Philip P. Ide

Author, programmer, science enthusiast, half-wit.
Life is sweet. Have you tasted it lately?

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For the last year I've been using a plugin for my site that generates a statistics page, through which I can keep an eye on how well the site is doing. A couple of days ago, it stopped working. After a bit of analysis I discovered the data structures it was creating in memory had consumed too much of said memory and my hosting service had auto-assassinated it.

I decided to process the logs myself, by first downloading the logs, then uploading a page with the stats in it. What I found was surprising.


Firstly, I wanted to know the number of unique visitors to the site each month. To be clear, these aren't unique over the entire period, just within each month. What I found exactly gelled with the results I was seeing previously, so that was a good start.

Next, I wanted to know how many of each of the platform-specific versions of Orbital Calculator had been downloaded. While I was testing this part of the script, OC was downloaded again… and then again! I checked the logs to make sure that wasn't an aberration created by the changes in the script, but no, they actually had been downloaded while I was testing. Superb!

In case you're interested, it has been downloaded 204 times (at the time of writing). I can see that all the various platform options have been downloaded in roughly equal amounts, including the Armv7 version, so I know that it's worth keeping all versions on my site.

I next turned my eye to what were the most popular pages. This gives me an insight into what people want and where I can turn my hand to gain the best results. It's a double-edged weapon though, since it can narrow content (and hence the visitor demographic) so I'll always try and maintain the site as a reflection of my diverse interests.

It's not really interesting to see how many hits a page written a year ago has accrued. It's been around longer than a page added last month, so it can distort the analysis. I decided to see what was getting the most views in the current month. I expected this to be the clock marking Perserverance's journey to Mars, or the Mars Weather page. It turned out, oddly enough to be Getting to Mars, which came top of the list by a large margin.

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blog/articles/info/stats.txt · Last modified: 2020/08/28 22:41 by Phil Ide

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