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Knowledgebase: Stats/Logs
Navigating Your Stats
Posted on 24 October 2003 06:10 PM
Using the Frames version of your statistics, you can easily navigate through them. So what do all the buttons do? Here we will list what each link represents. These correspond to the buttons within the left hand frame.

When you first enter your stats, click on the Frames Version link, you will be taken to the yearly stats. The graph at the top shows a graphical representation of your site's activity for the last year. The chart below this shows the overall stats for each month in the last year.

Below the By Year button is a drop down menu for each year. You can view your stats from previous years if you have been on our servers long enough to generate more than one years worth of statistics.

The next button is By Month. This shows a summary report for the month. This also includes the total KBytes transferred which is how you can keep track of your Bandwidth usage for that month. Take the number from the row marked Total "KB" transferred and divide by 1024, this will give you the MBs transfered and then divide by 1024 once again to turn that figure into GB.

Next we have By Day. This page shows a report similar to the yearly report, showing Hits, Files, Pageviews, Sessions, and KBytes sent for each day in the month.

Under that we have By Hour. This link takes you to a page showing a few graphs. The first one is the average Hits/Files/Pageviews for each weekday. Under that shows the top 6 days of the month.

Then we have the Average Hits by Hour graph, showing the average traffic by hour of the day.

The next chart shows the top 24 one-hour periods this month. Under that we have the top 5 one-minute periods, and finally the top 5 one-second periods.

Now we move on to the Top URL's button. This shows you the top pages or files from your site. Underneath the pie chart is a table showing the top 30 files on your site, along with how many Hits to that file and how much data was transferred.

Image files do not count separately - they are grouped as "All Images".

Scrolling down you will find the 5 least accessed files.

The next button on our list is Top Sites. This button will give you a Javascript alert, telling you that there is nothing available.

This is because reverse resolving is turned off in Apache. This is done to speed up the serving of your web site. With this feature turned on, every time someone accesses your site, the server does a reverse lookup on the IP address of the visitor. This way you can tell what ISP they are using and what country they are from. However, DNS lookups were not meant for speed and sometimes it can take a few seconds to resolve, resulting in a delay of your site loading up for the visitor.

Next is Top Agent. This shows the top 30 User Agents. A User Agent is any program that accesses your web site. This can be a web browser, search engine spider, or any number of Internet applications. This is great for figuring out what percentage of which browsers use your site.

The next button is Top Referrer. A page shows up as a Referrer for one of three reasons:
  1. The site has a link to your site and users have clicked it,
  2. The site links to one of your images or other files, or
  3. A user happened to be on that site when they typed in your URL or clicked a bookmark to your site.
In other words, a site showing up as a Referrer does not necessarily mean that they have linked to your site - a lot of times, a person's startup page will show up numerous times, since every time they open a browser window, that page loads first. Then they may type in a URL or click a bookmark or shortcut to get to your site.

The next button is Country, which does not work due to the reverse resolve being turned off (see above).

After that is the All URLs link, where you can see every URL that has been requested from your site, along with how many times it has been accessed.

Next is the Not Found button. This shows all 404 - Not Found errors that have occurred. This is a good place to look for dead links to your site as well as missing images and/or files.

The next two buttons also require reverse resolves to be turned on, and do nothing.

Now we have All Agents. This shows all browsers, spiders, and robots that have visited your site.

Finally we have All Referrers. This shows all referrers to your site. This particular page can be very useful if you know what to look for.

Imagine how useful it would be to be able to see what words people search for when they find your site. That would probably help in figuring out which keywords you should have in your META tags, and would also give you a good idea of what people are looking for when they do find your site.

You can! On this page, scroll down until you find a search engine you recognize, such as Altavista.com or Yahoo.com. Clicking on the URL pulls up another browser window, which shows all referring URL's from that domain.

Within that URL is the full query string - here is an example from search.excite.com:
    /search.gw search=web host
    /search.gw search=how to host a web site trace=1 src=nsl sorig=netscape
Notice the stats program strips the "?" and "&" symbols from the URL, so you can see the search terms more clearly.

Hopefully this will help you to understand what your users are doing, what they find useful about your site, and where they come from. More information on all of this can be found at this site.