CFD Online is an online center for Computational Fluid Dynamics. Services include several discussion forums, a jobs database, a free CFD reference in the form of a CFD-Wiki, a news and announcement forum, a books guide, an events calendar, and a comprehensive annotated link section with pointers to CFD resources around the world. CFD Online's goal is to offer high-quality web services to the CFD community. The site is independent and it is financed mainly by banner-ads.
Today CFD Online is the largest and most popular CFD site on the Internet. During a typical week the web site is visited by 48,000 people (unique IP addresses), downloading more than 350,000 web pages per week. In total there are more than 6,700 web sites around the world with links to CFD Online. In 2012 CFD Online celebrated 18 years of uninterrupted service to the CFD community! CFD Online continues to grow and strengthen its position as the world's leading CFD portal. CFD Online is top-listed by all major search engines and has received many awards over the years.
2012 was a very successful year for CFD Online. For the first year ever CFD Online on average delivered more than 1.5 million web-pages per month to visitors! Both the number of read web pages and the number of unique visitors (IP addresses) reached new record levels. The number of read web-pages increased by 17% and the number of unique visitors increased by 11% compared to the previous year. The new forum section, launched in March 2009, has continued to develop very well and has helped to increase the traffic in 2012. The bar chart above shows the 12-month trailing average of the number of web pages delivered from CFD Online per month over the last 15 years. As can be seen, web-site traffic to CFD Online continues to grow steadily year after year and no tendencies of a reduced growth can be seen.
Note that these statistics exclude access from robots and common search engines like Google and Yahoo. This is necessary in order to give a true representation of the traffic from real humans. Otherwise the quickly growing traffic from Google and other search engines robots would completely overshadow human visitors.
Visitors to CFD Online come from typical CFD sites from all over the world. The pie chart below shows the traffic distribution across different top-level domains. Further details about where traffic is coming from can be found in the web server statistics report at http://www.cfd-online.com/Stats/2012/ or in the most recent web-server statistics.
Visitor demographics are similar to last year. The trend with a decreasing traffic from India has continued. India now only accounts for 2.4% of all traffic, compared to the record traffic of 4.6% seen two years ago. Another interesting trend, that we also saw last year, is the strong traffic from Germany. There are now four German universities with more traffic than the top US university. The reason is the strong usage of OpenFOAM in Germany. Traffic from Ansys remains high. More and more companies are now hiding behind anonymous numerical or network addresses. On the browser side Firefox has maintained its large share of >40% and Chrome has grown into an even stronger 3:rd browser with 22% of all traffic. Internet Explorer, with 25%, will soon be overtaken. On the operating system side the strong adaption of Windows 7 has continued this year. Linux has maintained its share and is used by 20% of all visitors to CFD Online.
The pie chart below shows the relative number of page-downloads for the different services at CFD Online. In total, the discussion forums are still the most popular section, with 48% of all the page-views. The CFD-Wiki has 18%, the CFD Jobs Database 14%, the Events calendar 9% and the Links section 2% of all page-views.
The strong growth in traffic to the discussion forums and the CFD-Wiki seen in previous years has continued also in 2012. CFD Online remains the most popular meeting place on the net for free and independent discussions about CFD. Users seem to prefer the open forums at CFD Online over closed forums run by code vendors. The following services are currently available at CFD Online:
The largest free online CFD news service. The news section has 5,200 unique visitors every month and more than 3,500 people are subscribed to the weekly email news-digest.
The most popular meeting place on the net for people interested in CFD. The forums have 390,000 archived messages from the previous 15 years. Several new mesh generation and visualization forums have been opened recently. In 2012 forum traffic continued to grow quickly.
CFD-Wiki is intended to eventually become the ultimate free CFD reference and text-book. The content is written collaboratively by thousands of users. CFD-Wiki contains more than 520 articles on various CFD related subjects. Many engineers and students use it as a valuable reference.
The links section is very well known in the CFD world and continues to attract many return visitors year after year. It has been the largest collection of CFD links available on the net since it was introduced in 1994. In 2012 a major overhaul of the whole links section was done.
The CFD Jobs Database is the section that attracts most people. The CFD Jobs Database is visited by more than 1,200 job-seekers every day! It is a very good way to recruit CFD experts. The CFD Jobs Database has had more than 200 open positions advertised throughout 2012.
The Books Guide is intended to assist students and professionals in finding good CFD books. The guide includes more than 200 books. A book-rating system allows readers to review books.
This service is intended to help students and professionals to find CFD related conferences, courses and workshops. The calendar currently includes 30 upcoming CFD events and since the service was opened in 2002 1,746 events have been advertised in it.
The tools section contains online tools useful for CFD engineers and students: Two calculators, a unit converter, a Y+ estimation tool and a tool to convert and estimate turbulent properties.
The feeds section was launched in 2012; it contains aggregated feeds of CFD news-sources, blogs, vendors, jobs and journals. This service has become an important tool to help people stay up to date.
CFD Online is only responsible for the documents on this server, not for any of the external references. All opinions expressed are personal opinions.
CFD Online is hosted on a dedicated HP ProLiant DL380G4 server running CentOS Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. The server is located in a servmatix datacenter in Salt Lake City, Utah, US.
The server has dual 3.6GHz Xeon CPU's and a redundant RAID5 disk array with 15krpm disks to ensure a quick delivery of pages. In addition, a backup-server is standing online to take over in case of severe hardware failures on our main server.