Once your site is up and running, it is important that you can measure its effectiveness over time. This means knowing how many visitors it attracts, and from where, and what they are doing while on your site. For ecommerce sites in particular, this is vital information.
The simplest way to monitor your site traffic is to look at the log files kept by your hosting company. these will tell you how may visitors your site receives over a given period as well as lots of information about those visitors. You will need some software to be able to interpret this information, but this is normally supplied by the host as part of the site management.
There are many tracking services available which tend to give more useful reports than the log files themselves, and some of these are free. The most popular of these is Google Analytics. These let you track conversions such as sales and relate them to advertising or marketing campaigns, Also, you can set up reports which give you the information which is specific to your site.
Some of the open source packages we use as a foundation for our sites have a certain amount of tracking functionality built in. This tends to be the simplest to set up and access, but may not be sufficient for all purposes.
At the requirements analysis phase, we will discuss the options with you to ensure that you can adequately monitor the important metrics affecting your site. That way, you'll be able to tell if your goals are being met.