Support from Internet Connection

New Addition to netConsole Packages: RefTracker

Sent: 2003/08/11
Audience: Unix hosting customers

The Package Installer section of your account's web-based control panel, the netConsole has been getting quite a bit of attention recently. A week ago we introduced the Mail2Friend script and we have yet another new package for your use: RefTracker.

The RefTracker script was written at the request of one our clients. The client's site participated in a link exchange program and had also been spending money on pay-per-click advertising. To gauge the effectiveness of these two traffic-generating programs, he wanted to find out where his customers, not just his visitors, were coming from.

Visitor information is easy enough to come by as the Log Analysis section of your netConsole provides access to your traffic logs as well as reports generated from these logs. You can find a great deal of information here but deciphering which of your visitors became a customer, purchasing something from your site, is not something that's provided. Now, with the RefTracker, you can find out exactly where your customers are coming from. Also, if your site participates in banner advertising, pay-per-click, or link exchange programs (like the client who originally brought this idea to us does), you will now be able to more reliably judge these programs' effectiveness and know where your advertising dollars are being best-spent.

The RefTracker relies on two components to function. The first is a Perl script the second is a module, or add-on for the webserver software we use on our unix servers, Apache. If a visitor comes from somewhere off-site, i.e. from a link on another website, they are redirected to the reftracker.cgi. The script then grabs their HTTP_REFERER information which it saves in a cookie. The cookie is temporarily stored on their local machine. If they came from somewhere that is not off-site, from a bookmark, by direct request, or from another page on your site, there is no referrer information and a cookie is not created for them.

Once the cookie has been created, the visitor's referrer information is stored there and can be extracted for inclusion in an order form.

For more information on this new package, please visit this page:

Customer Support: netConsole: RefTracker
http://support.internetconnection.net/TECHNICAL_REFERENCE/NETCONSOLE/

To see a demonstration of the RefTracker, please go here:

Product Demos: RefTracker
http://www.internetconnection.net/product-demos.shtml#reftracker

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