What are visitors to your site up to?

To find out what visitors to your site are up to, you can either do it yourself with log analysers or save yourself the trouble and outsource the analysis problem. The pros and cons of each approach are complex enough that neither solution is the best in general - it all depends on the site and how it is used.

But should you conclude that outsourcing is the way to go, check out SuperStats from MyComputer.com (http://www.mycomputer.com).

SuperStats is a straightforward idea: Have the client Web site add some JavaScript to each page to be tracked. If the site user's browser doesn't support JavaScript or has it disabled, then call a URL on the MyComputer site.

While a lot of information about users can be deduced just by handling a browser request from them, the JavaScript support vastly enriches what can be known. Without JavaScript support, SuperStats can report on-site traffic and return frequency (MyComputer uses a cookie to identify repeat users) including the number of daily returns and return visits.

Other reports provided include information on full domains, countries, languages, visitor details, reports on the last 100 visitors, the browsers and operating systems used, JavaScript, all-site paths, most popular pages visited, and pages viewed by key visitors.

On the other hand, when JavaScript is enabled, you can also produce reports of the most popular channels and servers, carry out visitor sampling, note properties, create e-commerce reports and log special pages such as pages not found. Other reports examine log referrers and referrer type, identify search engines and search keywords. They also provide details about time zones, monitor screen resolutions and color depth, monitor whether Java is used and let you know the JavaScript version, browser height and width, cookies and plug-ins.

Of course, the more sophisticated client utilities that can block JavaScript will make the user effectively invisible to SuperStats. But that, at present, is a tiny percentage of users.

The service provides, as the feature list indicates, death by reports. These can slice and dice the data to an insane degree and even allows you to export to Excel and comma-separated values files for you to do your data abusing.

SuperStats comes in two flavors: Enterprise and Small Business Solution, targeted at high and low volume sites, respectively.

In fact, within the Small Business Solution there are several graduations of traffic level that attract different pricing schemes.

The base monthly pricing for SuperStats Standard is $9.95 per month for up to 25,000 page views with an extra 50 cents for every additional 1000 page views per month. For $99.95 per month you get up to 50,000 page views with additional monthly traffic fees for 50,000-plus pages views per month.

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