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The fact is, you can't design your website to be 100 percent compatible with every operating system and web browser in use today. That would require either using only plain html (version 3) or using browser detection code and creating a dozen variations of each webpage. Use your server log's platform and user agent data to decide which browser your web pages should to be designed to be compatible with. Your statistics will probably show that 90 percent of your website's visitors are using latest or previous version of Internet Explorer.
Good server log analysis software will tell you which countries your website visitors are located in. Analysis of bucarotechlp.com server logs shows that visitors are located in every country, village, and hamlet on planet. This leads to question, should you create multiple variations of each webpage to accomodate visitors from other nations? It depends upon your business and your resources. The fact is that language of business and commerce across planet is English, and I receive frequent email, in English, from all over planet.
Important Ways to Use Server Log Information
Remember when typical website had a gray background and a single image in middle of page? Today, that would be below standard for a kids website on AOL. Does your server log "platform" and "user agent" statistics tell you that most of visitors to your website are using Windows XP with Internet Explorer Version 6, while your website is designed for Windows 95 and Internet Explorer Version 4? Can you afford to be presenting a website that looks outdated?
I think it's a mistake to design a website that requires your visitors to have latest bleeding-edge technology. On other hand, if rest of web is using ASP (Active Server Pages) to generate custom webpages on-the-fly that use CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to create webpages that resemble slick magazine pages and DHTML (Dynamic HTML) to provide interactivity, it might be time for you to investigate those technologies.
If your website is a business site or E-commerce site, visual style and technical level of your website reflects quality of your business or service. To determine proper visual style and technology level of your website requires you to monitor three things.
1. Your competitors. You want to look as in-style as they do, but avoid following them down road to bloated plugins (Macromedia Flash). 2. The portion of your audience using broad band Internet Access. Less than half of U.S. Make sure your webpages load within 20 seconds over a 56kbps modem connection. 2. Your server log platform and user agent statistics. Your web pages need to be designed to be compatible with current most popular operating system and web browser version.
Web hosts provide two basic kinds of service, shared hosting and dedicated hosting. If your website is on a shared host, there may be hundreds of other websites sharing same computer as your website. This limits performance of your website. Many web host providers use "bandwidth throttling" to prevent one website from hogging all available bandwidth.
As your website grows and attracts increasing traffic, it will need more of host computers processor time and more bandwidth. Monitor your server log hits, and bandwidth statistics. At some point, your website may hit a performance wall and you may need to move to a higher grade of hosting, or a different web host company to continue growth.
When moving to a different web host company, don't trust specifications they provide. Check several different web host directories that let visitors rate web hosts. If several different web host directories have many users that give a web host company a high rating, that's company you want to trust with your website.
As you analyze certain website server statistics (for example, "page view hits", and "top search engine keywords") and make adjustments, you may find content of your website drifting away from your original intent. At some point, you may have to decide, Am I going to chase traffic and change topic of my website, or am I more interested in focusing on topic of my choice?
If original objective of your website was to make money above all else, then let your visitors steer your website's content. There's nothing wrong with that. Everybody's got to make a living. But, if original objective of your website was to be a resource on a subject that you are passionate about, then you may need to reassess content of your website.
I would reccommend having best of both worlds. Stick to content related to subject of your website, but delineate a wide enough scope of topic so that when your server statistics point out an opportunity to increase traffic, you have rules to guide you.
In this article you learned some of types of information you can mine from your web server log and some powerful ways to use that information to steer your website in a direction for growth and success. If you are one of those webmasters who has never bothered to view their website's server log, you now know that you have been overlooking some gold nuggets.
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To learn how to maintain your computer and use it more effectively to design a Web site and make money on the Web visit bucarotechelp.com To subscribe to Bucaro TecHelp Newsletter visit http://bucarotechelp.com/search/000800.asp