Website Statistics

Website statistics are crucial to ascertain the effectiveness of your website, and ensure your marketing efforts are rewarding your website with visitors and sales.

Website statistics provide information on the number and frequency of visitors to your website, how many pages each visitor looks at, which website they came from, what they typed into a search engine, and what operating system, web browser, screen resolution and color depth they are using.

This is an incredibly amount of valuable information, but each website will use varying amounts of the data depending on the nature of their business.

A personal website may be interested only in the number of visitors the website receives each day. A small business will also want to know what other websites are providing traffic, and what their visitors typed into a search engine. A larger business, or one that places a heavy emphasis on marketing, will want to know more about their visitors such as technical specifications about their computer (this tells them whether their visitors are predominantly experienced users, and if they own new computers).

Most web hosting companies offer basic website statistics software with their services. The two most popular are Wusage, Analog and Webalizer. These run on the web host’s server, and process raw log files. They will tell you essential facts such as how many visitors your website is receiving, when it is most popular, and the top referrers.

For more advanced website statistics, you have many choices, and there are two types: those that process raw log files, and those that use an invisible tracking gif on each page of your website to record visitors remotely.

The former normally require your web host’s co-operation, or for you to own or manage the server yourself (see dedicated servers for this type of web hosting). The latter can be installed on any website and for this reason are more versatile. They are, however, somewhat less accurate because if a visitor to your website does not let the page finish loading, their information will not be recorded.

Examples of server-side (raw log file) website statistics programs are:

Examples of gif-tracker website statistics programs are: