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PiWik - Oh My God This Is The Best Took Ever!!!

22 April 2009 | talking about Infrastructure

As someone that looks over many different websites one of the tools I have used is Google Analytics. Google Analytics uses some javascript that you install on your website to send traffic data back to Google. Then you can log into their website and view data about your traffic. This data consists of visitors, page views, visitor location, and so on. There are hundreds of tools out there for this purpose but Google Analytics really stepped up as the best free option. My only problem with Google Analytics is you have no control over how it works. You do not have direct access to the data, and the data is not processed in real time. While I continue to think there is nothing better out there for free I have recently stumbled upon an amazing open source project called PiWik.

PiWik's goal is to take Google Analytics and make it open source. The user runs it on their own server; which means they control how and where the data is stored. It also allows the user to write plugins to add extra features. It is written in Php and Mysql.

I have sat down many times and thought I need to write a replacement to Google Analytics but never have. Today I said I was going to do it but just before I got started I tried one more google search and found PiWik. I instead spend the rest of the day installing it on all my sites. My major problems with Google Analytics is I can not download the data for further processing and it is not real time. With PiWik I own the data it is already in my database and I can do anything I want with it and the data is processed in real time. Only thing that Google has that PiWik does not have, that really matters to me is the ability to pin point the city and state the visitor is coming from. PiWik has a plugin that is the next best thing GeoIP. I have a feeling this plugin will get better and better as time goes on.

Over all I am very happy now. I control my data. I get real time stats. Thank you PiWik and keep up the good work!!!

tags: google analytics, piwik

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