Thursday, June 16, 2016

16 June 2016: Changes to Website statistics

As noted in our June 8, 2016 blog, we recently started using the CloudFlare content delivery network to improve the speed and security of, which has forced us to change how we track website statistics.  Previously, we used Webalyzer, provided by our website host, to track visits, but with CloudFlare, many visitors actually view the content on a "proxy server", or a copy of our website, so our website host never sees the traffic.  

We are now using Google Analytics to track statistics.  Instead of visits, they use sessions, which is somewhat comparable although the details and values differ (click here for more details).    The advantage of Google Analytics is that it will be embedded on every page, and so can be tracked.  Right now, it is embedded on our Home Page, main chapter pages, all pages referenced directly from the Home Page, as well as about 1/3 of our 7,000 topic pages.  As a result, we believe the values for Sessions and Users are correct, except when visitors enter our site through a topic page (via a search engine) or for users who have disabled Javascript, which prevents page tracking.  The page views statistic is an undercount, but will be become more accurate as we convert the remaining 2/3 of our topic pages to our new format, which automatically includes the Google Analytics script / code.  

Let us know if you have any questions.

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