Recently I’ve been doing more thinking about a statistics program for my websites. Of course, money is always a concern so I’ve been looking at free alternatives, namely Google Analytics. Now, I used Google Analytics for over a year, was happy, but always a little bit paranoid.
Why would I give total and utter information of my website over to the company sending me traffic and providing me a monthly pay check? I mean, Google provides the search traffic, will have access to my statistics through Analytics, and then will be writing me a check for my Adsense earnings every month. It just doesn’t make sense and always made me feel uneasy. Especially once I started hearing more and more about Google adjusting SERPs based on bounce rates.
Now, more information has surfaced that indicates that Google in fact does not take bounce rate into consideration, but I trust Matt Cutt’s as far as I can throw him. Why take the chance of giving over valuable statistical data on your visitors to Google when there are other options available? Thus my search for a quality statistics program began.
First, Piwik Stats was great! However, it bogged down my server, seemed buggy, and needed updated far too many times in the short span I was using it. I needed to take my web statistics program out of house. What I found was that statistics programs are not generally free, like Google Analytics, and to get the good stuff plan on dropping around $10 per month.
Right now I’m testing out the free version of W3Counter, which limits you to a single domain tracking and less than 10,000 visitors per day. The single domain is a problem, but I’m nowhere close to the visitor limit. So far I like the reports, layout, and general live tracking that W3Counter boasts. However, my only complaint right now is that their website is slow to respond on occasion.
I’ll be trying out some new web statistics programs here over the next few weeks. I also plan on using free and paid tracking software so I can finally settle down with a program I can use for years to come. I’ll report back with my findings as I go, so look for a W3Counter review in the next few days.