Package Deal Steps

Some helpful information about web statistics

What you can know from web statistics

(for extensive information, download this document)

The only things you can know for certain are the number of requests made to your server, when they were made, which files were asked for, and which host asked you for them.

You can also know what people told you their browsers were, and what the referring pages were. You should be aware, though, that many browsers lie deliberately about what sort of browser they are, or even let users configure the browser name. Also, a few browsers send incorrect referrers, telling you the last page that the user was on even if they weren't referred by that page. And some people use "anonymizers" which deliberately send false browsers and referrers.

What you can't know

1. You can't tell the identity of your readers. Unless you explicitly require users to provide a password, you don't know who connected or what their email addresses are.

2. You can't tell how many visitors you've had. You can guess by looking at the number of distinct hosts that have requested things from you. Indeed this is what many programs mean when they report "visitors". But this is not always a good estimate for three reasons. First, if users get your pages from a local cache server, you will never know about it. Secondly, sometimes many users appear to connect from the same host: either users from the same company or ISP, or users using the same cache server. Finally, sometimes one user appears to connect from many different hosts. AOL now allocates users a different hostname for every request. So if your home page has 10 graphics on, and an AOL user visits it, most programs will count that as 11 different visitors!

3. You can't tell how many visits you've had. Many programs, under pressure from advertisers' organisations, define a "visit" (or "session") as a sequence of requests from the same host until there is a half-hour gap. This is an unsound method for several reasons. First, it assumes that each host corresponds to a separate person and vice versa. This is simply not true in the real world, as discussed in the last paragraph. Secondly, it assumes that there is never a half-hour gap in a genuine visit. This is also untrue. I quite often follow a link out of a site, then step back in my browser and continue with the first site from where I left off. Should it really matter whether I do this 29 or 31 minutes later? Finally, to make the computation tractable, such programs also need to assume that your logfile is in chronological order: it isn't always, and analog will produce the same results however you jumble the lines up.

4. Cookies don't solve these problems. Some sites try to count their visitors by using cookies. This reduces the errors. But it can't solve the problem unless you refuse to let people read your pages who can't or won't take a cookie. And you still have to assume that your visitors will use the same cookie for their next request.

5. You can't follow a person's path through your site. Even if you assume that each person corresponds one-to-one to a host, you don't know their path through your site. It's very common for people to go back to pages they've downloaded before. You never know about these subsequent visits to that page, because their browser has cached them. So you can't track their path through your site accurately.

6. You often can't tell where they entered your site, or where they found out about you from. If they are using a cache server, they will often be able to retrieve your home page from their cache, but not all of the subsequent pages they want to read. Then the first page you know about them requesting will be one in the middle of their true visit.

7. You can't tell how they left your site, or where they went next. They never tell you about their connection to another site, so there's no way for you to know about it.

8. You can't tell how long people spent reading each page. Once again, you can't tell which pages they are reading between successive requests for pages. They might be reading some pages they downloaded earlier. They might have followed a link out of your site, and then come back later. They might have interrupted their reading for a quick game of Minesweeper. You just don't know.

9. You can't tell how long people spent on your site. Apart from the problems in the previous point, there is one other complete show-stopper. Programs which report the time on the site count the time between the first and the last request. But they don't count the time spent on the final page, and this is often the majority of the whole visit.



Follow these steps to make sure that you get the most from the 10-page package deal:

1. Define your target audience

The first step involves to find out why you want to make a website and who your visitors will be. Do you want to sell products or services? Do you just want to inform about those services or products available from you? Do you have social or political messages to convey? Are the majority of your expected visitors from Fiji, from the Pacific region or from all over the world? Can everyone of your visitors understand the English language? Do you want to have a rather fun website or do you want to project yourself more somber?

Answers to the above questions will have some impact of how your website design should be: funky, impressive, sober, aggressive, business-like etc. Moreover, it determines if you can create your side in English or if you have to do a multilingual approach.

2. Find out the features and unique selling points of your products or services

Every business and even charity entities or NGOs needs to find out the strengths of your services or products. Its is a good idea just to list them in a simple outline form - if you have a PC you may want to use bullets in your word processing software.

3. Define the structure of your new website

Most websites follow a hierarchical structure - some people also call it a 'tree structure': You have a main page where your visitors first "land" during surfing. This is the so-called 'home page' or 'root' of your website. From here individual pages will branch out, similar to an organisation chart. Underneath some of those pages you may have other pages. Find below an example how a structure could look for a company that sells two products and services.

(Click to enlarge)

List on a piece of paper what you want to place on which page. For example, on a page called "About Us" you could list your company's mission statement, your vision, the history of your company, the current board of directors etc. If you would place the company address and other contact information on the "About Us" page, you will no longer need a "Contacts" page.

Our package deal also leaves you the choice of either a

bulletfeedback page: where people can provide comments on your products, services, site or anything else
bulletorder page: here visitors can place online orders for your products or services
bulletguest book: visitors can place comments here which will be visible for all future visitors
Select the option which is the most suitable for your business

4. Get all text and visual material ready for your site

Most people underestimate this part. There is no use to have a website if you don't have information to place there. Write for each page your material. Or maybe you have already brochures and other marketing material available and data can be extracted. As for photos, clipart, logos or graphics, don't overdo it. Usually, only small thumbnails of pictures are used on the main pages, bigger photos you could place on a page called "Photos" or "Gallery".

Except from photos (which we can scan) Fijihosting needs all your material in computer readable format. You can use any word processor to put the text there.

5. Find out how you want to name your website

Since you will be hosting with us, your new site will have a name in the format For example, if you are trading as 'Jone Bula Limited", you may want to call your website 'jonebula', 'bulalimited' or 'jbl'. If, at a later stage, you want to host and maintain your site under your own domain name, we can help you register it for you.

6. Have a first website meeting with Fijihosting

Contact us and arrange for a meeting. Bring all your text and visual material with you, either on floppy disk(s) or CD/DVD or on USB stick. During this meeting we will discuss with you possible website layouts and make sure that the supplied material is sufficient.

7. Wait until we have finished your site
We normally can complete a 10-page website within two weeks. Once it is finished, we will invite you for a meeting and present it to you. At the same time you will make a down-payment of 75% (click here to find out why we insist on this prepayment) of the price of the package deal. Once we have received your payment, we will publish your new site on Fijihosting's website and give you notice that it is ready. You can then connect to the Internet and check your new website out. Test drive it thoroughly. Maybe you find a mistake, an error. Or you forgot to place some important information.

This is now the time to give us your latest changes. We will make the necessary modifications and inform you when your modified web is ready. At this time, you will have to pay us the remaining 25% of the package deal price. We will then upload the updated version of your website.

8. Promote your site

Fijihosting helps you with some free promotion: we will submit your new website to the search engine Google and to the DMOZ directory for free. You, on the other hand, can inform your current and potential customers about your new site with a mailing, place an ad in any media informing the public of your new site. And don't forget to update your letterheads and business cards accordingly.


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 last modified 28 Februar, 2008