How To Track Web Site Visitors In Real Time

Using Putty and SSH.

This is perfect if you want to be able to watch your visitors in real time without having to do anything.  Anything besides setting up anyway.

Start by downloading the Putty program.  This program will allow you to login to your web server and view your visitors in real time.

Once you have downloaded the program to your computer, you will see a screen like this.

You will need to know your web server’s I.P. address.  Type the I.P. address into the text box that says Host Name (or IP address), make sure that Port is set to 22 and Protocol: has SSH selected.

Click on Open and a black screen will pop open prompting you to provide a username.  For *nix type servers (Unix, Linux), the username is almost always “root”.  Type that in.

Next provide the server password.  The server password is typically NOT the same as your web site control panel login password.  Contact your tech support if you are not certain.

Next, you will want to change directory (cd) by typing at the prompt:

cd /usr/local/apache/domlogs

Now you want to move into the web site specific subdirectory.  The next subdirectory will be the username of the website you are interested in.  For instance, if your web site domain is mywebsite.com, your username would typically be the first 8 letters of your domain, in this case mywebsit.

cd mywebsit

The next command to use will display the latest visitors to your website and include information like I.P. address, referrer (if available), time / date, page, browser type, etc.

tail -f mysebsite.com

Everytime a page is visited on your web site, Putty will update the display to show the latest information.

When you are doing watching the show, hit the Ctrl-C keys and you will be kicked out of the real time visitor stats.

Ctrl-C

When you want to totally get out of Putty, type “exit” and the Putty program will shutdown.

exit

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOZsoZ9JX_U[/youtube]

The video shows you where to download putty (hint, go to google and type in putty), how to configure Putty (takes 30 seconds if you know your web server’s I.P. address and password), how to change directory and what to type in to view your web site’s visitors in real time.

{ 2 comments }

louie

Dave
I wanted to know if this putty post will work on shared servers. Most companies that I know about don’t allow ssh to a shared hosting account.

thanks
louie

admin

Hi Louie,

I think most shared hosting accounts will not allow you to SSH into the server.

Dave

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