PSO Newsletter August 2013
SOME WEBSITE STATISTICS ARE OF QUESTIONABLE VALUE
The Photobiological Sciences Online (PSO) website (photobiology.info) has been hosted by Network Solutions, a subsidiary of a larger Internet company (Web.com) for 6 years. The customer service has been horrible. If you finally reach a person by phone, that person is in the Philippines, they speak English poorly, and the phone connection is poor. They take information, and assign a work order number, but nothing ever gets done.
When trying to get information on why the user statistics for PSO have suddenly plummeted from ~18,000 hits per month in January-April 2013 to less than 2,000 per month currently (see below), I get no response, except for multiple e-mails saying that the engineers are looking into the problem (AWstats).
The hits on PSO started around 200/month in 2008, and steadily increased by about 5,000 every 14 months to a value of ~20,000/month (26,966 in 10/12, WOW!, then plumited). (see below)
Some of the hits on the individual modules on PSO in past years are thousands higher than the hits on the main page! This makes no sense to me. (see below)
I started another counter for PSO recently. The new counter showed 367 Unique Visits in July to PSO, while the old counter showed 2,128 visits. Which is correct?
I am afraid that the many hours that I have spent over the last 6 years graphing and posting the statistics for PSO has been a complete waste of my time, and this incorrect information has wasted the time of the PSO authors.
As further proof that you can’t trust all hit counters, I have another website for a Trad Jazz Society. I have stats from the website host company, and I also have a second hit counter from a different company. The results do not agree at all. The hit counts from the second company are more reasonable, considering the small number of members in the society (~200). Hits of 8,000/month from the host company seem high compared with ~250/month from the independent company.
In view of the above, I have eliminated the old User Statistics information for Photobiological Sciences Online.
I have set up Google Analytics, which has been widely recommended for Internet statistics. I hope that their stats will be more accurate. I will wait and see at the end of September 2013.
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