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Which Web Statistics Package Would You Use?

Cliff posted more than 7 years ago | from the MRTG-anyone dept.

83

ken-doh asks: "We host about 200 customers web sites on a Windows platform, we want to provide them with a simple web statistics package, to track hits and other useful pieces of information. We have been using Deepmetrix LiveStats XSP which has been perfect for our customers, but since Microsoft purchased it, the product is no more, with support ending next year. So we need to buy a new stats package. Any ideas?"

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awstats all the way (4, Informative)

Salvance (1014001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16871916)

I'd choose awstats. It's fast, very easy to use, looks pretty, and best of all ... it's free to use on Windows as well as Linux. Here is their main page on sourceforge [sourceforge.net] , which also includes a nice little demo.

Re:awstats all the way (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872160)

yea and it also occasionally has security holes that quickly compromise a server.

Re:awstats all the way (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872310)

Agreed. It also fails to follow linuxy conventions enough to make it annoying to use very often. It's virtually unscriptable without a conf file for each domain and it's extraordinarily tough to "rename" confs (perl/sed FTW!). Finally, if something ever messes up and you miss a few days, you need to run each day sequentially. If you decided to do today's first, then yesterdays, it isn't going to work.

So very unfriendly. So very, very insecure.

I'd love to recommend webalizer, which excels in some of those areas, but generally looks hideous.

Re:awstats all the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16872410)

yea and it also occasionally has security holes that quickly compromise a server.


You beat me to it. We almost had two boxes owned; it was only because we are very careful about file permissions that they weren't. They had managed to drop a program that mimics midnight commander through a web interface into the only writeable directory they could find, but couldn't do anything with it due to the apache user being appropriately neutered.

Re:awstats all the way (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874630)

yea we were also careful with permissions and security, hence all they did was placing some stuff in tmp directory.

Re:awstats all the way (1)

Allador (537449) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872534)

In typical use, awstats has nothing to compromise. It just emits .html files. There is no executable, or awstats code to access or compromise.

Now if you're using a non-standard approach, and allowing people to hit the awstats cgi directly, then you suffer from this issue. But that only really works on small sites, due to performance issues.

Re:awstats all the way (1)

nullchar (446050) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872548)

Agreed. It is best to place awstats behind .htaccess or some other non-public mechanism.
Also, don't click on referral links in the web logs!
The setup for multiple domains is a pain, but necessary with any other stats package I've used.

Re:awstats all the way (1)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872904)

don't click on referral links in the web logs

I'm not familiar with the package you're discussing, but anything that produces clickable links that it's dangerous to click on sounds to me like a disaster waiting to happen.

It's a potential information leak, that's all (3, Insightful)

pestie (141370) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873260)

It's not that the links are inherently dangerous. The problem is that clicking such a link will take you to the site the link points to (obviously), and your browser will dutifully report your referrer to the remote server. And if your referrer looks something like "http://www.example.com/top-secret-stats-directory /awstats-referrers.html" then you've just given some unknown server a "back door" into your web stats, allowing them to gather intelligence about your site. In many cases that's unimportant - either the site is an inconsequential personal web page, or the directory is password protected, or you're smart enough to use something [stardrifter.org] to prevent your browser from sending referrer information. But as we all know, many people don't do what they should, and sometimes little data leaks like this can lead to compromises.

Re:awstats all the way (1)

ednopantz (467288) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873052)

And it provides almost no useful information! Want to know top referrers month to month? Sorry! We aggregated all the data and there's no way to do that. Want to know how many users have .NET 1.0, .NET 1.1 and .NET 2.0. Sorry! Don't track that. etc.

Sure, its free and open source, but I'll take useful over free any day.

Re:awstats all the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16878434)

The original poster says he is running on a Windows box. I doubt the security of his web stats analysis package is going to be any bigger problem than the security of the rest of his OS.

[duck and cover]

Re:awstats all the way (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16881808)

i didnt notice that - what a fantastic combination

Re:awstats all the way (1)

Enoxice (993945) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872184)

I agree wholeheartedly. It's so simple to use, but gives so much information.

Re:awstats all the way (1)

Volcane (27387) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872266)

and without trickery, it doesnt give good daily detail view, lots of people care for daily detail to see how their ad optimisations are doing

Re:awstats all the way (1)

eyurdakul (1017902) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879702)

I would recommend Google web master tools. If you use all features, you won't need any additional tool or site.

Re:awstats all the way (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880322)

Sorry. I like AWstats, but it looks "pretty" in the sense that "neon green and neon pink make a bold colour scheme". Most of these reports are generated for marketing / management, so whilst you could argue the figures are what counts, their presentation is equally important - and this, sadly, is the area where most of the open source packages fail (note that many commercial ones do, too, but it's much more prevalent here) - they look garish, amateur, ugly, or all three.

Re:awstats all the way (1)

soliptic (665417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16884120)

I donno man, I've got AWStats on one of my hosting accounts at the moment and it's frankly very very mediocre, compared to almost everything else I've tried -- some other online stats package I used to have with a different provider (whose name escapes me at the moment I'm afraid), some piece of freeware/shareware I downloaded that you run clientside (obviously you have to ftp the raw apache log files to your local pc too) - again I forget the name, I think it was something like WebLog Pro (dated from before weblog took on a different meaning!), and also compared to the system we run at work (which is 3rd party, much like Google Analytics I imagine, not that I've ever tried Analytics)

why fix it? (3, Insightful)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#16871918)

If it ain't broke keep using it ;)
or is that not an option for some reason?
-nB

Re:why fix it? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16872016)

If it ain't broke keep using it ;)
or is that not an option for some reason?
-nB

You missed something:
" Microsoft purchased it, the product is no more, with support ending next year."

Re:why fix it? (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872270)

So it automatically quits working? I understand now.
-nB

on a completely unrelated note, /. should not have a 2 min timer for thread to thread posts. Should only be between posts in the same story.

Re:why fix it? (0, Flamebait)

cyber0ne (640846) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872522)

So it automatically quits working?

That's genuinely the advantage of running a Microsoft product :)

Re:why fix it? (2, Funny)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872738)

touché

Re:why fix it? (2, Informative)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874210)

In a manner of speaking, yes. I'm guessing they're using the hosted version of Livestats, so if they stop support, they are probably also taking down the hosted servers. The full non-hosted version is substantially more expensive (but cheaper if you do millions of hits a day like we do here).

there's a couple of good tools (3, Interesting)

yagu (721525) | more than 7 years ago | (#16871928)

  • pathological eclectic rubbish lister
  • awk
  • sed
  • one good staff member with a couple hours free time

I've seen lots of different packages and frankly I sometimes wonder why people pay for them. They're typically (actually I guess they're literally) off-the-shelf stuff that, while offering nice and interesting features, don't cover everything for everybody. I think it's a "you get what you pay for mentality", i.e., people insist on buying packages to do this kind of analysis.

I've written probably more than 20 different web filters for various analyses because the OTS stuff didn't get me the info I wanted.

And for any more-than-small IT staff, there's always someone there who knows the tools, and can slap together stat info and tweak it ad nauseum until management sees the analysis they think they want. Lots of staff will even write it on their own time -- they like to tinker with that stuff.

Also, though I haven't looked, I'll bet there are some great CPAN modules that get you what you want as a good start with the added benefit of having the code for your own tweaking.

Considering the article specifically is asking for simple web stats, I think sed, awk, perl, and others is a perfect way to go.

Or, you could buy yet another package and risk Microsoft buying that product and disappearing it.

Re:there's a couple of good tools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16873038)

I second this. Add this to any of (gnuplot | excel) and you've got more powerful flexible and reporting features to show relevant info to management as well.

The prepackaged stuff are great at boring stuff (x hits per day) - but I've yet to see one that shows the interesting stuff ("hey, our competitor just watched all our demos yesterday and as he used the demos he was focusing on oil companies in the gulf of mexico -- do we have any customers there he may be after?")

Re:there's a couple of good tools (1)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874632)

The kind of stats you can get from awk & sed with a couple of hours of free time could be useful when you want to know some very specific things (such as "How many times was this file downloaded in the last two weeks") and already know the general shape of your data (eg, what pages are in your site).

This would not give you statistics that are probably a lot more important, such as:
o Conversion rates for your advertising (are we getting more out of advertising with company X than we pay for it?)
o What your site's abandonment points are (are users getting too confused by a certain page and switching to someone else?)
o What part of the world your users are coming from (maybe a German translation of your site would double your income)
o What times of day are most active (schedule your downtime for the slowest point)
o What is the trend of visits, vs the trend of hits, vs the trend of users (visits increasing faster than users means your users are finding your site to be of progressively more value, etc)
o How did this week compare to last week? How about this week to two weeks ago? How about this week to last year's Christmas season, whose logs you no longer have?

All of this can be done without needing to know sed, awk, or even have a staff member who can do this. That's great because when your marketing guys want random stats such as this 6-10 times a day, your "one good staff member" can focus instead on creating new content.

Especially when you get into multidimensional traffic forecasting, your ability to discover some of this stuff with even a few weeks of development time can get pretty limited. Forecasting is important because it can point out areas where you're slowing down so that you can reinvigorate them before they become a liability.

Finally when you have 200 clients (like the author of this article), stats packages mean you can give your users their stats any time of a day or night for a lot less overall expense (200 people asking for some statistic once a week means you give up one or more full time developers, when the stats package could have satisfied this with a better response time for a lot less money).

Re:there's a couple of good tools (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16876796)

Your whole rant seems to be based on the fact that you have no fucking idea cron exists. That's "Scheduled Tasks" for you Windows retards.

Re:there's a couple of good tools (1)

Punk Walrus (582794) | more than 7 years ago | (#16882350)

> one good staff member with a couple hours free time

Be careful. I work in an environment that was full of those kinds of things. Almost none of the admins or programmers stuck to any standards, naming schemes, or left any documentation. Most didn't even speak to one another. Thus, when I came onboard, I had to deal with a statistics collection system in multiple pieces in several different languages; many at the same time (a bash script that ran Perl scripts AND some compiled C modules on Cygwin on a Windows 2000 box). Comments in the code? Hah!

One of the first things the new admins did was consolidate and document.

one to avoid (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16871990)

Avoid SmarterStats. In fact, avoid the entire SmarterTools suite of products at all costs. Buggy. Poorly designed. Horrible!

Re:one to avoid (1)

stg (43177) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872506)

I don't really use SmarterStats, although it is included on one of my sites, so I can't really say if it's any good or not.

I do use SmarterMail, and while the regular mail filters are neat, their spam filters are horrible! At least 10x more spam gets through than the default CPanel SpamAssassin (which is not so great compared to a nicely tuned one).

I didn't try this in the current version, but in a previous version, if I tried to erase a hundred messages through their web interface, the server would stop responding for several minutes...

Re:one to avoid (1)

flonker (526111) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873078)

I'd also recommend avoiding WebTrends. Where it would take 12-18 hours to process log files, Analog [analog.cx] runs in a fraction of the time (under an hour).

My issues with Analog are that I haven't discovered how to make it only parse each log file only once, and I haven't discovered any way to have it display stats for different time periods (ie. daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly/annually) all on one page. I'm not sure if these are real faults with the program, or if I just didn't figure out how to do it yet,so YMMV.

Google analytics (1)

thenerdgod (122843) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872020)

Job done. If you get enough traffic, you can pay, but it's free for something like under 1M hits/mo. And their campaign/tracking tools "pwn" you.

I'd put a link, but, c'mon. google.com

Re:Google analytics (3, Informative)

CerebusUS (21051) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872308)

The 1M page view limitation was for beta only. The current product has no limits.

Google Analytics is a good solution if you are looking for tracking based on javascript / web bug images.

Since they are looking for something that works off the server log files (such as LiveStats) maybe they should look at Urchin [google.com] which runs locally and processes the log files. Google purchased Urchin to make their Analytics offering. Unlike Microsoft and LiveStats, however, Google still sells and supports the Urchin software through retail partners.

Pricing is fairly reasonable, and is based on log sources and websites monitored. $895 buys you 100 profiles with one log source each. $695 extra per additional log source (i.e. if you've got 3 servers serving one website you'd need 2 additional log sources) regardless of the number of profiles. $695 extra per 100 additional profiles, as well.

They also offer campaign tracking and ecommerce reporting modules.

One thing that's impressed me about the program is the speed. We're using it on 150 profiles (with a maximum of 6 log sources per profile, though only one profile actually uses that many. Most of our profiles use only one log source) and it takes about 8 hours to process the logs each day from a central box using smb/cifs to pull the data files.

Re:Google analytics (1)

fotoflojoe (982885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874050)

I completely agree.
As a Webtrends refugee, I found Urchin to be a gift from heaven, it really rocks the house.
However, Urchin (as of ver. 5.x) does rely on Javascript and bugs.

Re:Google analytics (1)

ePhil_One (634771) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875976)

That would be awesome, except Urchin IS Google Analytics. Google bought the package, and while it looks like they may have revived the paid version [google.com] for those who don't trust Google with their weblogs, I would be nevrous giving them my money.

Re:Google analytics (1)

CerebusUS (21051) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876984)

There is a component in Urchin that can make use of the javascript and webbugs, but it isn't required.

It's also incompatible with Google's Analytics product. We regularly run the logs without the UTM (that's what they call the javascript piece) and instead setup the Google Analytics tracker instead. This lets us get historical data for sites and gives us better bandwidth usage stats for individual websites, while still allowing the end users to see the pretty graphs and awesome filtering Google gives them.

The first time we tried to get both the UTM data and Google Analytics to work at the same time, it barfed hard.

Google analytics does not track me. (1)

Alphager (957739) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872476)

I surf without javascript and have adblocked the analytics-domain. If you rely on google analytics, you won't see me. Log-based stats are way better.

Re:Google analytics does not track me. (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872868)

On the other hand, maybe NOT tracking people like you is the more humane move? You obviously don't WANT to be tracked. Sure, it'll skew the information a bit, but in the end... Does it really matter?

If most people went to the extremes you do for avoiding tracking, then yeah... I could understand the need to do the tracking locally. But most don't.

Re:Google analytics does not track me. (1)

Alphager (957739) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873836)

Extremes? I have noscript, simply because i feel safer that way. I blocked google-analytics because it slowed down several sites i visit regularily. When you use google-analytics, how will know how many of your users don't use javascript? It's easy to lose a huge percentage of your visitors.

Anlog (2, Interesting)

forrestf (1028150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872026)

http://www.analog.cx/ [analog.cx] that works well, atlest for my servers

Re:Anlog (1)

Tteddo (543485) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878118)

Analog and Report Magic work great together. I have about 100 domains with it and never a problem.

Re:Analog (1)

Wilk4 (632760) | more than 7 years ago | (#16891818)

analog has my vote too. I've used it for years. It's got to be the most controllable package around. There are options to tweak most everything, and to do pretty complex filtering, aliasing, etc. Admittedly, most people never need to know all that, but it's good that it's there for the times we do.

AWstats, Google Analytics, and custom reporting (2, Informative)

chroma (33185) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872070)

If you want a simple logfile analyzer, use AWStats, as mentioned earlier here.

Google Analytics [google.com] is a little more sophisticated tool that requires you to embed a little bit of their code on every one of your pages. Also free to use.

For totally custom reporting, move your log data to the database following the guide I wrote earlier this year [kuro5hin.org] .

Re:AWstats, Google Analytics, and custom reporting (1)

`Sean (15328) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872174)

I second Google Analytics. I've been using it on about 40 Web sites and it's a great tool with zero configuration. Just drop in the Google code and go. The only concern is that Google now has aggregate traffic stats but I, for one, welcome our new Intarweb overlords.

Re:AWstats, Google Analytics, and custom reporting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16875050)

Plenty of us block Google Analytics in our browsers. You are missing information.

Re:AWstats, Google Analytics, and custom reporting (1)

`Sean (15328) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875400)

Plenty of us block Google Analytics in our browsers. You are missing information.

I'll be sure to make a mental note that my stats are now 0.000125% inaccurate.

Re:AWstats, Google Analytics, and custom reporting (1)

Raphael (18701) | more than 7 years ago | (#16881540)

Plenty of us block Google Analytics in our browsers. You are missing information.
I'll be sure to make a mental note that my stats are now 0.000125% inaccurate.

The percentage may not be so insignificant. For instance, the very popuplar AdBlock Plus [mozilla.org] add-on for Firefox (among the recommended add-ons [mozilla.org] ) includes several blacklists to which you can subscribe. Most of these blacklists include the site google-analytics.com and patterns for blocking scripts such as urchin.js.

I guess that a fair share of Firefox users have AdBlock Plus installed. It is up to you to decide if you care about these users or not.

Note that a good web statistics package that analyzes your own server logs should be able to tell you how many visitors block JavaScript, block cookies or use tools like AdBlock that selectively block some URLs. Good web statistics packages will provide this information while taking into account the effects of client caches, proxies and even multi-hosted proxies (resulting in multiple IP addresses for the same visitor). You cannot use Google Analytics to know how many visitors block Google Analytics.

So if you were using a good (local) web statistics package, you would be able to come up with a more realistic percentage than 0.000125%. Of course the actual number depends on the target audience for your site, whether they care about privacy issues, etc. Do not be surprised if you find out that the percentage is closer to 5% than to 0.000125%.

The perfect solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16872128)

Lies, damn lies, and statistics... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872144)

So what's the difference between "hits" and "visits"? My website averages ~700 hits and ~80 visits per day. Which is more meaningful and/or significant?

Re:Lies, damn lies, and statistics... (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872194)

hits might be anything. visits generally contain actual 'people' with pcs.

Re:Lies, damn lies, and statistics... (1)

NeoThermic (732100) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872204)

Normally (although some like to blur the difference), a hit is an object load. It doesn't matter if that object load is by one IP or a billion IP's, each object load is one hit. A visitor is normally tracked by the only general unique thing that can be tracked per visit, i.e their IP. Ergo if you have 10 visits and 100 hits, that can infer that each visitor made 10 object requests.

NeoThermic

Re:Lies, damn lies, and statistics... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16872208)

In general, "hit" is a page view. A "visit" is one person who comes to your site and makes a bunch of hits. If you reload Slashdot 10 times, that's 10 hits, but only one visit. Consult your package's documentation for more information on exact criteria used to define each.

Hits vs Page Views (1)

6031769 (829845) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878366)

Actually. no. A hit is not a page view. A hit is a single http request to the server. This could be for a page, a page part, an image, a style sheet, a separate js file, an embedded object, an iframe (itself with multiple hits possibly), a redirect, even a 206. So, if you load the slashdot homepage you are causing around 45 hits just for a single page view (that's 5 style sheets, about 40 images and the page itself). Depending on your browser cache settings a reload may cause anywhere from 1 to the full 45 hits again.

This is why, in almost every case, hits > page views > visits > visitors.

Re:Lies, damn lies, and statistics... (1)

`Sean (15328) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872218)

Visits. A Web page with 10 images is 11 hits. First hit is the page itself and then the next 10 hits are the images loading. If you have a stats package that tracks page views then that's the number you're really interested in. Say you have 100 visitors and 1000 page views; that means your content is compelling enough for each visitor to view an average of 10 pages before they leave the site.

Re:Lies, damn lies, and statistics... (2, Informative)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872354)

I'm not sure if you're trying to point out how useless webstats can be, but generally speaking most stats software I've worked with count a "visit" as an ip that it hasn't seen for the last 30 (sometimes configurable) minutes. If it sees it more than 30 minutes later, it's a new visit. If it sees an IP hitting the site within a 30 minute window, the hit counter gets bumped but the visit counter doesn't.

Re:Lies, damn lies, and statistics... (2, Insightful)

nullchar (446050) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874218)

Good point -- web stats can be amazingly useless. Don't read too much into them (oh gnos! I was crawled by wget!). And take the time to research what the numbers mean.

Webstats can be useful for showing broken links (Why so many 404s for this file? Oh crap, Sally renamed it). They can also point out commonly mising files (robots.txt, favicon.ico, sitemap.xml or whatever). Web stats can also be used for optimization -- seeing 4000 hits with only 30 visits might mean you are using way too many images. (So go back and change the fun-looking menu to text.)

Re:Lies, damn lies, and statistics... (1)

daeg (828071) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872428)

Hits, at least in most stat packages, are page views. Good stat packages won't inflate your hit numbers with things like CSS and image file hits.

Visits are time-limited uniques. If I read 5 stories on Slashdot within an hour, that's 5 hits and 1 visit.

Uniques are longer time-limited users. If I read 5 stories on Slashdot at 9 a.m., and 3 more at 4 p.m., that (at least in most packages) should be 8 hits, 2 visits, and 1 unique. Some packages will let you alter the timeline of Uniques, e.g., Weekly Uniques.

Generally, the higher your ratio of Visits:Uniques the better (your viewers come back multiple times per day). High Hits:Visits ratio means your users look at a lot of content each time they come. Low Hits:Uniques means your viewers aren't coming back.

form the readme for Analog 6.0: How the web works (1)

Kalak (260968) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875574)

It's actually much more complicated than most people think. The best write up I've seen is on Analog [analog.cx] 's site:

This section [analog.cx] is about what happens when somebody connects to your web site, and what statistics you can and can't calculate. There is a lot of confusion about this. It's not helped by statistics programs which claim to calculate things which cannot really be calculated, only estimated. The simple fact is that certain data which we would like to know and which we expect to know are simply not available. And the estimates used by other programs are not just a bit off, but can be very, very wrong. For example (you'll see why below), if your home page has 10 graphics on, and an AOL user visits it, most programs will count that as 11 different visitors!

Re:form the readme for Analog 6.0: How the web wor (1)

Wilk4 (632760) | more than 7 years ago | (#16891788)

I was about to post that same analog doc.

That whole page is well worth reading.

Many of the web stats packages other than analog really try to make you think they can get more data out than they really can.

That page and the one above it (What the results mean [analog.cx] ) should be required reading for anyone about to read a web stats report. I certainly send it to all my customers whenever I set them up with a report.

CACTI (1)

Taimat (944976) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872486)

Informant Advanced, and Cacti - do you really need anything else???

Visitors and BBClone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16872552)

I guess these are nowhere near feature rich for your needs, but I'll mention them anyway:
Visitors [hping.org] - Simple logfile analyzer
BBClone [bbclone.de] - Nice visitor counter running on PHP

DJ Format & MC Abdominal would say (1)

gmezero (4448) | more than 7 years ago | (#16872558)

"More hits than germans surfing fetish websites
Yo, that is a lot of hits."

There's 45 hits in this song not counting the title.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B38c1e52vfY [youtube.com]

Re:DJ Format & MC Abdominal would say (1)

soliptic (665417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16884170)

oh for mod points. great track!

Install BBClone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16872722)

Install BBClone on your server. It's fairly easy to install, and you get good graphics and automatic statistics collection. It's free and open-source, so you can't go wrong. Look for their demo at http://bbclone.de/ [bbclone.de]

Good old Webalizer and newer stuff (4, Informative)

Kvorg (21076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873014)

Awstats seems to be the modern usual answer (http://awstats.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] ), used and recommended by many admins and groups (in my case EGEE, European Science Grid intiative http://www.eu-egee.org/ [eu-egee.org] ) but for traditionalists with no eye-candy desires, there is a copy of Webalizer (http://www.mrunix.net/webalizer/ [mrunix.net] ) lurking on most servers and almost all destribution package repositories. It's worth looking at the wikipedia page for specials, extended verions and general info on web server statistics and analysis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Webalizer [wikipedia.org] .

Particularly, Stone Steps Webalizer is an interesting version of feature-full and candy-enabled version: http://www.stonesteps.ca/projects/webalizer/ [stonesteps.ca] . Others can be easily found on Freshmeat: http://freshmeat.net/search/?q=webalizer&section=p rojects [freshmeat.net] (i.e. Webalizer Extended with included Geolizer and extensive 404 analysis support, http://www.patrickfrei.ch/webalizer/ [patrickfrei.ch] and AwFull with usability, CSS and geo-ip features, http://www.stedee.id.au/awffull [stedee.id.au] etc.).

Others can be found on Freshmeat (117 hits at this time http://freshmeat.net/search/?q=web&trove_cat_id=24 5&section=trove_cat [freshmeat.net] ) and Wikipedia (very short and poor stub of a list that you might want to improve after your extensive testing :-) : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Free_web_ana lytics_software [wikipedia.org] .

There is also Sherlog, an Apache Log Analyser, specialized in user experinece tracking more than statistcs - an interesting complimentary tool (http://sherlog.europeanservers.net/ [europeanservers.net] .

Omniture, if you can afford it (1)

matt_king (19018) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873066)

Hosted solution (you put a bit of javascript in every page, trivial if you are using some sort of templating system).

Don't have to deal with web logs, always updated in real time, AMAZING functionality. Just pricey. our company found most of the open source or cheaper ones to be a bit lacking in functionality...just depends on your needs.

Re:Omniture, if you can afford it (1)

Wilk4 (632760) | more than 7 years ago | (#16891878)

then how does it record traffic by web spiders and those browsing with javascript disabled?

Re:Omniture, if you can afford it (1)

matt_king (19018) | more than 7 years ago | (#16914996)

If what you are looking for is how popular or useful your site is, web spiders are not really important. Since they are not real users, they really don't tell you much. If you need spider data, you can always slurp that in from logs but honestly, the business managers don't really care about that data in general. It actually handles users who don't use javascript by also including an in the header of the page so that if javascript is disabled, you can still track hits and paths.

Re:Omniture, if you can afford it (1)

Wilk4 (632760) | more than 7 years ago | (#16915624)

ah, thanks. Just wondered. I usually want the bots too for my webmaster's point of view, so Analog and regular logs are better or me. Good to know what else is out there though.

I've got a package! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16873114)

In my pants!

Thankyou, thankyou... I'll be here all week.

My own (1)

psykocrime (61037) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873308)

I looked at a couple of the popular ones, installed Awffull [freshmeat.net] and played with it for a bit. But it wasn't immediately
obvious to me that any of the common ones supported aggregating stats across domains / hosts. Eg, I have 10 virtual servers on this
Apache [apache.org] box, give me a sorted list of hits per domain/host. Probably one or more of the popular open-source stats packages [wikipedia.org]
*does* do this, but I didn't feel like spending hours examining different ones and installing them. Since my needs were very basic
I just wrote something of my own.

Since all my domains are ultimately served by a Java webapp [sun.com] running on JBoss [jboss.org] (I redirect from Apache to JBoss with mod_jk [apache.org] ) I just wrote a servlet filter [sun.com] to write hits to a postgresql database [postgresql.org] . That's it,one table with the hostname, date-time, user-agent [wikipedia.org] , and a handful of other things I care about. Now, getting the info I need is a simple as a quick sql [wikipedia.org] query with pgadmin III [pgadmin.org] . Although I'm looking at using the Eclipse [eclipse.org] BIRT [eclipse.org] stuff for looking at the data, as my next project.

Next time you'll know (1)

ribuck (943217) | more than 7 years ago | (#16873330)

Next time you'll know to choose an open source solution.

With a proprietary solution, the customers are the ones who support the product, and are then shafted when the product is discontinued.

TraceWatch if you want a really good one (1)

Proto23 (931154) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874020)

http://www.tracewatch.com/ [tracewatch.com] for a free analytic program that actually really helps. I have tried most of the above for my site http://usa.tiouw.com/ [tiouw.com] and none came even close. Analysis is useless if you cant trace exactly how a user is going through your site. It might mean more work for you, but the pay-off is there. I know for sure that your clients will love you for it and that it will mean more business.

weblog expert (1)

araczynski (265221) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874652)

something cheap and easy we use is weblog expert, works off of IIS log files and has a lot of nice reports/features. we're an educational agency so the statistics aren't mission critical or anything, just more of a nice thing to have occasionally to see what's happening on the site.

Hitslink.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16874826)

Check out http://www.hitslink.com/ [hitslink.com]

I've been using them for several years and they're very good. The only downside is that you have to have a small bit of javascript on every page in order for it to track that page.

Webtrends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16874840)

One organization I work with uses Webtrends [webtrends.com] ... we have Pro 7, the predecessor to their current Analytics 8. For various reasons, it only relies on analyzing log files (vs. Google Analytics JavaScript implementation, which I use elsewhere). This is not always clear, and frequently numbers on one report don't totally jive with numbers on another report for the same data (e.g. Webtrends has dozens of "report" pages).

It's also remarkably expensive. I'd look elsewhere if you could.

Sawmill is nice (1)

GoramFrackinWacko (995587) | more than 7 years ago | (#16874946)

Sawmill [sawmill.net] is an excellent package. It's easy to configure, has nice drill-down features and great reporting. I'm not associated with the vendor, just a satisfied user.

WebTrends 8.0 (1)

b-l4ke (997876) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875184)

WebTrends 8.0 is nice.. if you have a dedicated windows server and deep pockets.

quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16875450)

"since microsoft bought it and now it is gone and.." and yada yada. And you want advice?

Ok Handwriting -> Wall, or cluestick -> up 'longside de head

How many times do you have to get burned before you realise that dealing with those lying sleazy criminal goons is a long term expensive no-win situation? That is, if you stay stuck on their platform, that situations like this are the norm, not the exception?

That's my advice, MS was ok in the olden days somewhat,but it well past time to move on now and admit reality, they have peaked as to usefulness, they are past peak as regards cash for quality, they are WAY past peak as being even close to being honest, and you will keep throwing good money after bad in huge wads now the longer you stay stuck on them. Do you honestly think that will be the last problem you will run up against with them?

Problem (1)

ElectricRook (264648) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875762)

What problem are you trying to solve?

This appears to me to be another project looking for a problem to solve. This is way too common in IT. Application cruft on the PC occupying memory, and generally bogging things down. Then the users complain that the network is too slow. Then you have to buy new hardware, and the new hardware needs new cruft... Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

Of course, this could also be a "Review Fodder" project with the goal of adding a new line to your self-assessment paper to the boss. In that case, carry on and add some good cruft!

answer from an ex-DeepMetrix employee (1)

fodome (1028292) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876362)

There are two types of web analytics technologies: log analysis and page embedding. As you are providing statistics for 200 web sites (clients), you want to stick with a log analysis solution. As the two big boys (Microsoft and Google) are going to be providing FREE web analytics based on page embedding, many of the companies currently in the web analytics game will go out of business as half their market will be lost. That said, stick with a company that is big and has not put too many eggs in the hosted service (page embedding) basket side of things. My personal suggestion would be to stick with LiveStats.XSP v8.03 (the last release). Even though support will expire, your installation will still be good forever. Some of the info in it will become outdated but... All in all, it's a gamble either way. You're dealing with a company that has been bought out, the next one you go with may fold. Good luck!

Mint (1)

Doches (761288) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876846)

I'm not sure if it quite fits your needs, but it's both fantastic and well-designed: http://www.haveamint.com/ [haveamint.com]

Easy (1)

solid_liq (720160) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878146)

Switch to a LAMP stack and choose one of the many freely available analyzers for Apache on Linux. (Yeah, like you didn't see that coming...)
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