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By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2004-06-07 Print this article Print

Methods of Web site analysis

  • Log-file analysis tools The oldest and most traditional form of site analysis, these tools work by indexing and analyzing the large log files generated by Web servers. Log-file analysis tools are simple to deploy and provide accurate long-term reporting but cant do fully real-time analysis—and log files can be very large in size.

  • Embedded-code analyzers Originally found in hosted service analyzers, embedded-code analyzers are now spreading to software solutions. These products work through snippets of code that reference a JavaScript file on the server and that are added to pages on a site. Embedded analyzers can provide accurate and detailed real-time analysis, but initial deployment can take some time depending on the site design.

  • Protocol sniffers These products work by using standard network sniffer technology to watch traffic as it moves to and from Web servers. Protocol sniffers can be painlessly deployed in almost no time and provide up-to-the-second real-time analytics. However, they are limited to the most basic visitor traffic information and cant provide the detailed analytics and reporting that other technologies offer.

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    Jim Rapoza, Chief Technology Analyst, eWEEK.For nearly fifteen years, Jim Rapoza has evaluated products and technologies in almost every technology category for eWEEK. Mr RapozaÔÇÖs current technology focus is on all categories of emerging information technology though he continues to focus on core technology areas that include: content management systems, portal applications, Web publishing tools and security. Mr. Rapoza has coordinated several evaluations at enterprise organizations, including USA Today and The Prudential, to measure the capability of products and services under real-world conditions and against real-world criteria. Jim Rapoza's award-winning weekly column, Tech Directions, delves into all areas of technologies and the challenges of managing and deploying technology today.

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