Visitor Logs: Monitoring the Blood Pressure / Pulse Of Your Blog

If you're concerned about your personal health, you track your vital signs, regularly. Personally, I monitor my blood pressure and pulse every two months, courtesy of the American Red Cross (and regular blood donation). If you care about the health of your blog, you'll do the same, using one or more visitor meters.

If your blog has a complete outage, you'll know that right away. You, personally, won't be able to access it. What if some readers can see the blog, and others can't? Examining your visitor logs, regularly, can help you know when your blog is offline, completely or partially.

If you are in one geographic location (with a given ISP), and the majority of your readers are in another location (with another ISP), you may or may not know when your readers can't see your blog. Likewise, if the blog is offline for a couple days, when you're not looking at it, you may never know (though your readers will).

A visitor meter, with its accompanying log, will show you traffic to your log, and identify the readers browser, computer, and location. If you have a partial or temporary outage, seeing a drop in traffic during a given time period, or for a given browser, computer type, or geographical location will alert you of the problem.

This will work best if you take the time to learn the normal amount of traffic from a given browser, computer type, and / or geographical location. When your blog is online, and no problems are being reported, spend your spare time examining your visitor logs. Just like monitoring your personal blood pressure and pulse, watch your visitor logs regularly. And understand that fluctuations in visitor activity are normal.
  • If you spend less time working on your blog this week, you may see less (or maybe more) visitor activity next week.
  • The constant referer spam war will lead to rising and falling of Stats pageview counts.
  • Your readers will, occasionally, have other things to do, periodically.

Know, on your own, when you have an outage. Don't wait for your reader to email you (if possible)
Dude, your blog has been down for a week. What's your problem?


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