Blog Post

Two Alternative Solutions for Site Analytics

If you’re at all involved with web site analytics, you probably use Google Analytics. It does a very good job of providing many views of how traffic is coming to a site, traffic trends, and more. However, it can be very useful to add alternative analytics tools to your arsenal. In this post, I’ll cover two excellent alternative examples that I like to use.

Piwik, seen above, is open source web analytics software. The really cool thing about Piwik is that a community of users contributes new plug-ins on an ongoing basis, and these let you see unusual views of your site data.

Piwik’s plug-ins are called widgets, and you can get a sample of how several of them work in the application’s online demo. If you are a developer, or you want to track new features in Piwik, visit the Developer Zone. Piwik has open APIs that allow you to easily customize your own widgets.

As you add and subtract the widgets you want to use in Piwik, you’re essentially customizing a site analytics interface for your own needs. Piwik also installs on your server, and your data is stored in your own database, not online. This application is worth a look.

I’ve also gotten good use out of Visitorville. Visitorville gets written off by some users as having a cartoon-like interface, but it can reveal unusual trends in your site traffic. Rather than the usual numbers and graphics found in site analytics products, it shows your site traffic within a visual metaphor that looks like a bustling city.

Within the depiction of the city, you can see Google buses arriving, showing the visitors coming to your site from Google, and many more visual metaphors. Visitorville also lets you track your Adwords, Yahoo campaigns and the success of your e-mail campaigns. While you can download a free trial version, you do have to pay moderate subscription fees for ongoing use of Visitorville. The prices start at $19.95 a month for a basic plan, and you can find more information here.

In addition to being useful, these alternative site analytics solutions are fun. Do you use any alternatives to Google Analytics?

11 Responses to “Two Alternative Solutions for Site Analytics”

  1. Mint is very popular among the web design community – it offers real-time data, but lacks long-term trending features, so it’s a good one-two with Analytics.

    I’m also planning to check out Woopra too, which promises the ability to interact with site visitors as they browse your site. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing remains to be seen…

  2. Google Analytics provides great geo-targetting data and general trends, but its count of users is always off.

    I use the very boring but very usable Webalizer for my stats and trends. But then, I’m a little ol’ school.

  3. Dear Mr. Dean, you clearly haven’t taken for a test drive! I’d love to chat, give me a call and I’ll give you a demo of VisiStat’s real-time Website tracking tools.

    (408) 725-9377