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Moving forward with Composr

ocPortal has been relaunched as Composr CMS, which is now in beta. ocPortal 9 will be superseded by Composr 10.

Head over to compo.sr for our new site, and to our migration roadmap. Existing ocPortal member accounts have been mirrored.


ocPortal Tutorial: Activity statistics for your site (analytics)

Written by Philip Withnall, ocProducts
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 state-of-the-art SVG technology (which allows you to view the graphs interactively).


The administration interface

The administration interface resides in the Admin Zone, under the Audit section.

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

Thumbnail: The menu link to install geolocation data

The menu link to install geolocation data

Thumbnail: The message shown when installing geolocation data

The message shown when installing geolocation data

The software 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 the software is installed, so it has to be installed separately. To do this, you simply click the "Install geolocation data" link in the "Site statistics" section of the left-hand Admin Zone menu. The resulting page will automatically refresh many times so that it can easily install all the required data.

Important note

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

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
  • Regionalities 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 records are set, not keep a constant track.

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

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

Thumbnail: The download statistics box

The download statistics box

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.

Most popular downloads

Thumbnail: The most popular downloads block

The most popular downloads block

The most popular downloads block obviously displays the most popular (i.e. most frequently downloaded) downloads. It can be added using the Block assistant, available via the 'Add block' icon when editing Comcode pages.

When rendered, these blocks also show how many downloads each listed download has received, and when they were added.

Most recently-added downloads

Thumbnail: The most recently-added downloads block

The most recently-added downloads block

The most-recently added downloads block does indeed display the most recently-added downloads. It can be added using the Block assistant, available via the 'Add block' icon when editing Comcode pages.

When rendered, this block also shows when each listed download was added, and how many downloads it has received.

Other statistics

Thumbnail: View statistics are shown for various forms of content

View statistics are shown for various forms of content

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.

OCF statistics

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

The statistics block

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 ocPortal configuration) from quite a wide selection.

Real-time analytics

{!DOC_REALTIME_RAIN}

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 rewind the clock to a time when you know this was happening.

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 ocPortal 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