Running a site is a tough thing. We know it. It requires a combination of skills, charisma and determination. The more effort we put into our sites the more we want to measure the success. For wikis, a simple measure is engagement of your users — new members, page edits or forum posts. On the other hand many visitors do not leave visible contributions — in the end we also want to know how many page views and visitors a site has, and how people get to our site.
For quite a while Wikidot has been offering web statistics and analysis for Pro and Pro Plus sites. Today we would like to offer the same tools to all Pro Lite sites and shorten the update interval, moving the stats closer to real-time.
What we do on the server-side is we extract www server log entries for individual sites and analyze them independently, running AWStats for each site. The results are presented on a few well-composed pages, separately for each month.
Last week we made a significant improvement in the way we generate stats for each site. Instead of using plain text files we now store log entries for each page request in an indexed database. This allows rapid extraction of entries for individual sites. Traffic is now analyzed in parallel for multiple sites at once. This all results in a dramatic improvement in analysis speed of factor 10.
As a consequence, we can now run analysis in shorter time intervals, every few hours instead of daily updates. The results are more up-to-date with average delay of 90 minutes.
We have also decided to offer web statistics for all Pro Lite sites. So if you have a Pro Lite account go to Site Manager of any of your sites and check the new Web statistics tab.
Although AWStats is no spring chicken, it offers a great insight into web traffic. Its main advantage is that it analyzes the whole traffic that our servers handle. Thus it complements tools like Google Analytics that offer more analysis options, but are limited to traffic generated by browsers only. AWStats will also report traffic that will never make it into Google Analytics, like the Google Bot and tons of other spiders and indexing clients.
I hope you like the change!