A month ago I have stopped using Google Analytics for my site and instead gave a try to Piwik – an open source, PHP/MySQL based real time web analytics application. Since then it has been working well for my site and overall to me it looks like a better alternative to Google Analytics.
Here are the things that I like:
- Real Time Visitor Log – this is a very cool feature as it shows in real time who is on your site, where they came from and what they do:
- Hourly Visits Chart – shows number of visits throughout the day
- Real-Time-ness in general – all the reports, such as keywords, referring sites and search engines, visitors, etc are available for today, as opposed to previous day in Google Analytics. This allows to immediately react to any problems that may occur on the site throughout the day.
- Ability to opt-out – any visitor can opt out from being recorded for web analytics purposes. For example I have opted out myself so that my own visits to my site do not skew the statistics.
Piwik is available in the Web Application Gallery and there are several ways you can try it out:
- Use Web Platform Installer to setup Piwik on your IIS server;
- Use Microsoft WebMatrix to setup Piwik on a development machine, try it out and then deploy on a hosting server;
- And finally use one of the free cloud hosting preview offers listed here http://www.iis.net/previewoffers.
The setup experience for Piwik on any of those hosting preview servers is very simple. Once you register your account, create a MySQL database that will be used by Piwik:
Make sure to take note of the database server name that hosts your newly created database – you will need to enter it later during Piwik installation procedure.
After that go to the Gallery tab, use the search box to find Piwik and then follow the simple installation steps.
On the database setup page enter the database connectivity settings that you’ve obtained when you created a new MySQL database:
Specify the site you want to track:
ruslany on May 16th 2011 in Other