Dynamic Pages / Querystrings -> Manual completely ambiguous
Question asked by Andy Schmidt - 3/13/2015 at 9:37 AM
trying to figure out what to do with the General Settings Import Filters vs. Dynamic Pages - BOTH allow you to add a "Dynamic Page" - yet that filter/feature is NOT mentioned in the help at all.
Let's assume the URLs we are trying to track is:
http : // www.mydomain.com/DE/download/download-photo-classic/?src=test3
WHAT goes into the "page" field? Starts with: "/DE/download/" ? With or without the http : //? With or without the host name? With or without the leading slash?
WHAT goes into the query string variables? Just "src" or "src=" or the variable AND each possible value: "src=test3"?
Most importantly - what is the EFFECT accomplished by that? What will happen once I enter that?
What's the difference of adding the same information under the "Filter" menu item vs the "Dynamic Page" menu item? BOTH have the SAME submenu of "Dynamic Page"!?
Finally - and most importantly - how does SmarterStats DETERMINE what IT considers a dynamic page? The presence of a query string? A certain file type? What if (as in the above case), the URL requests a "default document" - so there is NO file type visible in the URL?

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Grady Werner Replied
Employee Post Marked As Answer
Good point Andy.  I'll respond to your questions here then pass a link to this thread over to the documentation team for them to make some corrections.
First, the menu is a little confusing, because it doesn't change with which tab you're on, which isn't consistent with the rest of SmarterTools Products.  Add > Import Filter always adds an import filter regardless of what tab is visible, and the same is true for Add > Dynamic Pages.
As far as the specifics of dynamic pages, let's assume you're tracking the URLs below:
For the Page, we'd add /dir1/page.php
For the Query String Variables, we'd add "src" without the quotes.  This will begin to track every variant of src= in the query string to determine page uniqueness.
After entering that information for all your dynamic sites, you should reprocess stats to get the information into historically imported data.
The final effect of this is that the top pages, downloads, files, etc. reports will now show separate rows for each variation. 
Before adding a dynamic page, the report would look like this:
After the dynamic page is added, it would look like this:
Regarding how SmarterStats determines a dynamic page, it is determined by the query string being present and having a definition in general settings.  Having a default page should not effect the results, as you'd just define the hit to the folder instead (preferrably with a Starts With like '/dir1/dir2' so it gets all the variants.
I hope this helps.
Grady Werner
SmarterTools Inc.
Andy Schmidt Replied
I'm working with your support staff and send them my XML config file and sample log file - because it appears to not be "working as designed".
Andy Schmidt Replied
Hey Grady - thanks for "filling in the blanks".
Allow me to clarify two items:
Your example states to add "dir1/page.php" - and I notice that you omitted the leading slash. Is that intentional/required? In other words, it wouldn't match a "starting with" or "exact" of "/dir1/page.php"?
Secondly, if I understand you correctly, the "Dynamic Pages" you configure in "General Settings" are in no way related to the "Dynamic Pages" in the regular reports? Also, they are in no way related to list of File Types that you can configure system wide?
Assuming that being so, then I believe it's non-intuitive to use the same terminology to refer to two completely different sets of features. If the General Settings are really about "Query Variable" harvesting and don't even require the list of filetypes to match the "Dynamic Pages" file types configured elsewhere in the system, then I suggest calling it something different (e.g. General Settings -> "Query Variables")
Best Regards,
Grady Werner Replied
Employee Post
The omission of the preceding slash was just a typo. I have corrected it. You are correct that the dynamic pages in general systems (system level) are not connected to the site ones, and I agree that the wording is ambiguous and will bring it up for discussion.
Grady Werner
SmarterTools Inc.

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