unregistered users.
      • 3 months, 3 weeks ago BadDan (361) PRO
        Well then, although I´m far from reaching the limits of the free model, I updated to Proplan to support you guys. This work really deserves it.
        • 3 months, 3 weeks ago Nathan (63967) Site Admin ADMIN
          You're awesome, thanks :)
          • 3 months, 3 weeks ago Snagel (39)
            I'm aware defining a digital product and make pricing adequate is hard ...

            but I've been at the edge to subscribe for serveral times now, because the site is so useful and unique, only to realize that the 5 dollars a month are just somewhat above my personal comfort zone for a permanent subscription to something "non-essential" and i unfortunately can't use that often (I'd like to, but my real-life does not allow to be into my lego hobby intensively).
            Just to compare: a google drive subscription for 100GB storage costs me 2 dollars, and what i get is a data-sync, share, almost-instant-backup with versioning, and "light" office tool, most of which i use every day on several devices. that's a total no-brainer to me (and I'd pay 10 dollars for that too).


            Back to rebrickable: looking at my lists, sets and parts, and what i do on the site, i don't actually "need" the pro-features, but would be happy to have the backup feature, just in case ... i'd be totally okay to make a donation now and then, or subscribe to a plan that costs something like 25 dollars a year, not because of need, but to support the site without making the budget control part of my brain start questioning it ...
            • 3 months, 3 weeks ago Nathan (63967) Site Admin ADMIN
              No problem, it's not for everyone. You can still support Rebrickable by liking, following, giving moc designers feedback, sharing links, etc. It all helps :)
              • 3 months, 2 weeks ago biodreamer (20538) MOC Designer
                But wouldn't it be better to attract more paying supporters that pay less then stick to a high price? I can only agree to tomtom statement most of the site value you get for free while the pro is simply not worth the cost. unless there is some bank issue that cause multiple small transactions to be much more expensive.
              • 3 months, 1 week ago jmarshall (498) MOC Designer PRO
                Thanks for the awesome site Nathan. The time it saves me in organisation is EASILY worth $49 a year. Updated to Pro - Happy New Year!

                (The Beerly option gave me a good chuckle :)
  • 3 months, 3 weeks ago Lock_ (50)
    Great and interesting post. :)

    Two notes:
    - Top 3 MOC links takes you to a 404 page.
    - “Internet Exploder” is so fun that maybe it’s intentional. :D
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