Web Statistics Options

Shortly, I will need a way to keep track of who is visiting my website, what pages, for how long, etc.

My current web host offers a Web Stats package for like $5/month, but I’m not sure how good of a deal that is, or how useful it really is?!

1.) What are the different offerings out there for keeping “Web Statistics” on my website?

2.) What are the critical “Metrics” that I should be interested in?

3.) Is there such a thing as “Open Source Web Analytics (Software)”?

4.) Can I just build this myself?

In addition, it is my hope that my business will take off fairly quickly, so I am also interested in solutions that will scale with my business. (The one that my web host offers looks more “cutesy” than serious, business-oriented…

5.) So are there any solutions out there for real businesses that need web stats to grow there business and succeed?

I could definitely use some advice here!!! :blush:



Google Analytics is really good, and also free. Or you can go upmarket a bit with Mint.

I’m no expert on this subject (not even close), but if I were making this call, I’d start by seeing what info I could glean from Google Analytics and see if that told me what I needed to know. If not, then Mint is definitely a good step-up.

Yeah, but participating in Google’s scheme to take over the planet Earth kinda leaves a dirty taste in my mouth… :-/

Or you can go upmarket a bit with Mint.

What is better about Mint?

Based on their website and descriptions, it looks kinda rinky-dink?!


I’ve seen sites where you can access their Mint analytics just by typing in the domain with /mint/ at the end.

From what I’ve seen, Mint is one of the most basic analytics packages you can get. Maybe they had some dumbed down free version, but Google Analytics offers way more features right out of the box.

Though from what I hear, Omniture is more powerful than GA (but it’s also expensive).

Any open-source projects/alternatives out there?


It’s all a matter of what you need. You get what you pay for, but GA gives you quite a lot of info for no money (although you are dealing with the Lords of the Underworld). Mint is, as I understand it, something of a step up. After that, there are quite a few for-pay analytics, some of them extremely expensive.

Max, both you and ralph seem to think Mint is up market, but what specifically about it is so good?

My experience with mint has essentially been users, pageviews, and referral sites and that’s about it. Is there more to it that I’m missing?

Here’s a demo: http://designologue.com/mint/

Honestly, that looks about 1/50th as powerful as Google Analytics :stuck_out_tongue:

GA shows you landing pages, navigation paths, has custom metrics and reporting, custom variables, regular expression support, adsense/ecommerce integration, goal tracking, easy ways to compare trends from past and present etc. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s got a lot of really good features mint doesn’t seem to have.

I have no idea, TBH. I’ve just seen the digerati using it, and the price tag, and it jumps to mind when people ask the OP’s question. My mention of it is thus not an endorsement, just a mention. There may be lots of alternatives out there.

No recommendation here, either, I’ve just seen knowledgeable people say they find it useful. As I said above, I’m no expert on analytics.

Ah fair enough. Was just curious.

I guess it makes sense for small sites, but it doesn’t seem to offer as much insight as larger sites.

DoubleDee, what I suggest is if you’re serious about tracking your website performance, and taking action to optimize your site based on what you see, then do this:

  1. http://www.google.com/analytics/
    read through that and install it on your site

  2. http://www.google.com/support/conversionuniversity/bin/request.py?hl=en&contact_type=indexSplash&rd=1
    Go through those at your leisure. They’re the free online training courses you can use either for your personal benefit, or if you choose to get GA certified (the certification test is $50, but the courses are free)

  3. http://www.youtube.com/googleanalytics?hl=en, http://analytics.blogspot.com/

Get more insight via GA’s youtube channel & blog.

The main advantage about Google Analytics is it integrates seamlessly with AdSense, and AdWords, and Google offers a massive wealth of free information on both of these as well.

Since Google Analytics is free, and commercial/business-oriented, I think it’s your best bet.

There are also Apps and Plugins you can use to further extend GA: