DreamHost statistics with a root WordPress installation

If you own one or more of the 350K domains hosted with Dreamhost, you may be interested in using their statistics tracking system. However, if you have WordPress installed at the root of your domain, the /stats/ URL is inaccessible and only results in a 404 error, as WordPress tries to parse /stats/ as a permalink to a post or page. This is due to the .htaccess directives that WordPress employs.

The solution is on the DreamHost wiki and can be added to the top of your .htaccess file fairly quickly:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/(stats|failed_auth\.html)/?(.*)$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^.*$ - [L]

This code comes before the WordPress commented line:
# BEGIN WordPress

Alternatively, if you’re concerned about people possibly bruteforcing your statistics username and password (since it uses simple HTTP authentication), you can deny public access to /stats/ and access the logfiles from an SSH session. Keep in mind that this will be a text-based view of your statistics.

ssh user@yourdomain.com
cd logs/yourdomain.com/http/html
links index.html

The logs directory is accessible under your home directory (~). You could also always run a tar/gzip command on the ~/logs/yourdomain.com/http/html directory and SFTP/FTP the file, then view the stats locally.

For more information, such as performing the same operation with Ruby on Rails apps or TextPattern, check the wiki.