A very kind reader asked a few blog posts ago how I track the time of day and usage on the blog, to know when the best time of day to post a blog post.  I answered her in the comments, but I thought I would give some more details in a new post, as well.

* image from StatCounter’s web site

I use a nifty little counter called StatCounter, which is compatible with WordPress.  All you have to do is add a Text Box widget in any of your themes, and you are able to track all the stats of your blog.

Once you are there, login, choose your “product” (blog site), and head down to “Download Logs.”

Now, there are two things that you are going to have to remember.

The first is that you only have 500 entries, or 500 hits to your site that you are allowed at any one time.  If you receive more than 500 in a given day, then you rock and you should seriously consider upgrading StatCounter to the 15,000 limit ($5 per month), hosting your blog on its own server (which gives you free stats, but which would stink cuz you’d leave the wonderful WordPress community), or finding another counter service.

Secondly, the date and time fields are squished together, which means you are going to have to manually count.  If you download the file and save it your desktop, however, you can do a Find and Replace in any text editor (such as Notepad).  Highlight the two spaces between the date and the time, and replace it with this:


That is a quote, comma, quote.

I do this each morning for the previous day (I don’t have more than 500 hits per day), and I save this information in a master log file.  At the end of the month, I intend to look at all of the statistics, and plan my blogging posts accordingly.

How about you?  What stat counter do you use?