Flaming Geeks

On Trackers
By J. Andrews

Trying to find a good way to track our site has been difficult. My first stop was Tripod. I figured since they were hosting the site, they'd be able to track it most efficiently and effectively. Well, I was unable to find anything until I eventually found a page that will tell me the pageviews from yesterday. It won't tell me previous days, and it won't tell me how many people those pageviews might've been from, and it won't tell me which page is being viewed the most.

I'd like a bit more information than that. So my first try for an external tracker was Extreme Tracking. This seemed to provide quite a bit of information: unique visitors, referral sites, browser type, etc. The first problem I noticed was it wasn't counting me. If it's not counting me (because I use Opera almost exclusively), then it's not counting some other people either. Well, so, okay, it won't be very accurate, but it'll do for the IE and Netscape users, right?

Something seemed screwy when it wasn't showing very many hits and Tripod was reporting a good number of pageviews. So I stopped trusting it. And went in search of another tracker.

This brought me to Webstat. This was going to give us some of the same information, if not exactly in as nice a format. So okay, that's fine. It even let us have a counter on the page so everyone else could see how many hits we were getting. If it's going to be loading an advertisement image from another server anyway, it might as well be useful.

All seemed well and good. It was showing us quite a number of hits. Far, far more than the first tracker in fact. One day when the first tracker reported 1 hit, this tracker was reporting well over 3 dozen. Vast difference there.

I got rid of the first tracker.

Suddenly the second tracker, Webstat, stopped working. The image wasn't loading, and we couldn't log into the account. Turns out their server crashed and their last backup was from 10 days ago. Before our account was created.


We'll stick with this tracker and see how it does over the long run. Because I'm just too lazy to begin another search for a good one.

Oh yea, this tracker doesn't even show up in my browser, let alone count me. All those reports of Netscape and IE being used by everyone? Don't believe them. None of these scripts even see the existence of Lynx or Opera users.

To all you uncounted people out there, you're not alone.

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This page written July 21, 2000 by J. Andrews
This site copyright 2000 by J. Andrews, K. Butler,
and J.Dunbar. Email is flaminggeeks@yahoo.com.