Analyzing traffic with Google Analytics and Feedburner

June 10, 2006 at 9:26 pm

Google Analytics

I signed up for Google Analytics right when I heard about it, and have been using it to monitor the traffic on several of my sites. I still use the excellent open source awstats because it is more configurable and offers a finger grain of control, but Google Analytics is a great way to get a snapshot of the traffic patterns on your site. Measuremap is also an interesting tool, but they are currently not offering new accounts. I’ve signed up to be notified when they start offering accounts again.

Feedburner

Tom Parish, an expert in search engine optimization (SEO), encouraged me to try out Feedburner, and I have to say, it is very impressive. Feedburner basically monitors how much traffic your feed is getting, and shows you how many people are subscribed to it. It can even tell you how many people clicked through to each blog post.

Feedburner Services

Feedburner

FeedBurner has something called SmartFeed which translates your feed on-the-fly to RSS or Atom, depending on what kind of reader the person is using. The BrowserFriendly feature renders the feed in a human-readable format, instead of the typical XML format which is virtually useless for humans. FeedFlare adds a bunch of quick links to each post to make it easier to bookmark the post and see other pages which link to the post.

The Photo and Link splicer tool pull in all your photos and bookmarks from Flickr and del.icio.us and merge them into your blog entries. I didn’t really want those cluttering up my blog posts, so I opted to leave this feature disabled. But I might create a new feed which includes blog posts, photos and links to get a “stream” of everything I am submitting. There is also something called Amazon ID burner which will auto-insert your Associates ID into any links to Amazon.com catalog items it finds in your posts.

Feedburner Feed Replacement (WordPress plugin)

I installed the Feedburner Feed Replacement which forwards all feed traffic to Feedburner while creating a randomized feed for Feedburner to pull from. This provides a permanent feed URL, so that if I ever decide to change my blogging software and the blog feed changes, I can just tell Feedburner about the new URL, and my subscribers don’t have to re-subscribe.

WordPress Reports

Wordpress ReportsI just discovered another plugin today called WordPress Reports which generates reports from Google Analytics and Feedburner. Here is a screenshot of the Google Analytics data, but I couldn’t get the Feedburner stats to show up because it said that my account isn’t enabled for Awareness API. Maybe I need to upgrade to the paid account?

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Blast from the past!

June 8, 2006 at 2:47 pm

Thanks to Sidnei da Silva’s handy python script to migrate Plone blog entries to MoveableType format, I was able to modify it for my own use and import 16 posts that were trapped inside a defunct Quills 0.8 blog into this WordPress blog.

Since there were no comments, I was able to greatly simplify the script. A few other changes that I had to make to get it to export correctly:

  1. Hardcoded the categories since they are all related to Plone and Plone4Artists.
  2. Added a condition to check that the object was actually a weblog entry and not a weblog topic, since with Quills 0.8, both are stored in the same container.
  3. Changed the method from getCookedBody to getBody, since that is how it’s defined in a Quills weblog entry.