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on Feb 11, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite

I'm using Google Analytics primarily.

getclicky is fine below 100,000 page views per day, but I've passed that milestone.

woopra was my favourite for tracking user activity, but 10,000 views per day is barely an hour in the day so not a large enough window.

If you're above 100,000 page views then I think Google Analytics still rocks.

The only issue I've had with Google Analytics is the lack of an API to publish the stats back to the site or elsewhere. But you can get around this by having an email subscription to receive Xml, then deliver that to a public Google Groups set up for announce, and use Yahoo Pipes to parse the attached Xml and re-publish it as JSON... if anyone cares I've published a pipe for this here: http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/pipe.info?_id=f633ec8e5eabfe3c3...

Even with GA, once you get above 1M pageviews a day, it starts to get unreliable, especially for data that involves drilling down to complex URL structures and durations. I believe they start sampling at some point to save processing on their end.

There is no single analytics solution that would be fully satisfactory. The ones based on web bugs (e.g. Google Analytics) slow down your site and usually have clunky, slow and/or limited interfaces. Additionally, better ones are getting expensive for more serious use (also, I prefer one time fee over subscriptions).

Local analyzers of server logs do not filter out well robots and also logistics of transferring and updating logs is a pain.

I use Google Analytics, though not everywhere. Almost always I supplement it with some sort of local log processing. Over the time I tried several log analyzing tools, but I kept using only Visitors [1] and WebLogExpert [2]. I remember Web Log Storming [3] was also good: very fast and it allowed to track individual visitors.

Though often I just end up doing some custom logs processing, either by some Python script, or (more common) by some combination of Unix command line tools, directly ssh-ed into the server.

For example, to get real-time referrers:

  cat access.log | grep "GET / HTTP" | grep -v '"-"'
If there is a lot of traffic, just use "tail -n XXX" instead of "cat".

[1] http://www.hping.org/visitors

[2] http://www.weblogexpert.com

[3] http://www.datalandsoftware.com/weblog/

http://getclicky.com/ is my favorite.

I'm using Clicky and Google. I did a Vs post a few weeks back on the two: http://www.reynoldsftw.com/2009/01/web-stats-clicky-vs-googl...

Haven't seen that one. Looking at the homepage is looks like a Web 2.0 version of Google Analytics.

How is it any different?

Oh, scrolling down I see a very, very large feature matrix. Hah!

It looks like the differentiator is a visitor-centric view? Plus more flexible and customizable data?

I love the ability to add custom data such as usernames to the tracking system using Javascript.

I run a few membership websites and being able to see visitor's usernames and track their actions that way is invaluable.

Yes, Clicky is more visitor centric, including tracking custom data per visitor, but plenty of good overview data as well. Plus the whole thing is real time, including goals and campaign tracking. Plus a very powerful API. Check out the Spy feature too.

GA does a number of things that Clicky doesn't, but the opposite is also true, as you can see by the handy dandy matrix you mentioned.

Disclaimer: I am the developer. :P

Hey, you developed Clicky? Can you send me an email? I have feedback! hi@dustincurtis.com

Interesting. Looks really nice. I'll give it a shot..

Hah, I'll give it a shot. It looks really cool.

The matrix isn't that helpful, though. It's pretty big and uses a lot of clicky-specific phraseology.

I agree, I would recommend paring it down to the most important features/differences than the other offers.

Nice use of the Silk icon set.

I don't like that getclicky does not allow specific URLs (i.e. http://www.abc.edu/~username)

For the above URL, it cuts it down to http://www.abc.edu/

Does it really cut off ~ URLs? No one has ever mentioned that to me. I'll look into it.

Of course, we normally log full referrers, even dynamic ones, so you can see the actual sites linking to you. It's not such a big issue more recently, but it used to be nearly every tracking service would cut out the query parameters, making referrer tracking not very useful.

The top plan maxes out at 100k page views per day? They don't have anyone bigger than that? That makes me nervous.

We allow sites up to 300K daily. The default plans just go up to 100K, but you can create a custom plan also.

Ah, I see now. I definitely missed that the first time skimming the site (and so did a colleague).

I suggest adding a column to the chart on the Learn More page that says that.

It does say that in the paragraph right above the table. For sure, adding another column would make it more obvious, but I feel like that would be overwhelming. I have a problem with the number of columns we have already :)

Hi jfarmer, I love your blog and I am an avid reader though I wish you posted more.

I would recommend you take a look at http://mixpanel.com and I think you'll see it's exactly what you've been itching for.

Feel free to contact me and I can set you up with an account: suhail[at]mixpanel[dot]com

Google's Website Optimizer offers A/B and multivariate testing at https://www.google.com/analytics/siteopt/splash I haven't used it personally, but it may be worth checking out.

I've used it personally, and it works as advertised. It sits independent of google analytics, if I remember correctly, so it doesn't matter what analytics tools you're using.

As long as you're only running a few tests at a time, you're willing to embed javascript on the pages you're testing and let the serving of the tested sections be handled by google (which adds a bit of latency I'd guess, though not much), it's a great way to get into testing. Hands down better than not testing.

I'm still old school in that way. I use awstats:


I really should be using something more sophisticated. But to keep things simple, awstats is just fine.

I've actually found awstats to be more management overhead per domain than a JavaScript-based solution like GA.

It's also difficult to weed out new bots with awstats, which bloats traffic results (and my ego!).

Very true. I do have a script to run on each domain separately, but I really should use something more sophisticated :)

Edit: I'll try sharing the script when I head back home

I'm currently using a combination of GA and StatCounter. I use SC to see what's going on in real-time and use GA for long-term trend analysis.

As someone else mentioned, the downside of real-time is that you have to constantly sit and refresh to see what's going on.

I'd like to see a package that notifies me when a significant action happens on my site. Like if I were to start getting hits from a new referrer, or see a statistically significant spike in page views for a certain page. Does anyone know of a solution that does something like this?

I prefer Mint (haveamint.com). It's not necessarily the script itself that makes it worthwhile, but the huge amount of plugins ("peppers") you can get to extend it.

I have a mint license, but at the time I was trying to integrate it, it did not support download tracing very well - do you know if this has been improved? Thanks!

I use the Downloads pepper by Till Krüss - tracks everything I've chucked at it :)

My company (www.rjmetrics.com) develops software that you can use to analyze your users in different ways than web traffic analytics, things like tracking customer lifetime value, churn analysis, and segmentation by any data on which you track your user base (registration date, geography, plan, etc). We actually recently wrote a blog post on why a tool to analyze your database is a great complement to a tool to track your traffic.


For the record, we use Google analytics and of course we are ravenous consumers of our own dogfood.

I use statcounter and Reinvigorate. I only need analytics for my blog so these two suffice.

I tried woopra for a while but it was crap. Never updated any of the stats and many of the charts always showed as loading

How does Reinvigorate work? It looks like it just streams activity to you? Is it real-time only or is there more to it?

I find real-time stats are addictive but ultimately counterproductive. I just refresh, refresh, refresh all day long.

It does provide a real time activity stream through a download-able app. But I did not require it since I don't have that high of a viewership..

What I like most about Reinvigorate is that the fairly clean UI and no complex charts. All are simple (unlike GA which I can never make sense of.. Yeah I sucked in statistics :( )

I've been using a mix of Google Analytics and Mint but am keen to try Piwik, which is open source. Anyone using it?


Yes I'm using it secondary to google analytics. Since the API is open it allows us to pull basic stats into the homepage of our site control panels which is cool.

IMO it still needs a lot of work, especially with the UI but it seems to do basic stuff well.

Depends on the type of analytics -- as that is a huge area.

- For just tracking traffic -- Google is fine. - For Adwords, Omniture has a slew of products.

Once you add on a couple of layers -- such as an affiliate program, some display and then PPC from Yahoo & MSN .. you will run into a couple of areas .. such as multi-payouts and an issue with attribution.

One client just started using C3 Metrics


Its working for them.

Google Analytics & Visual Sciences are my favorites, Visual Sciences is really for enterprise level sites but the level of data and ways you can slice and dice things is significantly better than anything I've seen out there.

I have also heard a lot of good things about Omniture and have used it a few times.

I'm kind of interested to see what YongFook puts out with GumTrail (http://www.gumtrail.com/). Supposed to be "User Engagement Analytics". I'm curious to know how it will work and how different it will be from regular stat tracking software.

I'm curious if anyone is using Woopra? It's really cool realtime analytics. The application is written in Java, but it's like crack. I leave it open, starring at it for hours as people visit my site.

It could use a lot of work though. I see a lot of opportunities for startups in this space.

I applied for beta status with them after hearing good things, but they took so long to respond that I never put it in. I'm using Mint and AWStats.

Is there one that groups events by visitor (ip address)? I'd like to see a "trail" of use, so I can see what is catching their interest, and in what order.

Yes I use Woopra and it is excellent.

The realtime stuff is incredibly useful.

for iPhone: pinch analytics (http://www.pinchmedia.com/). friend formerly worked there (full disclosure, really. :P) which was the main reason for going with this choice, and I tried to be fair when taking a peek at Medialets' Medialytics (http://www.medialytics.com/), but I kept returning to pinch media - both are super simple to get started with though. either way I think those two are the big ones for iPhone..there is also admob but they're more advertising-focused than anything else. apploop was another but they went out of business fairly quickly..

I use: - clicky - GA - Woopra - Mint

Across my variety of sites. Usually a combination of 2 or 3 of them: the reason being that the variance between the stats the all collect means that it's helpful to have more than one stats collator to double check your info :D

Do you actually find that stats are different with each company?

Who do you find to be the most accurate?

Well it depends.

I see some differences between GA and the others (GA requires JS to be enabled so that may be why).

Woopra I use less for general stats as for "right now" tracking. Whilst clicky I trust most for historical data.(so, those 2 are the most accurate I guess)

Google analytics, plus lots of product-specific stuff.

Scale is hundreds of millions of events per day, so there's a lot of work that goes in to making it all happen and be useful... lots of summary tables, log files, and the like.

We use a mix of Google Analytics, awstats, and webalizer. Awstats and Webalizer are post process your weblogs so they don't really effect the performance of your website.

I find Google Analytics good enough. Decent integration with Google Adwords if that is required in the future, too

im sticking to google analytics as for now, gonna try getclicky soon, seems interesting, plus after checking out "who uses it", i have to give it a shot.

newrelic.com pinchmedia.com docs.google.com — EXCEL custom rake tasks

is anyone using omniture?

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