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what now?

I have a site which I put up basically for fun and experience.  Ironically, with no advertising, not registered with search engines, and limited meta tags, I have just learned from my ISP that I'm getting 5500 hits a month!!!

I almost fell out of my chair.

So, now I'm looking at the next step.  I'm going to buy the domain and get the site hosted for free in exchange for a banner ad for the ISP.  I need to know what I should be doing here.

My questions are broad and I will appropriately award one or more people who give me the most detailed COMMENT(S).  

1st, is 5500 hits a month as much as it seems?!  Pretty good?

2nd, without using CGI or the like, I need a script to find out details on these visitors so I know how to aim ad sales.  If I get a good light script, I'll award 75 points for that alone.

3rd, Any general advice which some one could offer to an inexperienced web marketeer would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance and in case the hint above was too subtle, comments only please.


1cell
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1cell
Asked:
1cell
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1 Solution
 
HOOKUPSCommented:
Well 5500 hits a month is pretty good.
1. I would deffinetly try and get my site hosted a place where i can use asp,cgi,php and alike. I personally prefer asp. The reason why you should have these capabilities is that you cannot make a descent script for statistics using client side scripts. You would need database access
2. Optimize your pages so they get good results in search engines.
3. Keep the site updated so people actually come back


hope you can use my oppinions
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1cellAuthor Commented:
thanks for the input but as I mentioned twice in my question, I am looking for comments, not answers.  I would like to keep this question open to gather as much feedback as possible.
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READERCommented:
What is the address of the site?

I would like to see what you're doing (without even trying)  that I'm not
doing.
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coolmacCommented:
You might want to check out a site like crosswinds that doesn't even put a banner ad on your site.
http://www.crosswinds.net

Also go to http://www.bravenet.com
they have a lot of tools that will help you a lot, like hit counters which record where the visitors have come from and what systems they are using.

And finally get an ad exchange program. I use http://www.smartage.com
You show banner ads and for every 2 you show your ad is shown once. That would be 2750 times a month if you just put the banner on your main page.
Smartage also supply you with a LOT of help for the small online business.

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READERCommented:
coolmac

Crosswinds looks great but they do not support Frontpage extensions.
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READERCommented:
coolmac

Are you able to connect to crosswinds using ws-ftp?

I have tried it all evening and keep getting "Too many ftp users--try again later".
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bgillbanksCommented:
I don't know if this is common, but my Host supplies me with all the details I need about the hits, and what browsers are being used etc.

I suspect this is what you want, but I pay for my web hosting, so it may be different.

I doubt what you want could be done without CGI, but adding a feedback form, or even an e-mail address would get you soem responses. With 5500 hits a month you are bound to get some response.

Guess this hasn't helped much but I thought I should say something
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1cellAuthor Commented:
actually, the report from my ISP was pretty decent as far as what pages were getting the most hits, downloads, etc.

What they don't do is tell me whether it's 1 person who hit my site 5500 times or 5500 who hit it once.

I know there's some javascript for this that I have seen but I can't find it and it might require form actions as you mentioned.

Been pretty busy but I will be checking out your links, coolmac.  
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coolmacCommented:
They say that you can generally only connect during certain times of the day :(
I use their own upload page which seems to work fine. But if you have a lot of files to upload, that could be pain.

Sorry, I just forgot about that little drawback.
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1cellAuthor Commented:
oh, that is a drawback
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coolmacCommented:
They, say they are going to be improving that soon. So I'm going to wait it out.

If you want a site that always seems to work and is very fast go to http://www.fortunecity.com

They have banner ads at the top of each page though. They rank really high as far as access speed is, and the FTP never gave me any trouble.
The problem there is that you can't put your own banner ads up. :(
Which rules out things like smartage.
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READERCommented:
I will check it again in a few weeks. I guess you can't be too demanding when something is free!!

Creating a website having someone elses banners on top does not offer much appeal.

I have found a host provider that charges less than $10 per month. No banners and everything runs as good as the hosts I am paying $20/month for (eg. Netnation and Earthlink). They are at http://www.icom.com

I will be using them on all future websites.
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mouattsCommented:
To get sort of stats that you are looking for is not that simple from a CGI point of view. Whilst you can do it it tends to put a bit of strain on the Server. Generally stats are processed offline using the server log files.

If you are getting this volume of hits it may be worth considering a non-free ISP who provides stats.

If you look at http://www.ntwebhost.co.uk/ on this site you will see a sample of the stats that you get included in the site.

You might think the price is a bit over the top but some of the virtual server customers sell chunks on at a considerably lower price. (I'm a customer of theres myself but I'm afraid I'm not one of the ones with a chunk for sale)
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ey143Commented:
whats the site address?
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ey143Commented:
1cell I'm interested in seeing your site, I mean.
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READERCommented:
If 1cell lets us know the address to the site it might increase the hits per month to 10,000
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1cellAuthor Commented:
haha, sorry it's been so long, took on a new contract and I've been working about 15 hours a day for the past week.

anyway.

http://members.home.com/liquitech

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kmxretroCommented:
To track hits and the like, you could try www.hitbox.com, they have a service which is very detailed, and free. You need to put a small button on the site though. :-( Quite speedy, nonetheless.
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rcklugeCommented:
I would suggest that to determine multiple visits use a cookie as a counter. You can use cookies to store how many times a particular user has accessed a page.
This would give you a handle on repeat visitors.

For example:

<SCRIPT LANGUAGE=JAVASCRIPT>
<!--Hide script from older browsers
expireDate = new Date
expireDate.setYear(expireDate.getYear()+1)
if(document.cookier =='')
{
hitCt=0
}
else {
hitCt=eval(document.cookie.split("=")[1])
}
hitCt++
document.cookie=
"pageHit="+hitCt+";expires="
+expireDate.toGMTString()
//End hiding script -->
</SCRIPT>



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sduellCommented:
Haven't looked at your web site yet, but you may be getting deceived by your hit count.

"Hits" are different from "Visits".  Every time a visitor's browser asks for a file from your web site, it registers a "hit".  This includes images, files, etc.  

The "deceptive hit results" come from having web pages with multiple images (say 10 per page).  If you have 3 popular web pages that each "visitor" sees, you would have 33 "hits" from a single visit.  3 "hits" from the web pages and 30 "hits" from your images.  For 5500 hits, this example would work out to about 6 "visits" per day.

Thought you should know.

Regards,
Steve

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ey143Commented:
That's interesting, I didnt know that.  I set up my website a few days ago, and already it has 400 hits which I didnt understand.  Of course, this would be me and my friend checking the site with everything on it no doubt.
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1cellAuthor Commented:
Comment accepted as answer
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1cellAuthor Commented:
<pitifully humbled>
sorry this has been open so long.  I've been real busy on a new contract and haven't spent much time here.  I was reminded of the question when I checked my profile for something about a week ago and saw the unlocked question.

anyway, Steve gets the points.
I worked with my ISP last week to find who and when my site was getting hit.  It is getting a lot more hits than I expected originally but not what I thought the report was telling me. Definately not enough to justify any of my plans in my eyes.

Thanks for the input all.
</pitifully humbled>
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