Chapter 16. Network Properties

Pick up any book about building web sites and it’s pretty much guaranteed to have at least a few pages on usability. Usability is, simply, how usable your web site is to visitors. And as you saw in Chapter 15, there are a lot of usability factors that impact your web site traffic. But those are all factors directly related to the web site.

Usability doesn’t end there, however. There are some elements of usability over which you have absolutely no control. Most notably, the network properties available to your site visitors can have a hug impact on the usability of your site. Factors such as network location, hostnames, and even connection speeds can change the usability quotient of your site. And that’s exactly why it’s important to monitor these factors.

The Network Properties section of Google Analytics shows you some of the important measurements that you might otherwise take for granted. The data collected for these reports aren’t earth-shattering; however, the data will help you design your site so that it’s accessible by as many visitors as possible.

Network Location

When you see the term “network location,” you might think it refers just to the geographic location of a network. In this instance, you’d be wrong. The Network Location report, shown in Figure 16-1, is misleading because it actually tells you to what ISP (Internet service provider) or corporate network visitors to your site are connected.

Figure 16-1. The Network Location report provides ...

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