Faster Load Times With Piwik Stats

I’ve recently became very paranoid with using Google Analytics and allowing my largest visitor generator to see bounce rates, etc.  So, I’ve been looking into some alternatives and what I’ve found is a great open source statistics software called Piwik.

Piwik is installed directly on your server and allows the addition of any number of websites for stat tracking.  The initial install went seemless, less some activation of PDO and PDO mySQL services.  This was quickly fixed with a quick email to my hosting provider ManageMyBox.  Within minutes the installation was complete and I was on my way to self hosted stats.

On the outside Piwik seems comparable to Google Analytics, with visitor tracking, pageviews, and all the normal stat jargon.  It also has the capabilities of tracking campaigns, which Analytics prided itself on.  But the real difference came in the load time of my pages that were being tracked.

I noticed a substantial improvement in page load times which included the Piwik javascript tracking code.  So much that I’ve removed all of my Google Analytics tracking code.  I had thought that my server was the limiting factor on my mySQL database heavy applications, but apparently Google was to blame for a lot of slow downs.

Piwik also appears to be more accurate in tracking unique visitors than Google Analytics.  Also, it’s open source, so there is plenty of help when it’s needed and plugins are available to extend the stat software to fit your needs.  I’m currently looking for a plugin that will report individual IP’s, but have yet to find one.

Forward Thinking

I hope that as I add the rest of my sites it doesn’t start taxing my dedicated server too much.  As for now it doesn’t seem like a problem, tracking roughly 2,000 unique visitors per day across 3 websites.  We’ll see what happens.

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