Since I converted this site to use a hosted server, one of the benefits of running my own site is having the ability to glean statistics about who is coming to visit the via web analytics. Here are some of the packages I’ve looked at using while I am trying to figure out which offers the best features.
I know it sounds ultra geeky to care about such stats of where the people were coming from, or how they got there, but it’s interesting to see what may have interested people in what I had to say.
Some of the points of interest I am looking to learn:
- What are people visiting on the site
- Where are they coming from
- How long are they staying
- What page are they leaving from
- How often do people come back to the site
After viewing preview information about this platform, I would really like to be invited to the beta to check it out.
Unfortunately, after submitting my request to join the beta months ago, I still have not been accepted. It does look promising from a statistics, and viewer information standpoint but I may have to wait until release to give it a try. I just received my beta invite, and setup the code today. It will take a few hours to get data collected, but so far it seems like a very useful tool.
Update: I have since been approved to the Woopra beta, and you can view my review of the Woopra service here.
I am fortunate that my host has SmarterStats installed on the web server which provides a wealth of knowledge about my entire site structure from it’s local usage logs. I think having the ability to report based on Log information, as well as the live hit functionality really is a nice combination to gather information in a holistic view that a single solution does not provide. Since it is based on web logs, some of the statistics are not real time depending on the log collection period.
So with that, I plan on checking out the Beta services above as they look very promising, but I think Statcounter is my current system of choice.
If you have any recommendations for other services, please leave a comment below.
Usage Analytics Apps
Since I first posted this, I did happen to stumble across another post which listed 5 web analytic sites which are better than Google, but many of them seem to offer a different experience. Some of these apps fall into what I might call "Usage Analytics" as apps such as CrazyEgg and ClickDensity offer some innovative tools which provide maps of click usage activity on your site which definately helps in the design aspects of the site, but they did not have the same visitor stats I was looking for
Clicky seems like a good service so far, as I do love the live "Spy" feature which displays visitor information as they happen on your site. Unfortunately, the features which make it stand out, are a small fee which I will see over the next few weeks if it’s worth it. So far it mmight give StatCounter a run for it’s money for my needs.
Here is another review of 11 Free Analytics Apps which draws it’s own conclusions that others might find useful.