Your site’s traffic – Stat
If you are thinking that you should have “a counter” on your site to track traffic, I’d like to welcome you to 2000. The blink tag and animated mailbox gifs aren’t cool anymore either.
Counters had their heyday, but website reporting has evolved quite a bit since then.
The drawback to counters is that if traffic is slow your counter will show it, and if someone hits your page repeatedly it runs up your count.
The good news is that most website hosts have software pre-installed to read log files so that you can track all kinds of data.
Typically server stats software works by reading your servers log files.
The server keeps logs of all sorts of data, where traffic is coming from, what OS they are using, what path they used to get there and much more.
Our host offers Smarterstats for stats, another typical stats package is Webalizer.
If you don’t have a stats package installed don’t fear – there are a plethora of web based options to use that are free and easy to use.
Google Analytics is the most widely known, all you need is a G-mail account. Yahoo has something similar. Web based stats have a couple drawbacks, firstly because they use java script to track the results typically take up to 24 hours to post. The other minor part is that you are helping a large corp track your sites traffic as you are tracking it.
next week: keep yourself informed, emailing yourself stats