Last Updated

Saturday, 21 December 2013

CoalaWeb Traffic Guide

Overview

CoalaWeb Traffic is a Joomla 2.5 & 3.+ extension to help you keep track of the visitors to your site.

Parts of the system

The system is made up of a Component, Module and two System Plugins.

This guide will help you set up this CoalaWeb extension quickly and easily taking full advantage of its features.When you install CoalaWeb Traffic all 4 parts of the system will be installed at the same time making installing, upgrading and uninstalling a breeze.

Table of Contents

  1. Component Guide
  2. Module Guide
  3. Plugin Guide
  4. Need More Help?

Component - Back to Top

Control Panel - Back to Top

The first is the Control Panel as seen below [Figure 1] it is designed to be an easy starting point, think of it as the components head quarters. While carrying out tasks you can easily jump from the Control Panel to the different sections and then return before moving onto the next one.

Figure 1

Visitors - Back to Top

The next section is the Visitors section this is where all the visitors to your site are listed. The visitors are displayed with the following information see [Figure 2].

  • Their IP address
  • The date they visited
  • The time they visited
  • Name assignment (optional)
  • Their Location (Only with the Geo Database Installed)

You also have filter and search options. To filter the visitor information you have the following options.

  • IP - Click to order descending or again for ascending.
  • Date of Visit - Click to order descending or again for ascending.
  • IP Owner- Click to order descending or again for ascending.
  • Location - Click to order descending or again for ascending.

You also have a search box in the top left here you can choose to enter an IP, Date, IP Owner or location to search for specific visitor information.

Figure 2

Known IPs - Back to Top

The third section is the Known IPs section here you can give any IPs that you recognise a name and a description such as your own or any that you find suspicious see [Figure 3 & 4].

Figure 3

Figure 4

Once you have given a particular IP a name it will automatically display in the IP Owner column of the Visitors section, this will make it easy to look down the list and see occurrences of that IP.

GEO Location - Back to Top

Figure 5

How Geo Location Works

CoalaWeb Traffic uses the free MaxMind's GeoLiteCity database for determining the country and city information of your visitors. This file is updated very frequently, about once every month. Why so often? IP assignments to countries change all the time in fact by the time we release our extension, the database file is most likely already slighty out of date.

What Will This Affect

This could cause some IP addresses to be identified as coming from the wrong location. Updating the file regularly will give you much better country and city accuracy. MaxMind claims an accuracy of 99.5% for its free GeoLiteCity database so please bear in mind that this means that some IP addresses might be reported wrongly.

Do I Have To Install It?

No you do not. The system will continue to count and store your website traffic with out the database installed the only difference is that you won't see Country or City information associated with their IP addresses.

It's a good idea to inform visitors in your privacy policy or TOS that you are collecting their information.

Installing the Geo Database

If you don’t have the GeoLiteCity database installed you will receive an notice message as seen in [Figure 5] . To take advantage of CoalaWeb Traffics inbuilt ability to tell you a visitors country and sometimes city follow the steps below.

First click the Upload GeoLiteCity Database blue button to the left of the GEO Location view. This will retrieve the latest version of the database from the Maximind website and upload it to your websites tmp directory. If everything went according to plan you will receive a conformation message that it uploaded correctly. [Figure 6]

Figure 6

The next step is to unzip the file to the CoalaWeb Traffic geoip directory where it can be accessed and used to determine your visitors locations. If the database uploaded correctly in the last step you will now have a Unzip icon in the top right tool bar as seen in [Figure 7] click this to start the unzip process.

Figure 7

Once again if everything goes according to plan you receive a conformation message that the file was unzipped correctly and also the message at the top of the page will turn green with today's date.[Figure 8]

Figure 8

Now CoalaWeb Traffic will automatically add country and city information to your visitor records as they are collected. To keep the location information as accurate as possible just carry out this procedure at regular intervals.

Please be patient when Uploading and Unzipping the database it may take some time due to the size of the file.

Export CSV Report - Back to Top

If you want to export the visitors currently stored in your database start by selecting Visitors from the menu bar or from the Control Panel. The main concept you have understand is what you see is what you get for example if I want all the records for the IP Owner CoalaWeb I would do the following.

First Type CoalaWeb into the search box and press enter. [Figure 9]

Figure 9

Now only records with CoalaWeb are listed next choose All from the bottom pagination select box. [Figure 10]

Figure 10

Now we have all the records with CoalaWeb as the IP owner listed on one page next click CSV Report from the top right menu. [Figure 11]

Figure 11

 

You should get a pop up that similar to the image below if not make sure it's not being blocked by something such as your browser settings. [Figure 12]

Figure 12

Next save the file to your local computer and then open it with your application of choice. In this example I will be using LibreOffice but the procedure will be similar with other applications. First I have to import it before I can work with the data so after a double click I'm confronted with the window below [Figure 13]

Figure 13

I have chosen to import it with the default settings which results in the data being laid out in a sheet as seen below [Figure 10]

Figure 14

You can now format, filter and save the data as you wish.

Don't forget what you see is what you get! The exported file will contain what is displayed on the screen.

Inbuilt Help - Back to Top

In the control panel or the tool menu you have a help icon that when clicked will open a pop up wrapper of this specific guide. This gives you an easy way of checking the functionality of a particular item with out leaving the control panel. [Figure 15]

Figure 15

Extension Options - Back to Top

In the control panel or the tool menu you have a options icon that when clicked will open a pop up containing the various extension options.

Permissions

The first tab contains the default permissions used for all content in the CoalaWeb Traffic component. [Figure 16]

Figure 16

Advanced Options

In the second tab you have two options the first is how many minutes to lock an IP for. This means how much time do you want to pass before an IP is counted again. The second is to turn on automatic clean up of the database tables used by system, it will keep the current data but delete out the old entries and then add them to a running total. It is recommended to turn this feature on. [Figure 17]

These settings depend of the system plugins included with CoalaWeb Traffic so please make sure they are installed and published for the system to work correctly. Figure 17

Block Bots

The third tab contains the option to exclude bots from being counted and list the particular bots you want excluded in the text box remembering to separate each bot with a comma. [Figure 18]

Figure 18

Block IPs:

The forth tab contains the option to exclude IPs from being counted and list the particular IPs you want excluded in the text box remembering to separate each IP with a comma. [Figure 19]

Figure 19

Module - Back to Top

The CoalaWeb Traffic module has a huge list of options so we have broken them up into several sections which are explained in detail below.

If you have a multilingual website please leave text fields found through out the module configuration blank and instead use language files to control the text.

General Display Options - Back to Top

In this section you have the ability to turn on or off the display for today, yesterday, week, month and total it's up to you which ones you want to display. Under each of these options is a text box here you can assign a word to be displayed next to the item but if your site is multilingual leave these blank and use the language files to control whats displayed. The last option in this section to to choose a theme this will affect which icons are displayed along side the counter items or you can choose to have no icons. [Figure 20]

Figure 20

Visitor Display Options - Back to Top

This section controls what information about the visitor is displayed at the bottom of the module. The first option turns on or off a horizontal line to separate the counter items from the visitor information. The next option allows you to decide weather the visitors IP will be displayed or not. As per above you also have a text box to assign a word to display next to the IP. The next option is to turn on or off extended visitor information such as the browser and operating system they are using you also have a text box to assign a word to display next to the info. The last option is to display the current date and time and if so what format you would like it to be displayed with. [Figure 21] The time zone is based on your Joomla installation under Site/Global Configuration/Server or user settings.

Figure 21

Who is Online Options - Back to Top

The who is online section is broken up further into three sub sections explained below. [Figure 22]

General: The first option here is to turn on or off the display of the entire Who is Online section. The next option is to display a horizontal line to separate it from the module content above. Next you have the title alignment and format options. Lastly is the display style option you can choose to display the guest and members, the logged in users or both.

Who is Online: Here you have the option to turn on or off the display of a title above this part of the module and also the text you want to be displayed.

Members: Here you have the option to turn on or off the display of a title above this part of the module and also the text you want to be displayed. You also have the option to filter the displayed users to the groups that the current logged in user belongs to.

Figure 22

Module Layout Options - Back to Top

In this section you have several options that affect the layout of the module. First is the module spacing this controls the distance the the counter items are displayed from the left and right sides of the module. A setting of 1 will push them out to the sides of the module and as the number increases they move towards the centre of the module. The next option id the module layout you have three options to choose from.

  • Default - The vertical layout allows both the counters and visitor info.
  • Horizontal - The horizontal layout only allows counters.
  • Compact - The compact layout only displays the horizontal text and the total counter

The next option is the horizontal text this will display to the left of both the horizontal and compact layouts. The last option is the separator this will display between items in both the horizontal and compact layouts. [Figure 23]

Figure 23

System Options - Back to Top

In this section you have the option to preset the counter if for example you reinstalled your site you could preset the total here.[Figure 24]

Figure 24

Advanced Options - Back to Top

The last section contains the advanced options here you can turn on caching and set the time to cache for. You also have the option to assign a module class suffix this allows your template to style the module. You can also assign a unique module id to stop conflicts. The last option is to show support for CoalaWeb you can turn this on or off and assign a word to be published next to the link. [Figure 25]

Figure 25

Plugins - Back to Top

System Plugin - Count - Back to Top

This plugin is crucial to functionality of the system it quietly counts the visits to your site and then records them in the database. It allows you to count the traffic to your site even with the module unpublished and also ensures all traffic is record regardless of the part of the site that they visit.

To ensure proper functionality of CoalaWeb Traffic please make sure this plugin is installed and publish.

System Plugin - Clean - Back to Top

This plugin carry’s out the automatic database clean up but only if you have it turned on in the Component Options. It will run in the background keeping the current data but delete out the old entries and then add them to a running total. It is recommended to turn this feature on.

Have you chosen automatic database clean up? Then this plugin needs to be installed and published.

Need More Help? - Back to Top

Don't forget to check the Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

If you have any other questions or issues that aren't covered by the guide or FAQ drop by our Forum I'm sure we can help.

  • Written by: Steven Palmer
  • Tuesday, 23 April 2013
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