Sunday, December 27, 2009

Web-Site Statistics - Free Stand-Alone Services

As web-design gurus suggest: keeping an eye on what is going on at your web-site is the must. What information is of the most interest, what part of the world your visitors come from, how long they stay on a particular page, etc. I've had some of such web analysis services in use for a few months and would like to make a note on that.

The main idea behind stand-alone analysis service is pretty simple - when a visitor opens a page the visitor's internet browser receives all text and images from the page and executes scripts. Some of the received information can be linked to an analytical site which provides the requested information and at the same time analyzes and stores the visit related info.

I've been testing the following three services which are offered for free of charge:

  1. Google Analytics - is extremely informative, it allows to look at your web-site statistics from different point of view: visitors benchmarking, new ones vs. returning, world wide location, browsers been used and more; traffic sources as direct, referred from other sites, search engines; content analysis, top visiting pages, top landing and exit pages, etc.. If you really want to know how to improve your site Google Analytics is very helpful. Google Analytics functionality is based on java-script which should be pasted into web-site pages. More detailed information can be found at Briefly what should be done to use it in Blogger is: to register with Google Analytics, create a new profile for your site, get the code and put the code in the blogger layout template above the </body> tag.

  2. StatCounter - collects a lot of useful information about visits and represents it in very convenient way: popular pages, entry and exit pages, keyword analysis, visit length, new and returning visits, map, browsers and so on and so forth. Similarly to Google Analytics StatCounter is based on java-script code. To make it working with Blogger just put the code right before the </body> tag.

  3. ClustrMaps - is another service which collects only the info about global visitors position and provides a nice world map picture with visitor locations marked.The same picture also serves as a link to ClustrMaps site and allows them to collect visitor's info. Since it is just a picture it can be placed anywhere you like in a web-page - I put it in the Header block.

    Along with the free version of the service ClustrMaps has two more advanced ones with a richer choice of map styles, higher visit rates and better archiving options.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Palm m515 Sync to MS Outlook 2007 - Free Solution

The original installation for my m515 included Palm Desktop and Chapura's PocketMirror providing conduits for synchronization between Palm and MS Outlook. Migration to Microsoft Office 2003 brought the sync problem for the fist time and Chapura released the free of charge update PMStdUpdate3171.exe to address the issue. Now after upgrading to MS Office 2007 a similar problem appeared again - Palm to Outlook synchronization got broken.

This time Chapura offered only a "pay for upgrade" option, but luckily Palm itself provided a solution to the issue. To get the sync working again:
  1. Uninstall the old Palm Desktop and Chapura Pocket Mirror;
  2. Download and install Palm Desktop 6.2;
  3. Setup synchronization options and do the sync.

I have it working OK at the office and at home with Outlook 2003 and 2007 both in Windows XP. Also there is a separate conduit update from Palm to support Outlook 2007 if you don't want to re-install whole package, but I did not check whether it works with the old Palm Desktop or does not.