If you plan on becoming a graphic designer, then constructing a portfolio site is a must. Not only will it get your name out there for everyone to see, but it will benefit you in ways you’ve never dreamed of. The same can be said when it comes to monitoring your website traffic. If you keep track of who visits your website and where they come from, you will be much better off than designers who don’t. If you are looking for new freelance work and more recognition then you need to accurately monitor your website traffic and keep close tabs on everything. Different programs allow you to monitor different statistics such as your unique visitors, total visitors, page views, what browsers they use, etc. There are free services and paid services and they all helpful. The only difference is that the paid services usually exclusive features that you wouldn’t find in a free program. AWStats and Google Analytics are the two most popular free traffic-monitoring services. AWStats does not have as many features as Google Analytics but it does come with most web hosting packages and contains useful features if you’re new to traffic monitoring. Google Analytics is completely free and is also known as the industry standard when it comes to monitoring the traffic flow of your website. It’s extremely easy to set up and starts collecting and displaying data soon after you implement it within your site. You can track everything you can think of with this one including the number of daily visitors, the countries they come from, etc. They even display the information in graph formats along with highlighted sections on a world map so you can literally see where all of your visitors are coming from. Then there are paid services such as Mint, Clicky, and Site Meter. They all cost money but contain unique features that paid services just don’t offer. Mint allows different developers to build different programs that you can download and add to your account. These different programs will track your visitors in different ways and provide a lot of detail about individual viewers that you can’t find elsewhere. It takes a little longer to set up than other services, but once it is up and running you will receive traffic results in real time along with a lot of important information about your visitors. It also has a desktop widget available for Mac users so you can access your stats without even loading up your browser and going to their website. Clicky is similar to Mint but has a sleek web 2.0 interface, which makes it look appealing from the start. It has extremely powerful features and is known for providing new results immediately without the need to wait. Many services need time to refresh before accurate results are displayed but Clicky offers them as soon as they arrive. Lastly, there is Site Meter. This is a very popular choice for webmasters and tracks a wide range of information regarding the people that visit your site often as well as those who have just stumbled across the page. It provides information regarding how your visitors found your website in the first place, what sort of interests they have that are related to your niche, and so on. Knowing where they went to link to your website is especially important because you can use that to gain more traffic by seeing which strategies work. So remember that monitoring your website traffic is extremely important if you plan on running a successful portfolio website. Not only will you be able to see how many people know about your site, but you will be able to see where they come from, how they found out about you, and how often they visit. Website traffic monitoring is crucial to your online success and whether you want to go with paid services or go with the free systems, you should be keeping up to date on the whereabouts of your traffic flow. Read More →