Logfile Analysis vs Page Tagging: Determining which Web Analytics Methodology is Suitable for Websi

Web administrators are constantly debating on the issue of logfile analysis vs page tagging.  These two concepts are methodologies for web analytics.  They are methods to deploy tools that can monitor website performance and onsite user behaviors.

While both logfile analysis and page tagging techniques can offer numerous benefits to webmasters, they also have several disadvantages.  That is why owners of websites should carefully choose between logfile analysis and page tagging.  They should determine which of the two web analytics methodologies would be suitable for their websites.  

In logfile analysis, website performance and onsite behaviors are recorded on the web servers.  The logfiles provide flexible data that can be analyzed using different web analytics tools.  Logfile analysis however is highly dependent on web servers.  So, companies with limited IT infrastructures cannot use this method.  Logfile analysis can also encounter problems regarding computer caching and proxy servers.  Once a page is cached, the server cannot see the page visit thus no event tracking will occur.

Page tagging on the other hand utilizes codes and scripts embedded on the website.  This method eliminates the need for a server because website performance can be tracked using client side behaviors.  It can also be configured to collect additional user data and can manage cookie handling on its own.  The downside of page tagging emanates from the script deployment.  Some browsers block scripts from websites thus losing its ability to record user data.  Page tagging, although compact, can be prone to errors or bugs. In such cases, the script will not work thus losing important website activity data.

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