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What is Analog Hosting?
Before Google Analytics, there was Analog. As its name suggests, though, it's a much simpler program, and while the information it offers may be a bit basic, it's still important and useful information for website publishers.
A few of the statistics Analog provides include: a summary of website visits; how many visits your site has had over the course of a specific month; how users arrived on your site (from search engines, referring sites, etc.); and where your users are geographically located.
This kind of information can be very helpful in knowing what kind of content to create for your users, what languages your site may need to support, and where you may benefit from placing information or even ads about your site. For example, if the majority of your visitors come from a particular search engine, you may consider placing an ad that will appear on that search engine's results pages whenever someone searches for terms related to your site.
To use Analog, simply download it from the Analog website and install it on your server. Analog is compatible with numerous operating systems including, but not limited to, Windows, MacOS, and Linux. Having access to your server so you can install the program will be helpful, so it's best to use Analog with either virtual private server hosting, or dedicated server hosting.
Benefits of Analog Hosting
In today’s day and age, most webmasters are interested in using the most powerful tools available to them. While there is nothing wrong with this approach, it could hinder your ability to drill down to the basics of who is visiting your site and what type of action they are taking, as more time is focused on advanced data.
Here are some of the many benefits associated with analog hosting:
- Easy to install and understand, a contrast of what many “advanced” programs provide.
- Compatibility with a variety of operating systems, allowing you to take full advantage regardless of your setup.
- Statistics and information provided in an easy to follow and understand format.
Key Terms Associated with Analog Stats
You now understand many of the details associated with analog hosting, including how this generates data related to website visitors.
Even though the content may be limited, it is anything but “simple.” You can do quite a bit with this lightweight program, especially if you fully understand the key terms:
- Request: every time a person visits a portion of your website is it considered a “request.” The reason is simple: the visitor is requesting to view a specific page.
- File: this includes a variety of things, such as an html page, image, script, and PDF document.
- Host: the individual computer that has requested a page on your site. Think about it this way: if two people from one computer visit your site, your Analog program will record it as one host.
- Referrer: this is the website that brought the visitor to your site, including search engines.
- Data: this is nothing more than the contents of the files that make up your website. When a person views a file, it takes up bandwidth usage.
- General summary
- Hourly summary
- Daily summary
- Monthly report
- Domain report
- Browser report
- Browser summary
- Organization report
- File type report
- Request report
- File size report
- Status code report
- Upon entering the Analog stats prompt, you will see the following: Domain and View. It is here that you will see a list of domains and a “magnifying glass.” Click on the magnifying glass to view stats for the appropriate domain.
- The first page you see provides monthly statistics. From there, you can navigate to the data you require.
Summary and Reports
Once you become familiar with Analog stats, it won’t be long before you are diving into the summaries and reports that are made available to you. Here is a short list of the summaries and reports that can be accessed:
With each type of report, you can access data related to your website. For example, the daily summary gives you an overview of what happened on your site during a particular day. This is useful if you want to get a clear understanding of how many visitors you received, how many pages they visited, and where they came from.
How to View Analog Stats
If you have more than one website associated with your hosting account, you will need to setup Analog stats for each one. After setup, you can view statistics by following these steps:
Choosing a Host
Analog stats may not be as popular as they once were, but many webmasters still recognize the value.
Before choosing a host, be sure it offers this analytics program. While some companies have moved away from it, others continue to provide support. Some of the best options include: DreamHost, A2 Hosting, Host Color, and Daily Razor.
Regardless of how advanced the analytics industry becomes, there will always be a place for Analog stats.