FAQ: Dynamic URLs

My web site uses dynamic URLs instead of static pages; i.e. I have lots of machine-generated URLs that look like /file?param1=value1&param2=value2.... Can Sawmill report on those?

Short Answer

Yes, but you need to delete the "(parameters)" log filter first.

Long Answer

Sawmill can handle URLs/pages in any format, but by default it strips off the parameters (the part after the question mark) to save space in the database. most people don't need the parameters, but if you have a dynamic web site, you do. to see the parameters, so this:

  1. Go to the Config section of your profile.

  2. Click Log Filters.

  3. Find the Log Filter which replaces everything after "?" with "(parameters)".

  4. Delete that log filter.

  5. Rebuild the database.

Now, when you look at the "Pages" or "Pages/directories" view, you should see your complete URLs, along with the parameters.

If you want to take it a step further, you can also set up log filters to extract certain sections of your URLs, and put them in custom fields, to make your statistics more readable. For instance, if you have a store with several items in it, you can create an "items" field, with an associated "Top items" view, and you can set up a log filter to extract the item number (or name) from the URL and put it in the "items" field. Or you can even set up a filter to extract the item numbers from your URLs, convert them to the actual name of the item, stick them in the "item" field, and report them in the "top items" view. This is an example of a "custom field" -- see Creating Custom Fields for information on how to create one.