Based in Seattle, Washington, Allrecipes.com is the leading community-based recipe and meal planning Web site, offering unique tools and resources including: recipes, nutritional information, scaling, menus, tips, shopping lists, culinary ware and news. Founded in 1997, Allrecipes.com makes cooking, learning and shopping easy and fun for everyone from the novice to the experienced cook. Allrecipes.com offers thousands of user-submitted and third- party recipes; RecipeNotes, a free, biweekly e-mail newsletter; and a culinary store featuring hand-selected kitchenware related to the recipes.
As a high-traffic Web site, Allrecipes.com must remain in tune with its visitor behavior in order to keep the content compelling, easy to navigate and reliable. We continually update the site, introduce new tools and make new resources available to our users. Accurate and timely usage of information is crucial for our IT and marketing staff to evaluate the effectiveness of new services and to quickly identify and resolve any problems or bottlenecks on the site. Allrecipes.com initially attempted to tackle the challenge with standard Web log analysis software packages. We quickly found that these software packages were processor-intensive and produced unsatisfactory results. Web log analysis exhausted a tremendous amount of company resources. Output reflected only a minimal skim of the statistics for example, how many pages were served and what pages were the most popular. Manually aggregating more than 500 monthly reports required the efforts of multiple staff members. Reports were typically delayed by two weeks, and the information was often incomplete or vague. Allrecipes.com's marketing and information technology (IT) staff began evaluating analytic vendors and tools. There were many choices, but few that fit our budget and available resources. One enterprise solution was cost-prohibitive to deploy and maintain. We evaluated an ASP solution that was more affordable, but would have required us to completely re-instrument our site with data tags. No matter how Allrecipes.com looked at these options, they were all fiscally impossible.
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