Web analytics is studied by most webmasters. There are a wide range of solutions for this. We ourselves have opted with StatCounter that is used across other owned projects. They are preferential to us based on their simplified real-time reporting. These reports deliver a wide range of varied stats although just a few of these are studied often. The most common ones are total site views for the day, the leading popular pages, time spent on pages and top referrers. The views can be compared against historic days, identifying the leading viewed pages helps to identify trends and improving the time spent on a page is critical to boost the user’s experience.
Top referrers shows which sites are sending the most visits. In the early days Google generally provides most of the activity from their search engine. There are also several market share stats with the desktop vs mobile variation being the main one of significance in this era of smartphones. When arriving from a smartphone a customised theme will be displayed for these visitors. This will be developed over time, but will have limited functionality. All that has been discussed above relates to performance boosts. There are however a few admin checks that are always useful. As a few examples, we can quickly monitor any suspicious IPs and run checks that the server has been working throughout the day.
Ads have now been added to the pages. Adverts are placed to help compensate running costs. This may include such things as domain & hosting fees, plugins (premium), promotion etc. Should profits arise then these can be used to reinvest back into the project to make it better. As an informational resource, the chosen partner is Google’s AdSense program where relevant ads are matched against the content served. Google uses the Doubleclick DART cookie to serve ads across the AdSense network. You can find further info regarding the DART cookie at Doubleclick as well as opt out options at Google’s Privacy Section.
In each case above the tracking will be achieved through the usage of cookies. A cookie is simply a small piece of data that monitors incoming visitors. When one is detected they’ll follow that user as they navigate across the pages and head elsewhere. From within your browser settings the options can be found to restrict or even block cookies, although this is never advised to do. They help to do things such as remembering your user names and passwords, as well as keeping you logged in. At the same time, some sites don’t function correctly without them being switched on. They would for instance always need to be applied when shopping carts are used.
Latest Update: December 18th, 2017.