I’ve been unhappy with my host’s choice of statistics software for a while now – Analog displays too much information at the same time as not providing enough information, all in a rather unattractive package. A while ago I came across Shaun Inman’s ShortStat. ShortStat is a PHP program which should work on most PHP-capable hosts, with a lovely UI courtesy of Mr Inman.
The single page statistics view shows pretty much everything I want to see – browser percentages, hit breakdown by country, popular hits, search strings and even OS of the visitor. It works by including a PHP fragment in each page you want to track – this makes it easy to install, but does mean I’ll need to keep using Analog to track failed referrers (which is an effective way of tracking broken links). You also need to setup password protection yourself, although I already use simple a Apache setup so it wasn’t too much of a pain.
Jehiah Czebotar’s PathStats is a ShortStat plugin (although the word plugin is probably not quite correct – the install process involves overwriting many of ShortStat’s files). What it does provide is valuable thought – it shows you which page eash browser visited. This is a great way of seeing not only how users arrived at your page, but shows you where they then go. One of the things I want to provide is pages tailored to those people coming from search engines – showing them related pages, popular pages etc. I want people to find this site via google, then stay for a bit, because when all is
said and done I just want people to like me 🙂