An Open Source Alternative to Google Analytics is on the Rise

by Jawwad in Software, Websites | 5 comments

We bloggers and webmasters all know and use Google Analytics for the vital statistics tracking of our websites. And no wonder that so many websites use it as the primary tool for traffic logging and analytics because it is THE most powerful free web analytics tool available.

But now it is going to have some competition from the open source world because Piwik has released a web analytics tool that supports many of the features of Google Analytics and because it is open-source these features can be customized to fit the specific needs of the niche of a particular website . Extensive support is provided for the third-party plug-ins to add new features. As with Google Analytics simple java-scripts are used to track the statistics with only one but important difference that this analytic tool will be running from your own server. Statistics can also be embedded in the user website and/or dashboard for easy monitoring.

piwik | An Open Source Alternative to Google Analytics is on the Rise

A live demo is available here to give an idea of the looks and functionality. Interface looks pretty good for a starter. You can download the latest version(alpha) from the official website. Installation is pretty simple after you have uploaded it to the server. PHP 5.1 and a Mysql database is required for the proper functioning. They also have a Why is Piwik better than the competition? video so check it out as well.

I have also downloaded it today and will test it out on my local WordPress installation to see that how it fares as compared to Google Analytics.

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  • Nirmal

    Do let me know how it performs compared to GA. And also the features.

  • Rakshit

    I have tried it’s demo and really it’s very impressive. Interface it quite good. But it’s efficiency can only be judged when I try it. So giving it a try right now.

  • Sumesh

    This looks promising, but being open-source, it might take time to become stable. Also, people won’t switch from GA to tihs, much like no one switches to Pownce from Twitter (though Pownce is more powerful).

    Good blog here, subscribed.

  • Jawwad

    Nirmal: I have tried it briefly on my local installation and it seems impressive to me. Installation is simple, just uploaded in to a root WWW directory and pointed to http://localhost/piwik/index.php. Then a wizard appears which follows through the process. It takes no more than 4 to 5 minutes. After installation copied the provided javascript code to the sidebar(may be place somehwere else as well) and that is it.

    Interface seems to be taking a bit of time to load but after it loads works smoothly.

    A positive thing is that dashboard is completely widgitized so add and remove from the provided widgets.

    There are three main tabs – Dashboard, Visitors,Actions, Refrers. All the relevant setting and stats are inside the respective tabs in sub-tabs.

    It lools that it also integrates with the Feedburner stats but I was not able to test it so far.

    It relies heavily on the external plugins and as such is pretty extensible as I can see.

    I have to say that for now it looks a bit simpler as compared to the Google Analytics but again it is only an alpha. Also I think someone have to spend more time to give a final verdict.

    Overall I am impressed. However for now I will wait until it gets out of the alpha,beta stages to rely on it sole basis.

  • Jawwad

    Sumesh: I couldn’t agree more with the arguments you have made. Yeah, It is never gonna be easy to disrupt the Big “G” :)

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