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how do you track visitors? php cookies?

P: n/a

hi all!

I am starting to study the best way to track site visitors.
Logfiles stats which come with every web hosting, have little metrics
to be analyzed and also problems with cached pages which are not seen.
I thought to use php and cookies to track returning visitors, however I
see that all pro solutions use javascript to set cookies.
Now since I prefer to avoid js as much as I can cause they can be
blocked by browser settings, is it the same to use php to set cookies ?

I think that page tagging solutions also rely on a remote script to
read cookie and inserting data on a text file or a database table, so
php should be fine, however i wonder if with php I could have the same
caching problem as with log files, I mean maybe only javascript being a
client side language can avoid the cached pages problem?

How do u track your visitors?

probably the best option is to read log files for server metrics such
as spiders visits, error pages , and using page tagging with
javascript or php for more qualitative tasks such as conversions,
keywords referrer and so on.
TIA

johnny

Apr 5 '06 #1
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3 Replies


P: n/a
johnny wrote:
hi all!

I am starting to study the best way to track site visitors.
Logfiles stats which come with every web hosting, have little metrics
to be analyzed and also problems with cached pages which are not seen.
I thought to use php and cookies to track returning visitors, however I
see that all pro solutions use javascript to set cookies.
Now since I prefer to avoid js as much as I can cause they can be
blocked by browser settings, is it the same to use php to set cookies ?

I think that page tagging solutions also rely on a remote script to
read cookie and inserting data on a text file or a database table, so
php should be fine, however i wonder if with php I could have the same
caching problem as with log files, I mean maybe only javascript being a
client side language can avoid the cached pages problem?

How do u track your visitors?

probably the best option is to read log files for server metrics such
as spiders visits, error pages , and using page tagging with
javascript or php for more qualitative tasks such as conversions,
keywords referrer and so on.
TIA

johnny


Johnny,

There's no good way to track visitors.

As you've probably already seen, IP addresses aren't reliable. But neither are
cookies. As you indicated, they might not have Javascript on. However, they
might have their browser set to delete cookies when they close the browser. So
even if you set a cookie it won't be there next time.

You can get an idea of what visitors generally are doing on your site by the log
files. And you can track what individual users are doing in the same browser
session via cookies.

Generally I look at the log files to see which pages are popular and which
aren't. And I track sales. But I don't track individual visitors.

--
==================
Remove the "x" from my email address
Jerry Stuckle
JDS Computer Training Corp.
js*******@attglobal.net
==================
Apr 5 '06 #2

P: n/a
hi Jerry,

thanks for your reply, well of course a perfect solution does not
exist, however don't you think that cookies are a more accurate way to
track visitors?
I mean with log files cached pages are not tracked and someone says
that cached pages can even be more than 50% of all page views while
with cookies you can have a better look at returning visitors .
Cookies problem is only that some are deleted so you cannot analyze
all the visitors of your site but by a qualitative point of view ,
cookies data are more accurate.
Of course a user can browse from different user agents, so the best way
would be a log-in page and then a session but not all websites can
require a registration.

By the way , which software do you use for your log analysis ? and for
tracking sales?

TIA

johnny

Apr 6 '06 #3

P: n/a
johnny wrote:
hi Jerry,

thanks for your reply, well of course a perfect solution does not
exist, however don't you think that cookies are a more accurate way to
track visitors?
I mean with log files cached pages are not tracked and someone says
that cached pages can even be more than 50% of all page views while
with cookies you can have a better look at returning visitors .
Cookies problem is only that some are deleted so you cannot analyze
all the visitors of your site but by a qualitative point of view ,
cookies data are more accurate.
Of course a user can browse from different user agents, so the best way
would be a log-in page and then a session but not all websites can
require a registration.

By the way , which software do you use for your log analysis ? and for
tracking sales?

TIA

johnny


Cookie data isn't necessarily more accurate. I've found more and more users are
clearing cookies at the end of the session, for instance - maybe because of ad
tracking software.

My main log analyzer is awstats, although I use some others (like webalizer) for
some info. And most of my customers track sales web sales right along with the
rest of their sales in their accounting packages, etc.

--
==================
Remove the "x" from my email address
Jerry Stuckle
JDS Computer Training Corp.
js*******@attglobal.net
==================
Apr 6 '06 #4

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