- Author: Karl Krist
If you use SiteBuilder 3, then this blog post is a call for you to take action. Please read and understand this post! If you have questions, there is contact information below.
Nearly as important as delivering information via the web (which is super important!) we also need to know who visits our websites, and what they looked at. This is typically referred to as, 'website statistics.' We've used SmarterStats, a web statistics program on our server for the last 5 years and we have gone beyond its capabilities. In fact, currently adding a new site to SmarterStats takes over 3 days of processing time before the statistics are usable.
We need to find a better way.
We have found a better way- Google Analytics.
Google Analytics has been supported in SiteBuilder for the last few years, but up until now we haven't felt comfortable recommending its use. The support for documents such as PDF or Word was not strong. We've fixed that. Now it is time to move everyone forward, because we are in the twilight stage for SmarterStats and are officially moving to Google Analytics for everyone.
What do you need to do?
You should put Google Analytics on your site immediately.
- Create your Google Analytics account by going to http://www.google.com/analytics/ . You will need a Google account (gmail, etc). If you don't have a Google account, you will need to create one. Google has an extensive help site on Analytics.
- When setting up your Google Analytics site, you need to add at least one more administrator. This is in case you leave, forget your account information, etc. It's good to have a fall back plan.
- We also highly recommend that you add our general statistics account, firstname.lastname@example.org as an administrator. This is our failsafe account- in case you and your other administrators all leave the University on the same day. AND we'll be incorporating new features into SiteBuilder based on this account.
- Grab the Analytics code from the Google Analytics website.
- Drop the code into SiteBuilder. This is entered at the bottom of the 'Site Info & Appearance' page.
- Sit back and wait for people to visit your site!
I really want everyone to get onto Google Analytics before the end of the year. This will give you the opportunity to have a complete year's worth of statistics next January. And since it's December 19th right now, we don't have much time.
We will be phasing out SmarterStats over the next year. In order to get complete statistics in one place, make the change now!
Let me tell you who made this possible. First we have Jon Wilson, who added the code to SiteBuilder to handle documents (PDF/Word/etc). Jon did this in a way that requires absolutely no change, effort or activity on your part. Very cool. Next we have Paul Wilson (yes, both of them are Wilsons) who has been managing the SmarterStats system, and will be working on Google Analytics. Paul will be the guy who brings everything together...for everyone.
Contact Paul Wilson if you need any help setting up Google Analytics.
Below you can see a really cool feature of Google Analytics...REAL TIME statistics. You can see what people are doing on your site, as they are on your site! This is either a really cool feature, or a depressing feature, depending on how many page views you get. It's just another example of what is possible by switching to Google Analytics.
Below that you can see the Wilsons- the guys who made this happen.