Community Knowledge Base

General Settings

This feature is only available to site administrators.

Site Administrators can use this page to control how a website's log files are processed. For example, SmarterStats can be configured to ignore specific query strings variables, directories or host headers.

That said, modifying how a site's log files are processed can mean that some data is skipped or that certain types of data are excluded from a site's reporting. Therefore, it's recommended that, prior to any changes being made to the general settings for a site, that at least ONE site is created that processes all of the log data available for a domain. Then, secondary sites can be created that have log processing rules applied and/or items ignored that offer subsets of the primary data. For example:

  • SmarterTools Website – This is the primary website that has ZERO settings modifications so that all log data for the domain is processed, and so this site can act as a baseline for other secondary sites that have some data excluded.
  • SmarterTools - No Office Traffic – This is a secondary site that has a Log Processing Rule that excludes the IP addresses for the SmarterTools office and/or network so that internal traffic is excluded from any reports.

To access this section, log in as a Site Administrator and click the Settings icon. Then click General Settings in the navigation pane. The general settings will load in the content pane and the following tabs will be available:


Use this tab to specify the following options:

  • Site URL - The URL of the website in which you are gathering statistics for.
  • Time Zone - Select your time zone from the list.

Ignore Items

Use this tab to specify items that should be ignored:

  • Query string items to ignore - If you have query string variables in your site that have near random values such as page refresh randomizers or session IDs, add the names of the query variables to this text box, separated with commas. If you enable this option, the system will start ignoring the value of those variables when calculating page hits. The hits will still be registered, but without that variable. Please note that this option is a pre-filter, meaning that once you enable it, you cannot get the values of those variables back unless you keep the original logs.
  • Enable removal of URL items after semicolon - Check this box if the website passes session variables in the URL separated with a semicolon.

Log Processing Rules

Use this tab to add exclusions or inclusions to your stats data. Unlike filter sets, exclusions and inclusions are processed before logs are analyzed, meaning that SmarterStats acts as if removed rows do not exist in the logs whereas filter sets simply hide the data from specific reports.

Log processing rules can be used when creating secondary or sub-sites and shouldn't be set for any primary website. As mentioned, having at least ONE website added to SmarterStats that processes the raw data in the log files, without any exclusions or limitations, is recommended so that the site can act as a baseline. Then, sub-sites can be created, that point to the same log location as the primary site, that have log processing rules applied to exclude items from the reports. (NOTE: After log processing rules are created for a sub-site, that site will need its logs reprocessed. Failure to reprocess the logs for the sub-site means that any processing rules are ignored.)

To create an exclusion or inclusion, click the Add menu in the content pane toolbar and click Log Processing Rule. The following options will be available:

  • Type - To specify the type of item to be included or excluded from log processing, select the appropriate option from the list. Depending on the item selected, you may be asked to provide the specific directory, IP address, path, filename or host header. Available rule types are: Exclude an IP Address, Exclude a Range of IP Addresses, Exclude a File, Exclude a Directory (and children), Include a Directory (others will be ignored), Exclude a Host Header, Include a Host Header or Exclude a Request URI.

Query Variables

Query variables can be used to differentiate multiple pages that would normally be processed and displayed as only one page. Use this tab to specify query variables that should be processed as separate pages based on the variables passed through the page. For example, imagine you're tracking the following URLs:

Without a query variable, reports would display these pages together as "/dir1/page.php". After adding a query variable and reprocessing the site stats, reports would then display the following:


To add a query variable to SmarterStats, click the Add menu in the content pane toolbar and click Query Variable. The following options will be available:

  • Match Type - To specify how the page information is used to determine which pages are query variables, select the appropriate option from the list.
  • Page - The page information used to determine which pages are query variables. From the example above, if the match type is set to Exact, you would enter "/dir1/page.php". If the match type is set to Ends With, you would enter "page.php".
  • Query String Variables - The variables used to determine which pages are query variables. From the example above, the query string variable would be "src". This denotes that if the variable has a value of 1, it would be treated as a separate page from a value of 3. Note: An equal sign (=) is not required in the list, and a warning will display when one is present.