Composr Tutorial: Activity statistics for your site (analytics)

Written by Philip Withnall (ocProducts)
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Lots of statistics types are available

Lots of statistics types are available

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It's always nice to be able to summarise your site's activity: average visitor counts, which search engine terms are finding your site, the browsers your visitors are using, and so on. You can view all the collected statistics using charts.


The administration module

The administration module resides in Admin Zone > Audit > Site statistics.

Be aware that hits coming from the web server itself will be filtered from the stats, so if you are running a web server on your own computer you may not see any results if nobody else has used your website yet.

Installing geo-location data

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The message shown when installing geolocation data

The message shown when installing geolocation data

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The menu link to install geolocation data

The menu link to install geolocation data

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Composr comes with a large list of mappings that allow it to determine where on the planet (with a reasonable degree of accuracy) an IP address is. This allows more detailed statistics concerning placement of members and visitors. However, this list is too long to sensibly be installed when Composr is installed, so it has to be installed separately. That said, the separate install is usually automatic because the Composr installer creates a background task for it. If that has not happened somehow then you can go to Admin Zone > Audit > Site statistics > Install geolocation data, which will reschedule a task. If you don't see this option, you do have geolocation data installed already

Important – keep it going

Do not disturb the geolocation data installation process. You will be informed when it is complete.


Once the geo-location data is installed, all the extra statistics can be used.

Page view statistics

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Stats data for a particular page

Stats data for a particular page

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List of pages with stats data

List of pages with stats data

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Overview stats

Overview stats

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This statistics screen shows a graph of the view counts of different pages, with a text-listing of the same statistics below, with links to per-page breakdowns. The graph displayed is a bar graph, and orders pages from highest to lowest view counts. Such data is invaluable in working out how popular each page on your site is, which can point to problems with some pages.

Per-page breakdowns

The per-page breakdowns list more detailed statistics for each page, in various forms, but all have a graph. The following statistics are present:
  • Views per hour
  • Views per day
  • Views per week
  • Views per month
  • Browsers used to view this page
  • Referrers to this page
  • Operating Systems used to view this page
  • Regions this page has been viewed from

Users online statistics

This statistics screen shows a line-graph of the number of users online for each day, with a text-listing of the same statistics below. Such data can be used to analyse when greater or fewer numbers of people come to visit your site. Please note it can only detect when user online records are set, not keep a constant track – i.e. you will see increasing peaks, but will not see if it goes down.

Submission statistics

This statistics screen shows a line-graph of the number of submissions for each day, with a text-listing of the same statistics below. Such data can be used to analyse when (and why) people submit to your site.

Top referrers

This statistics screen shows a pie chart of the top referrers to the site, with a text-listing of the same statistics below. Such data is invaluable in finding out where to get your site advertised, which advertising schemes aren't working, etc.

Top Google keywords

This statistics screen shows a pie chart of the top Google keywords used to find the site, with a text-listing of the same statistics below. Such data helps you see how to refine your website to be better in tune with what people are searching for.

Page load times

This statistics screen shows a bar chart of how long each page (at minimum) takes to be generated and outputted. This is useful for optimising your site; finding bottlenecks and jams, where things could be spread out more (e.g. putting fifteen blocks on different pages, instead of the same one).

Download statistics

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The download statistics box

The download statistics box

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There is a screen for download statistics, but you may also wish to allow your visitors to see some trends…

There are two methods for revealing download trends to your visitors:
  1. Download statistics are generally available on an individual download page
  2. You can also pull out key downloads for the benefit of your visitors is to use one of the download blocks: most popular downloads, and most recently-added downloads. These are explained below.

Other statistics

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View statistics are shown for various forms of content

View statistics are shown for various forms of content

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All content will automatically store download/view statistics as appropriate, which will usually be displayed on the respective entry screen.

An example of this would be news entries: each news entry records how many times it is viewed, and displays this number on its view screen.

Conversr statistics

The following statistics screens exist to show Conversr data:
  • Demographics (summarise the ages of your members)
  • Posting rates (identify trends in daily posting rates)

The statistics block

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The side_stats block

The <kbd>side_stats</kbd> block

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The side_stats block shows various figures that relate to your website's activity and archive size. The exact details shown are configurable (in the main Composr configuration) from quite a wide selection.

Real-time analytics

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Real-time analytics

Real-time analytics

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Show a real-time/historic animation of activity happening on your website.

Access Real-time analytics from:
Admin Zone > Audit > What's happening now (RTR)

It is a good way to visualise how people are using the site. This works best when the site has multiple online users performing options, but you can move the timeline back to when stuff was happening previously (i.e. view activity from a historic viewpoint).

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is an excellent free package for analysing website activity, allowing you to spot all kinds of trends in your data.

We don't consider Google Analytics a competitor to our own inbuilt analytics – both offer different features, complementing each other. Google Analytics is easy to install, we have support built-in so you just need to enter your analytics code in the Composr configuration.

Concepts

SVG
Scaleable Vector Graphics, a text-markup-based graphics format that allows infinite scalability of graphics without texture loss due to being vector-based (co-ordinate-delimited shapes) instead of pixel based (specific data for each pixel).
Geo-location
The process of using some type of individually-identifiable information to find out where in the world somebody is.

See also


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