Excuse the cross post

I am thinking about building a logging tool to do visit analysis using SQL,
rather than doing log file analysis.

The aim is to analyse requests for dynamic pages called via php as well as
static pages. Static pages will use an include for logging. Php calls may
have two or three extra parameters which relate to products that are
displayed (this is for ecommerce) which I also want to log. I am looking
particularly at HTTP_REFERER, paths through the site, and most viewed


1. Am I reinventing the wheel? and would it be better to buy a package
(Spending money brings me out in a nasty rash, and leaves me feeling a
little unsteady on my feet, but is sometimes the best option), or use a free
one. The intended audience is non technical managerial type bods so nothing
too difficult to understand :)

2. If I do use an existing package, are there any that are good with dynamic
sites and the parameters passed to scripts, rather than just logging static

3. Writing a database driven stats package on a medium traffic site (3-500
visits a day, Average 8-12 pages per visit=6000 inserts a day, peaking at
2-3 per second ) will mean lots of inserts, and a few reads when the
analysis is run. Running MySql on a 1.5GHz 512MB machine, is it better to
leave the table unindexed and put up with slow analysis, or will the machine
cope with indexes? The data could be aggregated periodically, but if
possible left intact for up to a year to follow trends.

4. Is a (MySql?) database driven system a good answer, or just the wrong way
to go??

Any thoughts and experience much appreciated before I commit to hours of
work and gallons of coffee



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