Beginning with a look at the four basic logs that servers generate, the book moves through discussions of site traffic analysis concepts, specific tools available (including freeware, shareware and commercial applications many of which are included on the ROM), and finishes up with an examination of Web advertising mechanics and third-party tracking and auditing services.
As someone who has recently wrestled with such programs, I found Stout's book quite helpful in helping set the stage for evaluating these applications for my clients. In addition to the well-written text, the book is amply illustrated, providing clear screen captures of the reports generated by these applications.
The appendices provide a useful compilation of application feature comparisons, log file format information, HTTP server status codes and contact information for the developers of the applications and services mentioned earlier in the book.
The ROM includes such well-known traffic analysis applications as Interse, WebTrends, and net.Genesis. Other tools represented by presentations (not working software) include NetCount, OpenMarket, I/PRO and Streams Lilypad. Stout has promised a Web site to complement the book, however, his site contains nothing relating to this book at the moment.
Stout has authored and co-authored numerous books on the Internet and Web including the several volumes of the wildly popular Internet Yellow Pages. His writing style is breezy yet complete.
Osborne Publishing has marked on the back of the book "for every Web manager." I agree and highly recommend Web Site Stats for those Webmasters who are ready to delve into some serious statistics applications as well as managers who don't need to do, but need to know.
Written by Jay Gondelman