a powerful tool for analyzing your web server log files. The best
way to learn about filtering is to dive right into it. This tutorial
will give you example uses of filters that will help you enhanced
your web site.
But before we
talk about all of the novel uses of filters, you should know how
to add, edit, and remove filters from a report. In the Report List
Dialog, click Edit Report. Click the Filters tab.
Click Add and then begin reading this tutorial.
A filter can
either include or exclude data. An include filter is good for analyzing
only a certain subset of data (for example, only Internet Explorer
4.x users). An exclude filter, conversely, is useful for excluding
a subset of data from the analysis (for example, excluding yourself
from the site statistics). If you specify multiple include filters,
the data will be included if one of those include filters applies.
Similarly, if you specify multiple exclude filters, the data will
be excluded if one of those exclude filters applies. You can mix
both include and exclude filters.
is a list of all filter types and examples of how to use them in
your own reports.
by Domain Name
1. Exclude local
hits. Use wildcards to specify all IP addresses that may have been
used by internal users in testing the web site. This allows you
to measure only the visitors to a web site, not internal web site
users. For example, to exclude every user from MIT, specify the
following wild card: 18.*. If you do not know your local
IP addresses, ask your system administrator or ISP.
2. Measure Intranet
usage. This essentially the opposite of the Exclude local
hits filter. This time, you only want to include local hits.
This lets you measure the usage patterns of internal users.
3. Track the
users from a specific domain. Find out if your competitors are accessing
your web site! Just set FastStats to only include requests from
your competitors IP addresses.
by Requested File
1. Zero in on
the performance of a specific file or directory. Specify a filter
for a file or directory and include or exclude that data from your
report. For example, some areas of your site may drown out
less popular areas. Include only the less popular areas and analyze
them (or exclude the more popular areas and then analyze those).
2. Exclude toolbar
buttons from the analysis. Certain files, including toolbar buttons,
may be requested disproportionately more than other files and may,
again, drown out the other files. You can exclude these
files from the analysis.
by Range of dates
Narrow down the information included in your report.
by Day of week
Do your hits always drop off on weekends? Find out why by only including
hits from Saturday and Sunday.
by Hour of day
Your web site may attract a different crowd at various
times of the day. For example, web site with weather reports will
probably receive an increased amount of requests in the morning,
when people are checking the forecast for the day, and in the afternoon,
when people are checking tomorrows forecast.
by Referring URL
1. Track an
advertising campaign. Include only referring URLs from the site
youre advertising on. This will track which pages on your
server (and which pages on their server) users are responding to
2. Track all
links from a specific web site. Do you have a partnership with another
web site? Just want to see which pages on a specific web site link
to your web site? Filter the referring URL by any web site.
by Users Operating System
Different operating systems may mean different audiences.
Macintosh, Linux, and Windows may be interested in different content
on your web site.
Filter by Users Browser
1. Browser specific
information. Are Netscape or Internet Explorer users avoiding a
particular part of your site because it does not work well with
their browsers? Or, if you have a large web site, conduct your own
browser market-share test.
2. Text only
information. Include only requests from Lynx or other browsers.
Note: many browsers,
such as Internet Explorer and Opera, report themselves as Mozilla
(Netscape) compatible; it is difficult to include only Netscape
users or exclude Internet Explorer users. Search the FastStats help
for more information on this topic.
by Web Spider
Find out which pages web spiders (the automated computer program
used by search engines to index your web site) have reached (and
which pages they have not reached).
using FastStats's filtering features? This page has some tips and
techniques that should help you become a filter power user in no
A Short Explanation
Filters are a way of restricting the data that is included in your
report. Want to only view statistics for the month of October? Use
a filter. Want to analyze the patterns of only Internet Explorers
as they move through your web site? Use a filter. Similarly, filters
let you track the hits coming from one referring page or domain
(useful for tracking an advertisement), or track people coming from
the AOL.COM domain.
Include and exclude filters do just what the say. Let's say
you set up an include filter that includes all Requested files
matching /dir/*. This will do exactly what you expect --
only requests for filenames that match http://www.website.com/dir/
will be included in the FastStats report. Similarly, if you set
up an exclude filter on the /dur/* directory, any file that was
not in the /fast/ directory will not be included in the report.
What if you set up one filter that includes /dir/*, and one
filter that excludes /dir/file.html. Any file that is in
the /dir/ directory will be included, except for /dir/file.html.
What If I
Have More Than One Include or Exclude?
This is where it can get tricky. Let's say we have two include
filters set up, one for /dir/* and the other for /otherdir/*.
What happens? Well, it depends on the setting of some FastStats
options. Click the Report menu and choose Option.
On the first tab (Log File Options), see whether Only
include log file records if all include filters are true is
checked. If it is, then a file has to match both /dir/* and
/otherdir/* to be analyzed. It this option is not checked
(the default setting), then what you expected will happen -- files
in both /dir/ and /otherdir/ will be included in the
analysis. The same thing applies to exclude filters and the Only
exclude log file records if all exclude filters are true option.