Are you a good webmaster willing to see how your site are performing? Or you're a web developer in need to show to your client how their brand new/re-branded/tweaked/SEO/SEM mastered site is performing? If the answer is yes, you may already know, that web statistics is a powerful resource. And there are a lot of Joomla packages to help you. So, why you are reading this, instead of grabbing one and using it?

Yep, I know the answer, and you're probably here because you also know. If the site you want to "measure", slice and dice isn't a small, low traffic site - and I hope that isn't, - you will end up quickly with a large amount of data, which in turn will slow down inevitably your site, making (near) unmanageable, anyway very hard to backup, restore and do other mundane tasks like these. Here are my four hints on collecting statistics on your Joomla site without render it unusable:

  1. Turn off Joomla's default statistics package except for "Log Search Strings" (its useful to know what people are searching for).
  2. Don't use JoomlaStats, BSQ Sitestats or anything else inside of Joomla. Let someone else's' servers store your mountains of data.
  3. Sign up for Google Analytics and put the code at the bottom of your template, above </body> or use some of the existing Joomla bots to do that. Or, even better, if you use sh404SEF, then use it also for integration with Google Analytics.
  4. Use a hosting company that utilizes CPanel and AWStats. Old and somewhat ugly, AWStats is still a great source of data.

The last is mandatory, but can add value to your data collected through Google Analitycs. And a second opinion (and a backup solution), you know , it's always welcome! Don't take it granted, all in all I'm an old-timer grown up on Analog and his enhancements, with several contributions to that project too. Instead, make a try. And you will see, that's I'm right!

BTW, if your hoster allow you to access the Apache's access logs, you can still use Analog to churn the data your webserver is collecting. Have fun!

Category: Basic optimization tips