August 5, 2002-- Newsletter #192

By Joe Burns

Goodies to Go (tm)
August 5, 2002--Newsletter #192

This newsletter is part of the network.

Goodies Announcement

The new Beyond HTML Goodies book has just been released!


Go beyond the basics and learn how the pros add and use dynamic HTML features and advanced JavaScript techniques. Beyond HTML Goodies demonstrates dozens of new and different features readers can add to their existing Web pages using HTML and JavaScript. The book starts with simple text and image tips, such as adding a clock to a Web page or causing text to appear when the mouse moves over an image. It gradually builds to more complex tricks, including manipulating forms or working with cookies behind the scenes. Throughout the book, readers enjoy Joe's snappy style and "to the point" discussion of each "goody" in the book.



Goodies Thoughts - Web Statistics

People are naturally statistic junkies. Some of us are more addicted than others but we all are interested in statistics just the same. You see statistics every day on television, at work and in the newspapers. How many people are injured in drunk driving accidents, what is the percentage of unemployed, how many people visit Washington D.C. each year, who leads the American League in RBI's this year; they are all part of our statistical obsessions.


So, then why shouldn't we be curious about web statistics? It's natural. Even if you only develop sites for yourself and family, you are probably still interested to see how many people visit your site, when they visit, what browser they use, etc. So, for all you statistical junkies out there, this week we will take a look at some of the most common statistics and how they can help you analyze your website.


There are literally hundreds of software packages out there that you can install to analyze your website visitors. Since there are so many, I'm not going to take the time to discuss the different software packages. Odds are you are on a hosted server of some kind anyway and you already have some sort of statistical software available to you. If you have your own server(s), though, and are looking for some good web software you might want to check out WebTrends or LiveStats.


There are several terms used in web statistical analysis that, at first glance, would make you think they are pretty much the same thing. The total hits, sessions and page views might sound like they are almost the same but in fact they are quite different.


Hits - This refers to the number of requests made to the server. What that means is that each time anything is requested from your server, it counts as a hit. This includes graphics, files, CGI scripts and pretty much any kind of request that you can think of. For example, if you have a page that has 30 different graphics on it, its hit count will total 31 which is 1 for the initial page call and 1 for each of the 30 graphics that are requested within the page. There is a lot of debate as to the usefulness of this particular statistic.


Sessions - This particular type if statistic is often much more telling than the hits statistic. It counts the number of visitors rather than the number of requests to the server. It does this by tracking IP addresses. Each visitor will have their own unique IP address when they visit your site.


Page Views - This is kind of the in between statistic. It counts the number page requests for your web. It doesn't care whether the same person is making multiple requests or whether the page itself is making several requests for graphics. It just counts each time a page is requested.


There are also some other very useful statistics that you may be interested in. The ones that I look at frequently are the browser statistics. I like to know what percentage of my viewers are looking at the site in Internet Explorer vs. Netscape, how new the browsers are, and what type of operating system they are using.


By knowing what type of browsers are being used I can better determine where to put my energies. For example, if 99% of my web's viewers are Internet Explorer users, I may choose to use some "Internet Explorer only" tags in my HTML. By knowing how new the average user's browser is I can determine whether or not to use some advanced DHTML or JavaScript. By knowing the most common platform, I can gear advertising and links toward those types of users.


Search engine statistics are another useful statistic that you will find on most statistical software packages. This can be very useful if you are relying on search engines to drive traffic to your site. You should be able to view statistics on not just what search engine sent you a referral but what keyword was used to find you on that search engine. If you are advertising on any search engines, this type of analysis is a must.


Those are the basic elements for most web statistical software. With those basic elements, most packages will allow you to create different reports that will help you paint a very accurate picture of your viewers. Over a period of time you should be able to determine things like your peak traffic day,  what page(s) your visitors tend  to go to first and even how long they stay at your site.


All of the statistics together will give you a good idea of what is and is not working for you. See if your web host has any statistical analysis software available to you.


Thanks for reading!


Quiz Goodies

In the world of web and software development, you will probably hear the term "work-around" tossed about frequently. What is a work-around?


Read answer below.

Q & A Goodies

Questions are taken from submissions to our Community Mentors. You can ask a Mentor a question by going to



Q. I am wondering how to make a link that links further down to a certain spot on the page. Like say it is a lyrics page and you are at the top, you click number 7 and it brings you right down to number 7. How would I go about doing this?


A. To create an anchor, first you must create the link, just as you would create any other link. Only instead of placing a URL or page name in the HREF part, you would use the # sign, followed by the name of the anchor. Then create the link and close the tag. Like so:

<A HREF="#seven">Number 7</A>

Once you have created a link to the anchor, you must define the anchor itself. This must be done where you want the link to go to. You define the anchor simply by giving it a name. In this case that name would be seven.

This is number <A NAME="seven">seven.</A>


*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community. The answer was provided by Marty Bozeman, one of our HTML Mentors.


Q. I purchased a domain name through internet solutions and my server is through CWI hosting. I have uploaded all my info to their server but am told that my domain name is still pointing to the DNS. Can you please refer me to a site that has directions on how to do this. I have been unable to find anything.


A. It sounds as though your Domain Name Server (DNS) is pointing to the place where you registered your domain name. You have to point them to CWI's DNS. According to the CWI web site their DNS is:





You have to go to Internet Solutions at and log into your account. There should be a link to designate the DNS. They will ask for the primary and secondary DNS. Place the information above in the proper places and you should be set to go. It could take up to 48 hours for this to resolve itself after you change the DNS. Also, according to CWI, their DNS changes from time to time. They suggest you call and get the up to date DNS from them before making the changes.


*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community. The answer was provided by Bob Conley, one of our Web Design Mentors.


Q. I'm getting frustrated with the difference between IE and Netscape.

What I'm trying to do is:

Place an image exactly where I want it in the page, either by position, or layers and change its SRC by clicking a link.

I can change the image if its not positioned where I want it but as soon as I put it in a layer or div, I cant.

The above works with IE but not with Netscape.


A. With Netscape 4 version browsers if you place something within a div and you want to change it you have to also specify the div name. It would go something like this:


Below is an example that will work in Netscape 4, Netscape 6+ and IE5+ browsers. The script was configured so that you can use it for more than one image change in a div.



<TITLE>Change Image In Div</TITLE>


function chgimg(divname,imgname,image)














<DIV ID="div1" STYLE="position:absolute; top:185px; left:15px">

<img src="0.gif" name=img1 width=180>


<A HREF="#" onClick="chgimg('div1','img1','1.gif')">Welcome</A><BR>




*** This question was submitted to our Mentor Community. The answer was provided by Jim Young, one of our JavaScript Mentors.

News Goodies

UWB (Ultra Wide Band), wireless with some serious attitude?

Click here to read the article


Announcements of security bugs are being put on a strict need-to-know basis.

Click here to read the article


The W3C is still hard at work ironing out XHTML standards, the future fusion of HTML and XML.

Click here to read the article

Quiz Answer

If you have been doing much software development at all, you will quickly realize that just because the documentation says that some code will behave a certain way doesn't always mean that it necessarily will in real life. A work-around is what a developer does to "get around" problems in his code.


There are a few different reasons a developer will have to create a work-around:


Bad Code - We mentioned above that things don't always work as they are intended. That is most certainly the case in any kind of software development. When a certain piece of code doesn't work as it is supposed to, often developers will be forced to come up with alternative solutions to reach their goals. This usually involves more code than would have otherwise been required.


Compatibility Issue - This is the instance that web developers come across most often. With people using all different kinds of browsers, it can be very difficult to get code to work in all situations, especially in JavaScript. Coming up with work-arounds for older browsers is a common task for JavaScript and other developers.


Special Situations - On occasion, developers will find that their code may work in most instances but will fail under certain circumstances, even though it shouldn't. When this occurs, developers will often try to account for those special situations and build a work-around that avoids generating an error.



And Remember This . . .

Today marks the 45th anniversary of American Bandstand. It was in 1957 that Dick Clark introduced Rock and Roll to teenagers in the relatively new medium of television. Every week the show offered live bands and the newest dance steps and quickly became one of the hottest shows on television.

Thanks for reading Goodies to Go!


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