Free Analytics / Stats On Your Site Without Giving G0ogle The Farm

12 replies
Hi Folks

I just came across an OPEN SOURCE and FREE web stats / analytics package that is aiming to be "an open source alternative to Google Analytics."

Since it's on YOUR site, you're not giving your data to a third party, and will probably make page loading faster, since your site doesn't have to connect to an external site. (I've noticed that Google Analytics sometimes slows down a page, as the browser tries to connect.)

I thought I'd let the forum know about it. I've got nothing against Google myself, but I'm always wary of giving them TOO MUCH of my data, what with Feedburner and Analytics and Website Optimizer, not to mention Google search data, that's a bit too much data for someone else to have on my business

So you can get this open source software for your site here:
Piwik - Web analytics - Open source

I've just installed it on my blog. Apart from setting up a database, it was pretty easy. For self-hosted Wordpress blogs, you can use the following plug-in, in conjunction with a Piwik installation:
WordPress › Piwik Analytics WordPress Plugins

Anyway, I hope some of you will find this useful. The analytics seem great, and looks (at least on the surface) like it could be a good rival to Google Analytics.
#analytics #farm #free #g0ogle #giving #site #stats
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Mayo
    Hi Paul,

    You've have to be kidding me right?...lol

    I was just starting to do a search for open source Analytics.

    You couldn't have timed this post any better.

    Umm...OK, where's the camera? I know you have one behind me some
    where...lol

    Thanks,
    Have a Great Day!
    Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author Allen Graves
    Do you know, or does it claim, how it works with high traffic sites? Will it bog the server? I wouldn't know by looking at the code (not a programmer)...but would consider giving it a shot.

    I hate when a page gets stuck because the 3rd party is having problems!

    Allen
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Hancox
    @Michael, no camera... just my seventh sense. (Who says there were just SIX? )

    @Allen, in all honesty I don't know. It's still fairly new as far I can tell, which is why it's at version 0.4, but with over 100,000 downloads so far, I think they're aiming to get it to maturity (i.e. able to cope with high traffic sites) fairly quickly.

    I'd perhaps test it out on a less popular site first, to get a "feel" for it. I'd hate to see it bring down a high traffic site, based on my recommendation :O

    Edit: I think I saw somewhere that it uses some kind of caching system for high traffic sites. I'm still trying to find where I read that.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
    The only stats program that will ever give you accurate data is the stats that are built into the server itself. I personally will stay with my AWSTATS because it tells you everything you need and the data is accurate.

    Of course raw access logs are even better .... Nothing can beat actual true raw access logs...

    James
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    • Profile picture of the author ZorroCat
      Originally Posted by TheRichJerksNet View Post

      The only stats program that will ever give you accurate data is the stats that are built into the server itself. I personally will stay with my AWSTATS because it tells you everything you need and the data is accurate.
      I actually use both. Awstats and a tracking solution (103bees, in my case). You can't trust the visitor numbers that the raw log shows - if you're interested in how many human visitors saw your page. Awstats counts all the spiders and bots in and doesn't actually subtract them correctly. 103bees gives you just the human visitors, and a lot of search related results as well.

      Since Piwik works also with javascript-based tracking codes, it will show human visitors correctly too. I tried it on my server a few months ago, and while it seemed to me it has still some way to go, it will probably evolve into a pretty good solution.

      The automatic upgrade feature, however, rendered my installation useless beyond recognition. The forums at piwik.org were less than helpful on the issues people were having (most posters got snotty, canned responses). I plan on checking back in a few months or so. In the meantime, I'm pretty satisfied with 103bees.

      Kind regards,
      Zorro
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  • Profile picture of the author garyv
    I'm no Google lover for sure, but you'll rarely find a server that can out pace a google server. If you put any kind of analytics onto your own server then there's no doubt that it is taking up some of your resources. I have several expensive analytic softwares that I have installed on my servers, but I only turn them on when I need specific info, because they tend to bog down the system a bit. And on higher traffic sites you'll really notice it. So I'll normally keep my own analytics off, and use google's. Unless I'm desperate for some specific information. - Maybe I just need to upgrade to some better servers.

    I would like to hear some feedback however if anyone tries this. Thanks for the find Paul.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
    You can't trust the raw access logs ???? Well not sure what you have but I have dedicated servers and the raw access logs on my server are exactly correct. Course not everyone has access to raw log files...

    Point is why use some other service to slow down your server when your server already does this same thing for you ... This is where I will agree with Allen, there are many crappy scripts out there that will just bring down your server and if I have to wait for a site to load because of some stats then I am not staying on that site.

    Maybe you only get a few hits a day (20 or 30) but there are some of us that actually get thousands a day on our servers.

    James
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    • Profile picture of the author ZorroCat
      Originally Posted by TheRichJerksNet View Post

      You can't trust the raw access logs ???? Well not sure what you have but I have dedicated servers and the raw access logs on my server are exactly correct.
      Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying - if you are after the correct number of human visitors. I'm on dedicated as well, and for my sites Awstats shows the "visitors" count by a factor of 2 - 10 higher than what javascript-based tracking utilities show. Big disappointment for me a few years back when I found out that my 1,000 visitors that Awstats reported were actually only about 150.

      The thing to keep in mind here is that only users with javascript enabled are getting counted by javascript-based tools ... but that is a 99.9% majority anyways.

      For a better description, look at www*.googlelytics.net/awstats-log-file-analysis-vs-google-analytics/ ...

      Originally Posted by TheRichJerksNet View Post

      Point is why use some other service to slow down your server when your server already does this same thing for you ... This is where I will agree with Allen, there are many crappy scripts out there that will just bring down your server and if I have to wait for a site to load because of some stats then I am not staying on that site.
      You have a valid point here ... having to rely on an external service is not good. That's the beauty of Piwik. You install it on your own real estate. The thing to note is that the server's logs are not comparable with Piwik, 103bees or GA numbers.

      Originally Posted by TheRichJerksNet View Post

      Maybe you only get a few hits a day (20 or 30) but there are some of us that actually get thousands a day on our servers.
      Oh yes. That must feel good. Just kidding.

      Kind regards,
      Zorro
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      • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
        Originally Posted by ZorroCat View Post

        Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying - if you are after the correct number of human visitors. I'm on dedicated as well, and for my sites Awstats shows the "visitors" count by a factor of 2 - 10 higher than what javascript-based tracking utilities show. Big disappointment for me a few years back when I found out that my 1,000 visitors that Awstats reported were actually only about 150.

        The thing to keep in mind here is that only users with javascript enabled are getting counted by javascript-based tools ... but that is a 99.9% majority anyways.

        For a better description, look at www*.googlelytics.net/awstats-log-file-analysis-vs-google-analytics/ ...


        You have a valid point here ... having to rely on an external service is not good. That's the beauty of Piwik. You install it on your own real estate. The thing to note is that the server's logs are not comparable with Piwik, 103bees or GA numbers.


        Oh yes. That must feel good. Just kidding.

        Kind regards,
        Zorro
        There is one good thing about this. many that depend upon those java based apps to check competition traffic ....lol They get the wrong numbers all the time and they think they are getting the true traffic numbers ...lol

        Personally I laugh everytime I see Alexa and Compete stats - They are just so wrong they really have no idea....

        James
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  • Profile picture of the author JoshuaWriter
    Awstats always shows me horrible data. It counts every visitors and doesn't know how to tell if they are bots (which most of them are) and which are humans. Millions of dollars has gone into Google analytics and it's a great service. In my opinion, awstats is a cheap free product that hasn't changed in years and doesn't give accurate results.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
      Originally Posted by JoshuaWriter View Post

      Awstats always shows me horrible data. It counts every visitors and doesn't know how to tell if they are bots (which most of them are) and which are humans. Millions of dollars has gone into Google analytics and it's a great service. In my opinion, awstats is a cheap free product that hasn't changed in years and doesn't give accurate results.
      Well not sure about you but I have visitors, unique visitors, and bots, everything all in it;s own little section that tells you everything you need to know ..

      * Not viewed traffic includes traffic generated by robots, worms, or replies with special HTTP status codes.

      AWSTATS is apart of your server just as raw access logs are. I am sorry but there is no other stats system that can give you correct data unless it is connected directly to your server. This includes the Big G...

      James
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Hancox
    The reason I decided to install this on my blog is I want nice VISUAL data first and foremost, to tell me quickly what's going on. Plus, the blog is fairly new, so hopefully by the time I'm getting 1,000's of visitors a day, it will be developed enough to cope.

    I have no problem if people want to use G Analytics, but I've noticed that some sites DO hang, waiting for GA to load. I've even visited pages which never showed up, because GA didn't respond.
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