It’s no secret that the main dashboard of ExtraWatch’s functionality is the Live Stats dashboard. Through Live Stats, you can view just about every type of statistics you want to see – or those statistics are within the reach of just one click.
But in the case of ExtraWatch functions like History – where the information is shared with Live Stats – you can still get a more comprehensive look at the traffic statistics you want to view. While History won’t offer you novel functions or specific drop-down menus, you will see a list of previous visits that is easy to read and easy to click through.
To wit, here is a screenshot from a recent view of our own History section:
As you can see, much of the information is nothing you haven’t seen in Live Stats. But that doesn’t mean History is without its own unique features and settings. Let’s explore those settings right now.
What Are You Seeing?
In History, you’re taking a look at all of the most recent visits, sorted by the individual user. The top users are the most recent visitors, and older visitors are placed directly below them. As you can see, some users visit a multitude of pages while others simply view just one or two.
Although we did cover this information in the Live Stats tutorial, the information here is so valuable that it can be worth a refresher.
On the left, you’ll see the IP address of the most recent users. Immediately to the right of that, you’ll see the logo for the browser they’re using – a majority of the users in the screenshot above are using Windows 7 by Microsoft.
Immediate Features You Can Use in “History”
As is the case in the Live Stats feature, hovering over the entry for an individual visit with your mouse will yield you this window:
From that window, you’ll have a number of options. For example, you can block a specific IP address from using your site. Or you can use the page that that particular user visited as a new goal for you to measure. You can also look at the various URL parameters and add those as goals to be tracked specifically, as well.
Even though you can see a lot of these statistics in “Live View,” it’s worth taking a trip to “History” every once in a while to view the list of previous visits exclusively.
Configurations and Settings
Click over to “Settings,” which you can see among the ExtraWatch features that are always on top:
From settings, you can then use the individual menu to visit the History & Performance settings:
As you can see, there are a number of options that allow you to configure and customize what you’re seeing on the History page. For example, you can choose how often to refresh the time stats – but be careful not to make it refresh too often; this can make load times a little more difficult and slow.
You can also change how long you want to keep History data, but again, be warned that you don’t want to hold onto too much data or else the page will simply take a long time to load. Remember that History does function more like a “Live Stats” component.
Other Configurations and Settings
Let’s take a look at some of the individual configurations you can make to history:
- History Max records: As stated, you don’t want this number to be too high because then you’ll be tracking a lot of user data and it can make things on ExtraWatch run a little more slowly. Keep this number moderate or even low to ensure that things are running smoothly.
- Update Time Visits: This allows you to set the time after which your visitors’ stats will be refreshed. Generally it’s best to keep this to a default. Don’t be afraid to experiment or tweak it to your liking, but keep in mind that a refresh time that is too fast can be obtrusive.
- Stats max rows: It’s great to have expanded statistics when you’re in expanded mode, but you don’t want too many, otherwise the information will become nonsensical. It’s good to keep this number a little lower to ensure that your History is easy to browse through.
Specific Uses of “History”
What’s a great use of these configurations? If you are tracking certain visits or visitors and you can’t find those visits in the Live Stats feature because of new stats pushing them to the bottom, then you can simply click over to History and continue to track those unique visits and visitors. You can also use the specific functions of History to view more and learn more about that user’s behavior.
Essentially, you have all of the same functionality in History as you do in Live Stats. But because History does allow you to have some flexibility with how you view these live stats, it can be a great additional tool to use for very specific purposes.