Using Urchin

Urchin is an advanced, Web site analytics software system designed for use by organizations of all sizes. Urchin provides an intuitive, browser-based interface and offers, among other things, flexible date-range reporting, filtering, a search function and an export utility.

Our Urchin implementation also provides support for the optional Urchin Tracking Module (UTM). This system makes it possible for you to track "Unique Visitors" to your site using a combination of server- and client-side technology including cookies. The UTM technology enables Web site owners to identify more precisely unique visitors, click paths, and return loyalty metrics including first time visitors, returning visitors and frequency of use.


Upgrading to Urchin and Accessing Urchin Statistics.

To activate Urchin:

  1. In the home page in SiteControl under the Quick Access tools section, click the Web Stats link.
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  2. The Web Stats Overview page appears. Scroll down and click Upgrade.
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  3. The Advanced Urchin Webstats page appears.
  4. In the Default Page field, enter the name of your default Web site page (home page). Ex. index.html
  5. Select Enabled from the drop-down menu next to the UTM field to enable the UTM tracking module.
  6. Click Upgrade Now.
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  7. The Advanced Urchin Confirmation message appears.
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  8. After Urchin is activated, a screen appears from where you can manage and view your Urchin Stats. To view your Urchin Stats reports, click View Stats.
  9. The Urchin main window appears. You can access detailed instructions for working with Urchin by clicking the Help Information button. urchin-115000352710-5.png

Installing the optional Urchin Tracking Module (UTM)

Portions of this section courtesy of and copyrighted by Urchin Software Corporation.

"There are two components to the Urchin Tracking Module System: the UTM Sensor, which is a lightweight module installed into the content of the website; and the UTM Engine which is part of the log processing Urchin Engine. The UTM Sensor enables client-side data collection, which is then funneled back through the web server augmenting the normal logfile. The client-side information is combined with the existing server-side data by the UTM Engine to provide a more accurate and complete picture of web site activity.

The UTM Sensor is a small amount of JavaScript code that accomplishes two important functions. First, the Sensor negates the effects of caching by forcing at least one hit to progress to the original web server for each pageview. The impact on the server is minimal, and the details about the additional hit are logged into the normal web log files resulting in a more complete data set. Secondly, the UTM Sensor uniquely identifies each visitor by using client-side cookies to keep track of the first time and returning visitors. The cookie identifier is a communication tag only viewable to your web server in the same nature as session ids. It is not a third party cookie, which provides information outside your system, violating many privacy policies."

 

Installation of the UTM Sensor involves two basic steps:

  • First, you must enable UTM and download the necessary files.
  • Second, you must install the UTM Sensor into your HTML content.

Detailed instructions for completing both of these tasks follow.

Note: In order to enable the UTM, you must have already upgraded your statistics to Urchin by requesting it within SiteControl. For details on requesting and activating features, see Plan Details located in My Account under My Services.

 

To install the Urchin Tracking Module:

  1. Upgrade to Urchin Advanced Statistics.
  2. Enable the Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) in the Advanced Urchin Webstats page.
  3. Download the Urchin_UTM.zip file to your local computer. You can find this file at the following URL or at the bottom of this article.
  4. Insert the UTM sensor into your HTML content.

 

To insert the UTM Sensor into your HTML content:

You must insert the JavaScript and GIF components of the UTM Sensor into the HTML content of your site. To ensure the most accurate reporting possible, you must insert this in every page of your site.

Both pieces necessary for completing this step are included in the Urchin_UTM_v5.zip file you downloaded in the previous section. Within this Zip file, locate the following two files:

  • __utm.js
  • __utm.gif

Open the __utm.js file in an HTML editor like NotePad. Locate the following two variables in the User Setting section:

  • var __utmdn="auto"; /*-- (auto|none|domain) set the domain name for cookies --*/
  • var __utmgifpath="/__utm.gif"; /*-- set the web path to the __utm.gif file --*/

Replace the text within quotes ( " " ) with the information specific to your domain. For example, replace auto with your domain name as it appears in SiteControl. If necessary, replace /__utm.gif with the relative path to the location where you will upload the __utm.gif file (described in the next section).

Save the __utm.gif file and then upload both of these files to the root directory (www/) of your web site. Be sure that you do not change the names of these files.

Once these files are in place, you need to include the __utm.js file at the beginning of each Web page within your Web site. If your site uses server-side includes and you use a header include for each file, you can include the UTM in the beginning of this include file only. It will then automatically be a part of each Web page. For static HTML sites that do not use includes, you need to modify and add the UTM entry to each page individually. For dynamic sites that use a content-generation engine, the UTM can be included at the beginning of the template that is delivered to the visitors.

Regardless of which method you use, the following line of code should be included in the beginning of each HTML page that is delivered to the visitor. Note that there are two underscores at the beginning of the file name.

<script src="/__utm.js"></script>
(...existing content....)
<html><head>....

Note: If you have chosen to place the __utm.js file in a location other than your root directory (www/), be sure to make the appropriate changes to the src attribute of the <script> element.

 

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