Website visitor statistics question

  Griffon 15:18 12 Aug 2006

How do you folks analyse your site's visitor statistics? I'm beginning to realise that having a free counter on the home page is a bit inadequate. I know all the stats are saved in the log files but what's the best way to analyse them? I downloaded my site's log file into excel and was quickly daunted by the amount of info there. What analysis programs do you use or would recommend? Are these saved on the web server, and viewed through a browser, or can you run them from your own pc?

  Forum Editor 17:14 12 Aug 2006

are pretty useless to be honest. They count total page requests, rather than unique visitors, and the sight of one on a homepage just screams 'amateur site'.

Server stats are very useful, and analysis depends on what information you need. To most people the important statistic is the unique visitors total; this tells you how many individuals visited your site. You'll also have information about the page requests, page by page, and this can be very helpful if you're running a commercial site - it tells you what your visitors found most interesting.

I have never used any form of analysis software, because I don't think it necessary - an Excel spreadheet can tell me everything I want to know, especially if I use the graphing facility.

  Griffon 18:02 12 Aug 2006

I accept the points you make. The problem I had with excel was the sheer volume of data. Do you use macros to reduce the data to a managable size? For example every page call will generate many, many "hits" for each image, css item etc. etc. It would be good to be able to reduce these down to a simple list of "one liners" containing IP address, date, time, referer, page called, browser ... I don't understand how you use the graphing facility as you term it. Perhaps I should add that I look after a site with hundreds of pages and many hits per day.

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