Couple o' questions
First off, running this forum is pretty cool. I've been webmastering since the web was one month old, did it professionally for nine years, have dealt with a fair amount of web hosts, but this is the first one I've ever seen with a forum.
I could probably get my questions answered from BH tech support or customer service, but I like hearing it from the guys in the trenches.
1. Could you give me a quick rundown on what my site limitations are? I'm keep seeing something about CPU overload, and someone was tossing around a 20% figure. Is there a bandwidth constriction?
Also, when I log in via FTP, it says something like "220-You are user number 4 of 50 allowed." So, does that mean the site's limited to 50 viewers at a time? That's important, because I have a bunch of computer guides online, and people will leave the page up while they spend an hour going through the process. I note that I get no such message when logging into my other site, currently being hosted by NetSol.
2. Why don't Webalizer and Awstats work by default? This area of BH is really confusing. There's nothing in that area of the control panel that actually explains what's going on, much less how to activate things, and I'm reading here about editing files on remote servers and changing their attributes and I'm thinking, "Huh?" On the panel, I'm getting the same "There are no domains which have webalizer stats to display." message it appears everyone else is getting. I gave up and went with Google. So, why is BlueHost making it so difficult?
Otherwise, I'm seriously impressed with BH. When I first saw the server space and bandwidth stats (not to mention the number of POP boxes) in some ad, I thought it was a gimmick. Nice to be so wrong.
The CPU limit is probably the most restrictive of the limits that BlueHost impose but you need to either be running a very cpu intensive script or have a huge number of visitors to hit that limit. The very small percentage of BlueHost customers who do regularly hit the CPU limit either have a very badly written script that they are running or are trying to use a script on their site to do something that would be better done on their own computer or they have sufficient visitors that they really ought to have dedicated hosting. The documentation about the CPU limit can be found at http://helpdesk.bluehost.com/kb/inde...od_id=2&id=498
The bandwidth limits are such that you'd have to have a really high number of visitors for it to affect them.
The FTP limit is on the number of connections to upload files that can be used at the same time. The number of people who can visit your site at the same time is limited by the available bandwidth at all the points between them and the server.
BlueHost gives you a choice of stats programs. If you don't want to use a particular stats program then you don't run that program and hat reduces your CPU usage by the amount that running that stats program would require. A number of people running scripts that are somewhat CPU intensive have found that their scripts will run without exceeding the CPU limit provided that they are not also trying to run awstats.
Thanks, Stephen. I figured the "50 users" limitation was just an FTP thing, and I won't worry about CPU and bandwidth probs as I'm not doing anything 'intensive' on my site. Just standard web pages and pics.
That still leaves the mystery why BH has Awstats and Webalizer turned off by default, and no instructions on how to turn them on. Maybe it's been a while since you had a brand new account, but when you go to the control panel and fire up either program, all you get back is a "There are no domains which have [Webalizer/Awstats] stats to display" message. There's no help on the page, no help in the Help file, and no help on either home site.
Control Panel, the Logs section, Choose Log Programs. Check the boxes, and hit Save.
Yes, I remember a few years ago that Bluehost used to have these on by default. There was a letter from Matt at Bluehost telling us that we now need to turn them on if we want to see stats. Something about improving performance on the servers--not everybody uses awstats.
Is that button new? When I was looking things over a few months ago when I signed up, I could have sworn I clicked on everything in the area. Twice, if memory serves. I certainly would have clicked on something with the obvious name of "Choose Log Programs" since that's exactly what I was trying to do.
While it's a little tough to figure out from reading between the lines, I gather what's going on is having both log programs running by default is an accumulated drain on the server? That is, it's just reading a brief 'ping' from the site as each page is hit, but you multiply that by a million 'pings' and things start to clog up? So it makes sense that they'd be off be default -- as long as there's a nice "Choose Log Programs" button nearby, of course.
Given that, I'm surprised BH isn't pushing Google Analytics more, since the 'ping' is using their server power, not BH's. While I haven't compared them yet, and I'd certainly guess the two in-house versions are more powerful than Google's, the Google stats look like they'd satisfy most folks.
T'anks for the feedback,
I had to go looking for the icon - I think it may have been called something else in an earlier version of cPanel, but frankly, I don't remember things so good these days.
I'm not sure exactly how the log programs operate. I believe the raw access logs continue to accumulate, even if both awstats and Webalizer are shut off. I think the drain on the system comes when it's time to open up those raw logs, and generate summary stats.
I also use Google Analytics, and keep discovering new "slices" of the information available in there. Some very nice stuff. But I come back to awstats to look at things like the 404 errors on my sites (helps hunt down problems).
Podcast with strong amount of traffic
If I have a podcast using BlueHost, do you recommend not turning on Webalizer Stats?