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Website Statistics with Joomla

T he more traffic you draw to your Joomla site, the more you will want to know about your visitors. Fortunately, a web server can capture a vast array of data that can be examined and analyzed to see who is visiting your site, how long they are staying, the technology they’re using to access the Web (browser, OS, etc.), and a tremendous quantity of other information. Perhaps most importantly, through site statistics it is possible to determine the most popular pages, as well as the ones no one ever reads.

There are three primary methods of generating site statistics: a standalone web log analyzer, a Joomla extension, and a web-based statistical package. This chapter will detail the workings of two open source standalone packages (Webalizer and AWStats), a few Joomla extensions, and one web-based package (Google Analytics) that can be used to detect web traffic patterns.

The information needed by a webmaster and the format of the presentation is a personal preference. Package A might supply flashy charts and visualizations that may appeal to some developers, while the column-based reporting of Package B may appear superior to others. Therefore, it is important to examine all the available features and determine which appeals most to you.