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exit pages

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  • Greg
    Hello: I work in a mid-size public library and we use webalizer for our site which gets about 3000 visits a day. The director of the library is interested in
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 4, 2005
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      Hello:

      I work in a mid-size public library and we use
      webalizer for our site which gets about 3000 visits a
      day. The director of the library is interested in
      using the 'exit pages' visit figures in order to try
      and determine what parts of the site are being used.
      His theory is that entry pages don't tell us much as
      most people enter through the homepage. And total hits
      he seems to dislike on principle - hits he considers
      meaningless and will only consider 'visits'.

      I, however, am concerned that exit pages as a measure
      of overall usage is not a lot better - why does last
      page viewed have to do with what parts of the site
      patrons are using? I realize there may be some
      correlation, but I think it is misleading as well
      because there may be other parts of our site which
      only have internal links (eg, no way to 'exit') which
      are well used, but will of course not show up in the
      exit stats.

      Ideas? Do you simply use total hits as the best
      indicator of which pages are being used the most?

      tx, Greg
      Burnaby Public Library

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    • sracicot@nhbis.com
      Greg, Exit pages will not tell you much. It will tell you what page your visitor last left, however not much else. To really understand your visitors you need
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 4, 2005
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        Greg,


        Exit pages will not tell you much. It will tell you what page your visitor
        last left, however not much else.

        To really understand your visitors you need to know what path they took
        throughout their visit and what sections/pages they visited. Then you
        would be able to update/modify the site to cater to the most people. And
        also learn what improvements that need to be done.


        Generally, you need to look at alot more than what webalizer can provide.
        You would need a more sophisicated method of understanding your traffic.
        2 tools that I highly recommend, for advanced analysis, would be Urchin
        and WebTrends.

        With these 2 tools you would be surprised as to what you can learn.


        Steve


        >
        > Hello:
        >
        > I work in a mid-size public library and we use
        > webalizer for our site which gets about 3000 visits a
        > day. The director of the library is interested in
        > using the 'exit pages' visit figures in order to try
        > and determine what parts of the site are being used.
        > His theory is that entry pages don't tell us much as
        > most people enter through the homepage. And total hits
        > he seems to dislike on principle - hits he considers
        > meaningless and will only consider 'visits'.
        >
        > I, however, am concerned that exit pages as a measure
        > of overall usage is not a lot better - why does last
        > page viewed have to do with what parts of the site
        > patrons are using? I realize there may be some
        > correlation, but I think it is misleading as well
        > because there may be other parts of our site which
        > only have internal links (eg, no way to 'exit') which
        > are well used, but will of course not show up in the
        > exit stats.
        >
        > Ideas? Do you simply use total hits as the best
        > indicator of which pages are being used the most?
        >
        > tx, Greg
        > Burnaby Public Library
        >
        > __________________________________________________
        > Do You Yahoo!?
        > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
        > http://mail.yahoo.com
        >
        >
        > Webalizer homepage: http://www.webalizer.org
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Dave Patton [DCP]
        ... Burnaby BC? I m in Kits ;-) You already have the logfiles, so in addition to what you can get from the various categories of webalizer stats, you could
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 4, 2005
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          Greg wrote:
          > Hello:
          >
          > I work in a mid-size public library and we use
          > webalizer for our site which gets about 3000 visits a
          > day. The director of the library is interested in
          > using the 'exit pages' visit figures in order to try
          > and determine what parts of the site are being used.

          > Ideas? Do you simply use total hits as the best
          > indicator of which pages are being used the most?
          >
          > tx, Greg
          > Burnaby Public Library

          Burnaby BC? I'm in Kits ;-)

          You already have the logfiles, so in addition to what
          you can get from the various categories of webalizer
          stats, you could always process the logfiles and count
          the hits for all the pages on your site, and produce
          some graphs from that data.

          --
          Dave Patton
          Canadian Coordinator, Degree Confluence Project
          http://www.confluence.org/
          My website: http://members.shaw.ca/davepatton/
        • Bradford L. Barrett
          ... A hit to a particular URL represents a request for that URL by some remote browser, so by definition, the most used pages are those that have the
          Message 4 of 6 , Feb 4, 2005
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            > I work in a mid-size public library and we use
            > webalizer for our site which gets about 3000 visits a
            > day. The director of the library is interested in
            > using the 'exit pages' visit figures in order to try
            > and determine what parts of the site are being used.
            > His theory is that entry pages don't tell us much as
            > most people enter through the homepage. And total hits
            > he seems to dislike on principle - hits he considers
            > meaningless and will only consider 'visits'.

            A 'hit' to a particular URL represents a request for that URL by some
            remote browser, so by definition, the most 'used' pages are those that
            have the highest hit count. A lot of people, such as perhaps your
            director, discount the hit count due to a misconception that a URL
            with a lot of images and other bits will generate more hits than a
            plain one, but that is only true for the overall hit total to a site.
            The hit total reported for a particular HTML page represents the
            number of times that URL, and only that URL was requested.

            Someone else mentioned webtrends and urchin for their ability to
            produce user trails or whatever they are calling the these days..
            keep in mind that there are only a handfull of metrics you can
            accurately determine based on your server logs, and those are not
            one of them.. commercial software adds tons of bogus metrics that
            look good on a report, but really are very inaccurate. They need
            bullet points to sell their wares, so good, bad or ugly, they keep
            adding them :)

            PS: some also claim that hit counts can be and/or are inflated,
            because the user can just keep hitting 'reload' to increase the count.
            In theory, this is indeed possible, but in practice, very few users
            ever hit the reload button, so any increase due to this is minimal.
            You can also obtain a rough guage as to how many people revisit the
            URL by comparing the 'hits' number to the 'files' number.. if 'hits'
            and 'files' are roughtly the same, then not many people are revisiting
            that URL.. if there is a large difference, then a lot of users are
            revisiting that URL.

            --
            Bradford L. Barrett brad@...
            A free electron in a sea of neutrons DoD#1750 KD4NAW

            The only thing Micro$oft has done for society, is make people
            believe that computers are inherently unreliable.
          • Peter Yanke - BX Internet
            Greg, Your Director is right in a sense on Total Hits. Hits are recorded whenever any part of your site is brought up, which would include every visit, every
            Message 5 of 6 , Feb 5, 2005
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              Greg,

              Your Director is right in a sense on Total Hits. Hits are recorded whenever
              any part of your site is brought up, which would include every visit, every
              image, every time another site linked with you...etc. So for example, if you
              had six images and some text on your front page, be it thumbnails or
              full-size or even a background image, whenever someone visits your site it
              will record 7 hits. (one for the site visit and one for each image being
              displayed. So you can see where hits counts can be misleading and unreliable
              as far as a getting an accurate picture of what pages are being visited on
              the site. This is why the ever popular Hit Counters are no longer as
              prevalent on websites as they used to be.

              Of course you are right about only using the exit pages being inaccurate as
              well. My suggestion would be to use the section in Webalizer called
              TotalURLS along with the Entry and Exit Pages sections to get a picture of
              what's going on with visitors to the site. Make sure of course it is
              configured to ignore images and non-page files like script files, but it
              should give you a pretty accurate picture if configured correctly.

              Another useful tool is the Referrers section which can be configured to tell
              you which search engines have sent people your way and which keywords were
              used. Hope this all helps.

              CorbinB2


              -----Original Message-----
              From:
              sentto-2089336-3102-1107573564-pyanke=bxinternet.com@...
              o.com
              [mailto:sentto-2089336-3102-1107573564-pyanke=bxinternet.com@...
              ups.yahoo.com]On Behalf Of Greg
              Sent: Friday, February 04, 2005 8:19 PM
              To: webalizer@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [webalizer] exit pages



              Hello:

              I work in a mid-size public library and we use
              webalizer for our site which gets about 3000 visits a
              day. The director of the library is interested in
              using the 'exit pages' visit figures in order to try
              and determine what parts of the site are being used.
              His theory is that entry pages don't tell us much as
              most people enter through the homepage. And total hits
              he seems to dislike on principle - hits he considers
              meaningless and will only consider 'visits'.

              I, however, am concerned that exit pages as a measure
              of overall usage is not a lot better - why does last
              page viewed have to do with what parts of the site
              patrons are using? I realize there may be some
              correlation, but I think it is misleading as well
              because there may be other parts of our site which
              only have internal links (eg, no way to 'exit') which
              are well used, but will of course not show up in the
              exit stats.

              Ideas? Do you simply use total hits as the best
              indicator of which pages are being used the most?

              tx, Greg
              Burnaby Public Library

              __________________________________________________
              Do You Yahoo!?
              Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
              http://mail.yahoo.com


              Webalizer homepage: http://www.webalizer.org

              Yahoo! Groups Links
            • Bradford L. Barrett
              ... That is the misconception that I spoke of earlier.. the hit count to a specific URL is not misleading, it is the actual number of times that particular URL
              Message 6 of 6 , Feb 5, 2005
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                > Your Director is right in a sense on Total Hits. Hits are recorded whenever
                > any part of your site is brought up, which would include every visit, every
                > image, every time another site linked with you...etc. So for example, if you
                > had six images and some text on your front page, be it thumbnails or
                > full-size or even a background image, whenever someone visits your site it
                > will record 7 hits. (one for the site visit and one for each image being
                > displayed. So you can see where hits counts can be misleading and unreliable
                > as far as a getting an accurate picture of what pages are being visited on
                > the site. This is why the ever popular Hit Counters are no longer as
                > prevalent on websites as they used to be.

                That is the misconception that I spoke of earlier.. the hit count to a
                specific URL is not misleading, it is the actual number of times that
                particular URL was requested regardless of what other links or images
                it may have imbededed within it.

                --
                Bradford L. Barrett brad@...
                A free electron in a sea of neutrons DoD#1750 KD4NAW

                The only thing Micro$oft has done for society, is make people
                believe that computers are inherently unreliable.
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