Open Office Productivity Suite

Tired with purchasing new licenses for Microsoft Office, I mean why pay for a word processor, spreadsheet, or presentation application. Switch to the Open Office Productivity Suite and you won’t be disappointed. The best part is it is free, and if that doesn’t want to make you jump on board then how about that it

Google Analytics Quick Start Guide : Part 2 – Tracking Links and Site Search


In Part 1 of the Quick Start Guide we learned how to setup Google Analytics on your web site. In part 2 we are going to learn how to track links on your site that either download content or take users to a different site. Also we will learn how to configure tracking of site searches, If your site has search capabilities.

Link Tracking

Link tracking is a method to track link clicks as a page view within Google Analytics. Please note that you do not want to add additional tracking to navigational links within your site.  The basic Google Analytics code included on those pages will track. Link Tracking is used to track links that either take a user to a different site, tracking how many time a file was downloaded, or if your site utilized AJAX to dynamically update elements on the page you could track if a user sees the dynamic content.

How to Track a Link

  1. The page must include the Google Analytics code in it from Part 1
  2. Add pageTracker._trackPageview(‘url’); to the onclick function of the link


<a href="" onClick="javascript: pageTracker._trackPageview('/outgoing/');">

Additional Notes

  • The User must have Javascript enabled for the link to be tracked
  • To view the link clicks simply access your google analytics account and the link will show up as a page view within the “Content Overview” section.

Site Search

Site Search is a element that allows the user to input a search query and be provided with results to possible pages that match the query they entered. A basic search would allow the user to input a string and return pages that contain the string or tokens (words) in the string. If your site contains a search feature you can enable Google Analytics to track what your visitors search for, this can give you a better idea of how to organize your content.

How to Enable Site Search

  1. Login to your google analytics account
  2. Select the Account that you want to enable site search for.
  3. Select “Edit” under the actions for the profile you want to enable site search on.
  4. Select “Edit” on the right of the section called “Main Website Profile Settings”
  5. Scroll down to the section entitle Site Search
  6. Select “Do Track Site Search”
  7. In the Field “Query Parameters” enter the url paramater that the search string is passed to the search page.  This can be any string but for example /search/?query=Test Search would be query
  8. If desired you can select “Yes, strip query parameters out of URL” so that each unique search query does’nt get tracked as its own page
  9. Click “Save Changes”
  10. Site Search is now enabled on your site

How to View Site Search

To view what users have searched for on your site you would follow the following steps from the Dashboard screen that is accessed by the “View Report” link on the Account Profiles page.

  1. Select Content in the left navigation to expand its sub options
  2. Select “Site Search” from the options within “Content”

From the Site Search Report page you can gather basic information on how many vistors used search, how many searches, and additional information. If you want to see what users are searching for select “Search Terms” in the left navigation within “Site Search”.


Tracking non page links and site searches will help you determine what content on your site visitors find useful.  Using this information will help you refine/ or expand your site to increase traffic and user satisfaction. In part 3 of this guide you will get introduced to “Campaign Tracking” which lets you enhance tracking of how users got to your site via advertisements (banner ads, text links).

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Google Analytics Quick Start Guide : Part 1 – Setup


Google Analytics is a easy to install analytics package useful for tracking activity on both small and large websites. This 3 part guide outlines how to setup and install google analytics on your website as well as explaining the basic information you can get out of the system e.g. Site Visits, Page Views, Bounce Rates, traffic sources, and etc.  I recommend installing analytics on every site you develop as it takes a matter of minutes, and can give you valuable insight into what information on your site visitors are looking for.

Setting Up Your First Account

Setting up your first account is as simple as filling out a few forms.

  1. Go to the google analytics site at
  2. If you don’t have a google account, create one by selecting the  “sign up now” link and following the instructions. If you do have an account proceed to step 3.
  3. Sign in to your account – this should take you to the Account Overview page listing all of your analytic accounts.
  4. Create a new analytics account by selecting “+ add new account”
  5. On the getting started page select the “Sign Up” button.
  6. Next you will be prompted to enter the site information including url, name, country, and time zone.  Once entered press “continue”
  7. On the following screen enter the primary contact for the analytics account, unless this account will be handled by a client enter your information. Press “continue” once completed.
  8. After you enter the contact information you will be prompted to accept google’s privacy policy, you will need to select “yes” to continue. In addition you can also modify the account’s data sharing with google and non-google applications. I personally select Share “with other Google products only”
  9. Click “Create New Account”
  10. Copy the code displayed under the “New tracking Code (ga.js)” and paste it into a document.
  11. Click “Finish”, you should now be back on the overview page displaying your new account.

Installing the code into your site

It is recommended that you place the tracking code copied from step 11 above into your web page right before the closing </body> tag. This way the page is loaded before the tracking code runs. You will need to do this for every page of your website, if you are using a language such as php to output your web pages it would be a good idea to place the code in a separate file that is included in all your pages. Doing so will keep your from modifying your entire site if you need to modify settings in the future. You do not need to make any modifications for if your site is using ssl as the script checks the protocol being utilized.

Once you place your files live on your server tracking will now be functioning.  Please note that you will not see information in real time and will see information up to the previous day.

  <script type="text/javascript">
    var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www.");
    document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost + "' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));
  <script type="text/javascript">
    try {
      var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-6713355-1");
    } catch(err) {}

Understanding the Basic Reports

To view the statistics of your site you will need to log back into google analytics. Once logged in select the analytics account for the site you want to view data on by clicking on the name.  You will now be presented with the profiles set-up for this account select “view report” to go to the report dashboard.  On this page you can get the basic stats of your site.

  • Site Usage
    • Visits – How many visits have there been to your site
    • Pageviews – How many pages have been viewed on your site in total
    • Pages/Visit – On average how many pages does a visitor view
    • Bounce Rate – What percentage of people come to this page then immediately go somewhere else
    • Avg Time on Site – How long does a visitor stay on the site
    • New Visits – Percentage of new visitors to the site
  • Visitors – Displays the number of visitors to your site, note that the number of visitors may be less then the number of visits as a visitor my visit your site multiple time
  • Map Overlay – This feature gives you a global view of where visitors of your site are from and you are able to click in to a state view as well.
  • Traffic Sources Overview – This area displays how users are getting to your site, from direct traffic(typing in the url) search, referral from other sites, etc.
  • Content Overview – The Content Overview lists out the top viewed pages in your site. This area can be used to determine what pages users find helpfull and ones that they don’t.

Conclusion & Next Steps

That concludes Part 1 of the Google Analytics Quick Start Guide, you should now know how to configure google analytics into your websites and what some of the basic stats are that you can retrieve from the system to enhance your visitors experience.  The introduction is continued in Part 2 – Link tracking and Site Search

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Session Fixation

Session Fixation is a security vulnerability where a user sets the Session Identifier (SID) of a user to a known value, allowing them to access your session. This would allow the malicious user to access the user’s private information. For Example: Jason has determined that his neighbor Joe’s bank site is susceptible to a

Javascript String Reverse

Simple Javascript reverse function prototyped onto the String Object.

String.prototype.reverse = function(){
    return this.split("").reverse().join("");

Usage Example:

var test_string = "reverse this string";
var reversed_string = test_string.reverse();
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