Monday, September 30, 2013

Deciphering Your Traffic Report

OK, so now you have a traffic report for your web site, but it just looks like a bunch of numbers. What do they mean? How am I really doing???

I grabbed this chart from this morning so we could take a look.

Every one is always talking about "hits" But honestly, although usually a very impressive number, hits don't REALLY tell you anything.


A hit generally refers to the number of files downloaded - be it programming files, photos, buttons, text that id really o photo. Lets say the average web page has about 15 of these. SO, in the long run ... hits don't tell us what we want to know, but they do make us feel good about ourselves.


Unique visitors are the statistic we are generally REALLY interested in!This statistic measures every device that has visited your web site - but only once - per month. This gives us an accurate measurement of how many people came to visit each month.

This is also a good one to look at on a daily basis if your are trying advertising. You can look at the stat while you are running an ad and see if your traffic has increased during that time period. This is particularly useful if you have previous years to compare traffic with.

I have been measuring for years and the data is remarkable. I can see that we spike in traffic every July, and if we have snow on the ground, again in February.You can also see that traffic is at its lowest in September every year. It literally takes a nose dive after Labor day and doesn't really creep back up until Columbus Day. You can view the numbers here: 

You can also see that weather plays a huge role in traffic around the Lake. 

For a detailed report on terms and definitions visit the Webalizer's Help Page here:

I hope this clears a few things up for you! I encourage you to take the time to look at your traffic report and you may be surprised at the trends it uncovers for you!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Why in the world to I need a domain name, hosting and a web site????

Most of my customers are small businesses who are quite busy trying to run their own shops!

It has come to my attention that portions of the web site design process may be a bit of a mystery, so I thought I would take the time to explain what these things are and why you need them for your web site!

Your Domain Name:

Your domain name is your address - much like the address of your house. In my case it is This is where people find you on the world wide web. 

A domain name is in essence leased form a company like TUCOWS. You have to pay for this for the period of the lease (usually every year).

Many people purchase the domain name through their hosting company or their web site designer purchases it for you.

Your Hosting:

Hosting is a server where all your files are stored, much like the property on which your house is built. The files have to exist somewhere so people can visit them. 

There are many companies that provide a hosting service. I strongly recommend

This is also a service you purchase generally annually  and usually runs about $150/year. 

Your Web Site:

Your web site is a collection of files (the ones we have placed on the hosting serer). This would be similar to your house itself. 

Your we site designer designs these files with your information on them and that is what people see when they visit your domain name. SOme designers have a monthly fee for service.

I have a one time design fee, then maintenance fees or monthly maintenance programs - depending on how much updating you need! 

For example, many of my restaurants need to change their events every week. I change their web pages, update their social networking and submit the events to the newspaper on their behalf for a monthly fee.

I hope this clears a few things up for you! If you have any questions I would be glad to answer the for you!