FAQ: Statistics for Multiple Sites

Can Sawmill generate separate analyses for all the web sites hosted on my server?

Short Answer

Yes, Sawmill includes a number of features for just this purpose.

Long Answer

Absolutely. This is one of our core design goals -- to make Sawmill a good choice for web hosting providers, ISPs, and others who serve multiple sites from a single server. Sawmill's profiles provide an excellent mechanism for generating different statistics for each customer or web site. If each site has its own log file(s), this is trivial; you can just make a profile that analyzes the appropriate log file. If all sites share a single log file, it's not much harder -- Sawmill's advanced filtering mechanism lets you easily ignore all log entries except those of interest to a particular web site.

The technique you use depends on your situation. In general, you will need to have a separate profile for each user (you can quickly create all of your profiles using the Create/Update Many Profiles feature). For maximum flexibility, each profile can have its own database, and each profile can be password-protected or secured in some other way, to prevent unauthorized users from accessing it. See Security for a discussion of some of the ways profiles can be secured. If each profile has its own database, then the log filters can be used to filter out all statistics except those belonging to the user.

If you don't care if users can access each others' statistics, you can use a single profile with a single database, and give each user a bookmark URL pointing to their statistics in the database; this is the simplest approach, but it makes it possible for one user to see another's statistics, which is usually undesirable.

Advantages of using a single database:

Advantages of using multiple databases:

In summary, you'll usually want to use multiple databases for multiple servers or sites. The main situation you'd want to use a single database for is if you're using FTP over a metered line to fetch the data; a single database will fetch it just once. Even then, though, you could set up an external script to fetch the log data to the local disk once, and then process it locally with Sawmill.