Server logs: counters on steroids
I  N  T  E  R  A  C  T  I  V  E    D  E  S  I  G  N    F  O  R  U  M 
Issue 6   |   December 1999 





Anyone paying attention?
Despite all the information a hit counter can give you, it doesn't tell you everything you need to know. Probably the most important question of all is:

What do your visitors like, and what don't they care about?

In other words, what sections (pages) of your site get the most hits?

The obvious but cumbersome solution is to put a counter on each page. Fine for a few pages, a nightmare for a big site. If you don't have your own domain name but have a "members" site (AOL, Tripod, etc.), this may be your only option.

While this site was still on AOL I used separate counters on each page. Every night at about 11 pm I logged on and checked the counters one by one, carefully recording the numbers on a piece of paper. Primitive, slow, but it worked.

Instant feedback
Now that Interactive Design Forum has its own URL I can get detailed statistics on hits per page (and a lot more) via the server logs of my hosting service, currently The raw numbers are a goldmine of information, but the question is how to mine them. I'm now in search of the best web statistics analysis software. Any recommendations?

Counting visitors | Sample statistics | The best counter | Beyond counters


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