The sites hosted by Etherjazz all feature traffic reporting systems that will report how many hits the site has received, pages visited, the number of visitors, referring search engines and much more. Most of our sites use the AWStats reporting system.
As good as AWStats is, it isn't always the best solution. For example a web site could be very large and even include sub-sites. The regular traffic report won't show the detailed traffic information for these sub-sites; they will be bundled with the overall statistics for the site. However, Google Analytics will allow you to setup sub-site reporting.
Another situation arises when the web hosting is not provisioned with a reporting system. In both these cases an alternative approach is needed to generate traffic reports. Analytics is a free service offered by Google that lets us generates detailed statistics for these cases.
How Google Analytics Works
Google Analytics has to be set up after a web site has been built. Once web site or sub-site has been identified, Etherjazz will create an account and add special code to all the pages to be tracked. Once the code is set up, Analytics will start accumulating the statistics.
To view the statistics, you will need to log in to the Analytics system using the ID and password set up for your account. The reports themselves include a dashboard that shows high level results as well as more in-depth data further into the report set.
Google Analytics is not perfect. For it to work, visitors must be using browsers that allow Analytics to set cookies on their computer. Without cookies being set, Analytics cannot collect data. Traffic reporting tools such as AWStats do not suffer from this problem because they are set up on the same server where the web site is hosted. The use of Google Analytics also raises privacy concerns. Whenever someone visits a web site that uses Google Analytics, Google tracks that visit via the user's IP address. This raises concerns because Google also receives revenues from advertisers eager to target a specific market. Server based traffic reporting systems also do this, but this data is not available to services like Google.