I’ve tried alot of third-party web analytic tools in the past – Google Analytics, Yahoo! Web Analytics, Clicky, Site Meter, 103Bees including WordPress plugins like FireStats and Cystats. Each of these tools and services do a good job in providing information regarding web traffic, statistics and analytics and they are FREE. However, in my experience the ones that work best and the most reliable are Google Analytics and Reinvigorate.
If you’re looking for a new free web analytics tool use on your blog/website or aren’t satisfied with the one you have now and want to replace it, here’s one alternative that you might want to checkout – Open Web Analytics.
What is Open Web Analytics?
- Server Operating System: OWA only runs under UNIX operating systems at this time. Windows operating systems are not currently supported.
- PHP: OWA requires PHP 5.2.x or later.
- Database: OWA requires MySQL 4.1 or later.
- Required php.ini Directives: Certain PHP configuration settings create problems for OWA installations. The following is a list of INI settings that should be avoided: * safe mode directive must be set to “off’.
- Required PHP Extensions: * The PCNTL extension is required only if you plan to utilize OWA’s background processing daemon (optional). Since PCNTL comes with the PHP distribution you just have to compile your PHP with the –enable-pcntl directive. See http://www.php.net/manual/en/pcntl.installation.php for more info on how to install the PCNTL extension.
- Web Browsers: OWA supports all major versions of most web browsers including Opera, Safari, Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer. Certain OWA visualizations require Firefox 3.5 or later.
I haven’t tried Open Web Analytics yet but will do soon as I’m considering of replacing Reinvigorate because it’s no longer free. Open Web Analytics or OWA in short, has all the necessary features and options that I need/look for in a web analytics tool and much more. It’s a first-party tool so I can install it on my server and be able to have full control over it. It also has a built-in and extensive instrumentation for self-hosted WordPress blogs.
NOTE: OWA is only applicable to self-hosted blogs/websites that run on UNIX servers. Make sure that your server matches the OWA requirements. If you’re not sure, you can ask your hosting provider. Also make sure to read the Installation guide first before installing OWA. Click here to view the required permissions for Open Web Analytics files and directories.
Installing Open Web Analytics on WordPress
To install OWA on a self-hosted WordPress blog, all you need to do is:
- Download the latest OWA distribution or check it out of SVN.
- Extract/unzip the downloaded file and move the entire “owa” folder into your wp-content/plugins folder. The folder must be named “owa” (Without the quotes) to work.
- Activate the OWA via the Plugins section.
That’s it. Once activated, OWA will create all the required database tables (OWA tables have the owa_ prefix by default) and will immediately start tracking all WordPress generated posts, pages and feeds. Additional settings can be configured via the OWA options page found under the main Options tab in the dashboard.
What free or premium web analytics tool do you use on your blog or website? What do you think of Open Web Analytics? Anyone here tried or plan to try it? Please share your thoughts.