It's been a bit of a busy week for me at work, and my evenings have been spent doing a little more behind the scenes tweaking of the site... well... not Monday. We had our work Christmas party on Monday, so that night was kind of shot. 🙂
So what did I do? A few things actually, from testing a new web gallery software to installing a couple of web statistics packages for the blog. I'll chat quickly about the web stats packages.
Earlier this week I installed Google Analytics for the blog, in an attempt to start capturing the stats on readership. I.e. how many I get, and where they come from. If you're not familiar with their services, Google offers the analytics services for free at this URL. Snapping it in to WordPress is pretty easy too. If you don't feel like editing the page templates yourself, you just download an Analytics plug-in, activate it, and drop in your ID. Within 24 hours, you're up and running.
So why use it? It captures some pretty cool stats on your readers... and no, nothing personal. In fact, there is so much captured, that I haven't even explored it all. I have attached an overview from my main site to show the dispersal of my viewers:
Mouse over each of those dots, and it tells you the city and number of visitors. I find this pretty cool to see where my traffic is coming from.
There is much, much more than this, of course. I have full graphs of my unique visits, the percentages of new versus returning users, what sites referred and even an overlay showing exactly what links were clicked from what pages. All in all, very cool stats. Especially for free. 🙂
One thing I haven't figured out from Google Analytics is how to track the number of RSS Subscribers to my blog. After a little searching, I came across FeedBurner, which is another free service to capture and track RSS feeds. This is pretty cool, as I also would like to know how many people subscribe, but don't necessarily visit every time I post new content. To that end, the new RSS feeds (which I'm told will work with any RSS reader) are:
Main Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/excelguru
Comments Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/ExcelguruComments
Now this install takes a little more work. Based on what was in and inferred in this article, I downloaded and installed the Feedburner plugin and set off adjusting my template code. The Feedburner site itself actually has some pretty good pointers on what to adjust, so it wasn't hard. The only part that I've shied away from for now is trying to redirect the old RSS feed to the new one, as it looks a bit more difficult. I figure the blog is new enough that I probably don't have a huge number of subscribers at this point anyway, although hopefully that will change.
Once I've been using FeedBurner for a while, I'll post back with an opinion on it. 🙂
At any rate, I think I'm done tweaking for now, so should be back to posting some more RibbonX examples soon.